New York Cremation
New York is a unique state in many wonderful ways.
But as with most other areas, it has regulations about who takes responsibility for planning a funeral or carrying out a loved one’s last wishes.
By planning and mapping out your last wishes ahead of time, you can prepare your family to make these difficult decisions with a minimum of stress.
Pre-Planning a Funeral
The average cost of a funeral in New York is about $7000.
Needless to say, this is a heavy expense to burden your loved ones with, and also a significant expense to work into your own budget.
But paying ahead of time can lock in low prices and help your family navigate these costs more easily.
There are a couple of different ways that you can accomplish this.
Paying in advance
Make sure that you thoroughly research the establishment ahead of time and document any plans you make with them. Inform your family of these plans, as well.
Although New York law has many consumer protections in place when dealing with funeral homes, it’s still a good idea to take some actions to protect yourself, too.
Paying with savings
It’s a safer option to estimate the costs of your funeral arrangements ahead of time and leave the funds in an interest-bearing bank account that your beneficiaries can access.
Make sure to designate a beneficiary ahead of time who can access these funds. Be careful who you choose for this role.
He or she is under no legal obligation to use the funds in the way you want, so complete trust is necessary.
The Cremation Process
When making plans, it’s helpful to know exactly what goes into the cremation process, which can seem mysterious.
Here’s an overview of what happens during the cremation process to remove a little of that mystery.
For more info, check out this helpful guide.
After death, the body is transported to the funeral home or crematorium where the necessary paperwork is completed and filed.
Generally transportation will be included in any plans you make with a funeral home or crematorium.
Items such as jewelry, pacemakers and therapeutic implants are removed before cremation.
It also takes some time to ensure that all necessary permits and authorizations have been taken care of.
Then the body will be placed in an alternative casket or in a shroud.
During this process, the body is subjected to high heat inside a cremation chamber.
This heat vaporizes any organic matter and incinerates the bones, which are reduced to fragments.
After these fragments have cooled off, they are placed in a cremulator to be ground to a finer consistency.
The cost of a direct cremation includes just the bare essentials: transportation of the body, filing of paperwork and the cremation itself.
It does not include a funeral or memorial service.
Almost every funeral home offers a basic direct cremation package as it’s lowest priced plan.
If budget is a big concern for you, this may be the best choice.
The amount needed for a funeral will vary depending on your needs, desires and budget.
These may also be different depending on where you live.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the common costs of a funeral in New York.
Cost of a Funeral
The cost of a burial in New York is approximately $6410.
In addition, you will need to budget for things like a hearse, a casket, a viewing and an embalming.
The costs of these items vary depending on which funeral home you’re working with.
Cost of a Cremation
Cremation in New York can give you significant savings when compared with the cost of burial, averaging only about $3407. This price includes additional services, such as a memorial service or funeral.
You can save even more money by opting for a direct cremation, which typically costs around $700. Again, this depends on the cremation provider that you work with.
New York Cremation Providers
Fortunately, New York has a wide variety of options for cremation providers.
There’s something for every region and city, every religious faith and every budget.
Here are our recommendations based on the city/area where you live.
The most populous part of New York City brings plenty of options in arts, entertainment and just about everything else…including cremation providers.
Perazzo Funeral Home
A personal touch sets this company apart. Not only do they work with you to individualize your cremation and funeral plans, but they even provide the option to sign up for a daily grief support message.
Perazzo Funeral Home has 35 years of experience in working with families in Manhattan. In fact, they were the first funeral home in NYC to pioneer the marketing of direct cremation.
Gannon Funeral Home
This funeral home was established in 1924 and has been serving generations ever since.
It’s a family business which has been passed down through three generations of the Gannon family, serving Manhattan’s East Side.
They are available 24/7, and also offer the ability to make your arrangements completely on-line.
Fitting Tribute Funeral Services
If you want something creative and “outside the box” for a memorial or tribute, this is the company for you.
Their specialties include cremation, green burials and home funerals.
True to their name, Fitting Tribute works with individuals and families to create services that are a perfect reflection of them.
Diverse, multi-ethnic and very “hip,” Brooklyn has something for everyone.
And that diversity extends to cremation providers, as well.
If saving money is high on your priority list, this company is worth checking out.
They offer direct cremation at prices starting as low as $485. There may, however, be additional fees for the crematorium and a New York Permit.
Given the average prices for cremation in New York City, this has the potential to save you thousands.
Bergen Funeral Service Inc
This company provides many choices including direct cremation, cremation with full visitation and ceremony, scattering and traditional burial.
Scattering can take place in a number of natural settings. You can even scatter at sea or in the stars. (Call them to find out more.)
Blair Mazzarella Funeral Home
This provider traces its roots back to 1904 when Henry F. Blair opened his funeral home on Coney Island.
Since then, they have become experts in cremation, wisely guiding their clients through the process.
They have detailed knowledge of the many traditions and faiths of Brooklyn, and how these faiths honor their lost loved ones.
There’s no shortage of things to do in Queens.
As with other things, Queens offers plenty of choices when it comes to cremation providers.
Heritage Cremation Provider
This family-owned business has been around for over two decades.
They are available 24 hours a day and honor all religious faiths.
Their prices range from $695 to $1395 and include transportation, paperwork and applying for Social Security and Veterans’ benefits.
This provider guarantees prompt, courteous service at an affordable price.
You can opt for a memorial service with your loved one’s urn on display. Or you can have a traditional viewing with the deceased displayed in a casket.
They also offer direct cremation.
Cannon Funeral Home
This funeral home serves the city of Albany and surrounding towns. They offer a range of memorial options, including online memorials and daily grief support emails.
They are available at any hour of the day by phone. You can also choose to have staff come visit you in your home.
Buffalo Niagara Service
This company has many flexible options and will work with you to personalize your cremation plan.
They can work with many different budgets and religious faiths, with or without payment in advance.
They will also work to secure benefits to which you may be entitled from Medicaid, Social Security and Veterans’ programs.
White Oak Cremation
Here you can find a number of options, starting with direct cremation at $975. Additional services and merchandise are also available.
Their website is user-friendly and customers speak highly of their ability to arrange services online.
They also offer direct burial and direct cremation with a final goodbye.
New York Cemeteries
Burial is preferred by many, sometimes for religious reasons or just because it’s nice to have a memorial to visit.
If you want a place to visit to remember your loved one, there are a number of cemeteries in New York worth checking out.
Cemeteries in New York carry a lot of history and beauty, making them a wonderful final resting place.
Cedar Grove Cemetery
Historic Cedar Grove Cemetery had its first burial back in 1893, and it’s still a popular choice for New York families today.
Graves allow three-deep burials and do not require a vault.
A principal amount can be put in trust for endowed care, ensuring that the grave will be a beautiful place to visit for generations to come.
This prestigious cemetery is a National Historic Landmark, even hosting educational school visits and family outings. In fact, Green-Wood was an inspiration for the outdoor recreation movement.
Burial rights can be passed along within families.
This unique cemetery offers much more than traditional burial.
You can pre-plan a burial in one of their beautiful mausoleums. You can even choose from a number of beautiful cremation memorials.
A representative from the cemetery will give you a handy Personal Information Reference Guide for you to fill out and pass along to your beneficiaries, simplifying the planning process.
New York Cremation Laws
Each state has its own laws regulating cremations and funerals.
Many of these laws are in place to protect consumers from unfair business practices.
Here are some of New York’s cremation laws.
Who is allowed to make funeral arrangements?
New York law designates the responsible party in this order:
A person appointed by you in a written document
Your spouse or domestic partner
Your adult children
Either of your parents
Your adult siblings
Your court-appointed guardian
Any adult who shares your estate with you
A representative of your estate (i.e., close friend or relative who knows you well)
A county official, and finally
Anyone else acting on your behalf
Does New York have funeral assistance programs?
The state of New York does not provide any funeral assistance. However, depending on your situation, you may be able to get assistance through your city or county.
In addition, some funeral homes offer low-cost or free services to people with demonstrated need.
If you’re a low-income resident of NYC, and you’re planning a funeral that costs $1700 or more, then you are eligible to apply for up to $900 in funeral assistance.
Just submit an application, along with required documents, to the Burial Claims Unit.
Is embalming required by New York law?
New York law does not require embalming. However, individual funeral homes may require it if you choose to have a viewing with an open casket.
Funeral home directors are required by law to get the customer’s consent for embalming. The cost of embalming needs to be clearly itemized on a price list.
Do you have to use a casket?
Caskets are not required by law, but you should check with the cemetery about their regulations.
Many cemeteries require the use of a suitable container, such as a box made of wood or heavy cardboard.
Can the deceased donate organs?
If you wish to donate organs after your death, you will need to contact NYS Donor Registry, as well as sign the appropriate place on the back of your ID card.
Don’t forget to outline these wishes in your will and communicate them to family members.