Low-cost cremation and green burial
The options for low-cost cremations have increased significantly in the Kansas City area in recent years.
The price of direct cremation – which includes transporting and care of the body, assembling the information for the death certificate, cremation itself and a container for the ashes – varies greatly, and we advise consumers to compare prices before signing a contract or agreement.
At the time of our 2012 funeral price survey, the average price of direct cremation among area providers was $1,743, which was down from 1983 in 2009.
At least three providers offer direct cremations for less than $900.
:: Reflections Memorial Services, 14 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO 64111, $625.
:: D.W. Newcomer’s Sons Stine & McClure Chapel, 3235 Gillham Plaza, Kansas City, MO 64109, $675. (The price is good only at Newcomer’s Stine & McClure location.)
:: The Cremation Center of Kansas City, 4926 Johnson Dr., Mission, KS 66205, $870.
Three cemeteries in the Kansas City region now offer green burials. The closest is Mount Muncie Cemetery in Lansing (913) 727-1935. The other one in Kansas is Oak Hill Cemetery, which is owned and operated by the city of Lawrence. Its phone number is (785) 832-3450. The third one, Green Acres, is in Columbia, MO. Its phone number is (573) 355-4647.
Green burial essentially means burying an un-enbalmed body in the ground in a shroud, cardboard box, plain wood container or container made of other biodegradable materials. The body decomposes relatively quickly, depending on the type of container.
Sorry, but we are not able to provide financial help for individuals in need of death-related services. Charities, churches and county governments sometimes help, however.
Residents of Jackson County, Missouri, can call the county counselor’s office (816-881-3355) to seek help with indigent burials or cremations.
Residents of Platte County should call the public administrator’s office, 816-858-2130, and Clay County residents also should call the public administrator’s office, 816-407-3250.
On the Kansas side, Wyandotte, Leavenworth and Johnson Counties generally help only when bodies are unclaimed by family or friends but not when people are seeking financial help to bury or cremate deceased family members or friends.
For more information about indigent cremations and burials, see our Fall 2010 newsletter (on the “Newsletters” page of this website). The article, titled “Who pays for funerals when they die broke?” starts on Page 6 and continues on Page 7.