Internet Cremation Society - About Us
About The Internet Cremation Society
The Internet Cremation Society was started in 1994 by a funeral director and cremation society owner in New Hampshire. The purpose of the site was to provide people with an on-line resource for learning more about cremation and helping them locate low cost providers in their area. At that time, we were the third death-care site on the Internet.
Over the last few years, the Internet Cremation Society has grown to become the largest collection of on-line cremation resources available. Our site has evolved to become the top visited death-care site on the Internet. True to our original focus, we still provide listing and links to cremation societies and cremation service provider throughout the US and Canada. However, we continue to add valuable content to our web site. We provide links to web sites of nearly every urn company on-line as well as scattering services, obituary services, casket stores and other resources. But the main thrust of our site is still to help consumers research and select a low-cost cremation provider.
About Cremation Societies
The cremation society movement started on the West Coast several decades ago as an alternative for consumers interested in simple cremation. Nearly all "bona fide" cremation societies are membership organizations that charged those wanting to belong to the society a small, non-refundable fee. The typical membership fee is around $25 to $45 per individual and $50 to $80 per couple. The benefits associated with belonging to a society are the rights to have a simple cremation service at costs significantly below those charges by most traditional, full-service funeral homes or mortuaries.
Nationwide, most cremation societies charge its members between $900 to $1,800 for a simple cremation. This fee generally includes: removal of the deceased from the place of death, administrative and staff services, costs for completing and filing necessary paperwork, the cremation container, cremation fee and local delivery of cremated remains. As a comparison, many funeral home in this country charges well over $2,500 and usually closer to $4,000 for the same services.
One of the appeals of cremation societies, in addition to their lower prices, is their convenience. Complete cremation arrangements can be made by mail, over the telephone, or at your own residence without ever having to visit the societies facilities directly. What this does is eliminate any geographic barriers to selecting a society. You may use a society in the same city or halfway across the state, usually for the same low price. Some societies charge a nominal fee for additional mileage if the deceased has to be transported from the place of death beyond a certain limit. But, even with these additional charges, there are almost always costs advantages in dealing with a society rather than a funeral home.
In addition to basic cremation arrangements, cremation societies can arrange for memorial services, placement of obituary notices, and final disposition of the cremated remains. Societies also sell a variety of cremation urns and alternative cremation containers. Many societies have facilities where the deceased can be viewed or identified by family members before the cremation takes place. Some even have in-house chapel facilities for conducting memorial services. An important part of the cremation ceremony with some religious and ethnic groups is being in attendance when the cremation takes places. Since a large number of cremation societies own and operate their own cremation equipment, these requests can most often be handled with ease.
Some people are hesitant about joining a society because they feel the services provided will be less superior than a funeral home and that the staff operating the society is somehow less qualified. Nothing can be further from the truth. Cremation societies in nearly every state are required to be fully licensed by the state in which they operate. So, societies must adhere to many of the same federal, state and local laws and guidelines as do full service funeral homes. Also, most societies are operated by professionally trained funeral directors. Finally, cremation societies specialize in cremations. They do not perform traditional funeral services and thus do not incur the overhead costs associated with having to maintain a full service funeral home. Clearly, if you are interested in a simple cremation, membership in a cremation society makes sense.
Joining a cremation society is quite easy. After filling out a basic information form and paying the membership fee (if applicable), you are enrolled in the society and given a membership card. A rapidly growing trend these days is pre-need funeral planning. This involves actually pre-paying for your cremation services ahead of time to lock in the current low price. Pre-planning not only guarantees you'll get the exact services you specify, it also provides peace-of-mind in knowing that everything is taken care of. That's not to say if you or a family member are not a registered member of a cremation society, you cannot use their services. Most societies usually have two fees for direct cremation. One fee for registered member and one for non-members. While the non-member fee can be anywhere from $150 to $300 higher, this charge is still lower than a comparable funeral home. This fee structure does encourage planning and funding your cremation arrangements ahead of time.
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