Your Prepaid Cremation Questions Answered

Prepaid cremation provides peace of mind. Knowing your family won’t be burdened with financial strain or the stress of difficult decisions during an already emotional time can be a source of comfort for you and the ones you love.

What are the options for prepaid cremation services?

From simple cremation to celebration of life or traditional funeral services, there is virtually no limit to the types of services offered for prepaid cremations. Funeral homes typically offer packages designed specifically for families choosing cremation to streamline the process. As always, they also offer a la carte options so that individuals can design their services exactly the way they want them.

Packages might include:

A simple cremation without a service. Sometimes called direct cremation, this choice includes just the basics, such as transportation of the deceased, a cremation casket and cremation paperwork.

We see this option chosen most often for individuals with just a few living friends or family, or in situations when keeping costs down is most important.

A cremation with a memorial service or celebration of life. In addition to transportation of the loved one and the cremation itself, this package usually includes a beautiful container for the ashes and a service at the funeral home or a place of worship. These services can happen before, immediately following or long after the cremation has taken place.

This option is an increasingly popular choice. We see it chosen most among families without a strong desire to follow specific rituals, instead favouring remembrance of the good times and celebration of the life lived. Families don’t feel as rushed to schedule services immediately, giving more time to plan travel. Learn more about celebrations of life.

A cremation with a funeral service. In addition to transportation of the loved one and the cremation itself, this usually includes embalming, hair and makeup services, a casket, a viewing at the funeral home, and a funeral service before the cremation takes place.

We see this option chosen most often for individuals with a preference to follow traditional religious rituals. Viewing or presence of the full body at the visitation or funeral sets this option apart.

What are the benefits of prepaid cremation?

Paying for cremation in advance has many important benefits, including:

  1. Makes a difficult time easier for survivors. Many people choose prepaid cremation because they want to reduce the burden on their family. By taking care of the details ahead of time, you minimize the number of potentially overwhelming decisions your loved ones face after your death.
  2. Eases a financial burden. Funding a funeral shortly after a death can be a financial hardship for many families. A prepaid cremation plan allows you to cover costs ahead of time, so your family doesn’t have to think about money. Plus, you get the option to pay in affordable monthly instalments.
  3. Ensures your wishes are honoured. By making arrangements in advance, you can be confident that you’ll get the service you envision.
  4. Protects against rising costs. Most prepaid cremation plans include guaranteed pricing, which means that today’s costs are locked in, protecting your loved ones from potentially higher costs in the future.
  5. Gives you peace of mind. Similar to insurance for the unexpected, a prepaid cremation can provide a sense of comfort. When you prepare in advance, you rest easier at night.

How to prepay for a cremation

Here’s how to prepay for a cremation:

  • Start by contacting one or more funeral homes or cremation providers.
  • Set an appointment with a pre-planning advisor, who will meet you at your home, at their location, or online or by phone. The advisor will explain their services, benefits and associated costs in about an hour. If you wish, you can make selections and make payment during the meeting, but it’s not expected.
  • When you have decided which provider to use, you can then discuss payment options—usually a lump sum or instalment payments—and whether to use insurance or a trust. In any case, the funds are protected from business disruption or bankruptcy. Learn more about how prepaid funeral plans work.

What happens if you prepay for a cremation and move?

The only constant in life is change. When you choose a prepaid cremation plan at a Dignity Memorial provider and then move, the plan remains in effect. If you move more than 75 miles from the location where your original arrangements were made, your prearranged services—and your cremation trust—are transferable and will be honoured at any of more than 1,900 providers in the United States and Canada.

Plan an unforgettable tribute with Dignity Memorial®

Whether you’re planning a cremation for a loved one or pre-planning for yourself, start with a story, passion or pastime to provide inspiration. We’ll help you weave those very special memories into a beautiful service with personal touches and lasting impressions.

Our free guide, The Insider’s Guide to Funeral & Cremation Planning, will help get you started. Contact us today to find out more about the special savings and benefits available to CARP members and their families. Visit to download our free guide or call 866-668-1841.