Planning Ahead

Calculate the Cost of a Cremation
If you are planning for a death that is imminent (i.e., in a matter of days or weeks), click here for our Cost Calculator, and to email yourself a customized "Order Now" link so that you're ready when the death occurs. You can't order a funeral or cremation until the death has occurred unless you already have a Funeral Insurance plan in place.

Pre-Pay/Pay for a Cremation
You need to wait until a death has occurred to order a funeral or cremation, unless you've already pre-paid with Guaranteed Issue Final Expense insurance, also known as "funeral insurance" or "burial insurance." If a death has already occurred, click here. To Pre-Pay for a cremation, click here.

Save for a Cremation
If you're looking to save money for a future cremation, you might consider setting up a "Totten trust" or "Payable on Death (POD)" account as a hedge against inflation and to avoid probate. Learn More.

Forms & Kits
We have a broad selection of useful information on our Forms & Kits page to make the planning process simpler. These include:
  • Planning Ahead for a Cremstar Cremation Kit
    • Samples of the questions you'll need to answer when ordering a Cremstar cremation online, and useful checklists for both you, the planner, and your next-of-kin (NOK).
  • Designated Agent Kit
    • If you want to designate someone to handle your body's disposition after you pass other than your natural next-of-kin, or if you don't have a traditional NOK, a Designated Agent may be perfect for you.
  • Veterans Planning Kit
    • The US government will reimburse veteran families that qualify up to $893 for a burial or cremation. This Kit features the VA form you'll need to complete in order to receive your reimbursement, plus useful checklists for both the veteran, the planner, and the next-of-kin (NOK).
  • Reasonable Attempt to Notify Forms
    • If you're unable to locate the natural authorizing agent and you have made reasonable efforts to try and track them down, you may become the authorizing agent yourself, depending upon your relationship to the deceased.
  • Waiving Disposition Rights Forms
    • If you are the legal Next-of-Kin (NOK) and you would like to give up your right to make decisions about the disposition of a lost loved one's body in favor of someone else.

Be aware that for those with "power of attorney" over an individual, legal authority expires when that individual passes, and they are no longer entitled to make decisions as Authorizing Agent. Visit our Forms & Kits page.

The US government will reimburse veteran families that qualify up to $893 for a burial or cremation. Since Cremstar's starting price for a direct cremation is also $893, that's like getting your cremation for free! The US government will also pay an additional $231 for an urn, and the state will provide free death certificates. And if you inter that urn in a columbarium, they'll reimburse you up to yet another $893 just for that. Learn More

Disposition of Cremains
While urns remain the most common choice, more and more families are choosing from the many unique and highly personal options available when it comes to the disposition of their loved one's cremains:
  • Cremains in potted planter
  • Hand-crafted glass jewelry with cremains
  • Transform cremains into diamond
  • Embed cremains in a firework
  • Integrate cremains into a coral reef
  • Shoot cremains into space
  • Green burial of cremains
  • direct-cremation-cremstar-disposition-of-cremains.html
  • Scattering at sea
Confer with your family and plan ahead so that you're prepared when the moment arrives. Learn More

Since it can often be difficult for those mourning a death to put their feelings into words, flowers can act as an expression of love, comfort, sympathy, and respect. Nothing symbolizes the value of our fleeting lives like flowers. Here today, gone tomorrow, their beauty is eternal. In addition to sending flowers to the funeral service, there is a growing trend to send flowers to the home of the bereaved. Learn More

Memorialization & Life celebration Events
Every Cremstar cremation comes with a complimentary online memorial from MemoryBox, the nation's leading memorialization website and app. With a MemoryBox memorial, you, your family and friends can post and share photos and memories of your lost loved one. If you're planning a dinner, memorial service, or scattering, try creating an "Event" Memory at MemoryBox. When folks join an Event Memory, as long as their phone is equipped with the MemoryBox app, all the photographs taken with their phone during the event are copied off their photo roll and added to the Event Memory online automatically - even if they're not actively using the MemoryBox app but just their phone's regular photo function! And for those who would like to arrange a virtual  Life Celebration Event, we've pioneered MemoryBox in the Metaverse, an online location to host virtual Life Celebration Events in real-time, with live eulogies, and guests using avatars joining from anywhere in the world. Whether you're curating your digital identity before you pass on - ensuring you're remembered the way you want to be remembered - or you're creating an online memorial for someone who's already transitioned, this powerful application makes it easy. Learn More

Power of Attorney vs. Designation of Agent
Be aware that for those with "power of attorney" over an individual, legal authority expires when that individual passes, and you are no longer entitled to make decisions as authorizing agent. If your loved one is imminent and still able to sign a document, you may wish to download a Designation of Agent form to designate yourself or someone other than the traditional next-of-kin (relative) to become the Authorizing Agent, with all the rights to make decisions regarding the disposition of the deceased. Or, if you're not the Authorizing Agent but would like to get the current AA to grant you their legal rights to make decisions regarding the disposition of the deceased, download a Relinquish Rights form they can sign to empower you. Learn More

Estate planning
You don’t need a large estate to plan ahead. Estate planning will help you ensure your financial future, and that of your heirs. Look for a trusted adviser to help you chart the right path and avoid costly mistakes down the road. Learn More

Property Issues
A house cannot stay in a deceased person's name. Ownership must be transferred according to their Will or the state's specific Succession Law. Once a new owner is determined, they must file for a new deed for the home with the county recorder's office. While a good Wills and Estate Lawyer can help with this, what about tips on downsizing and decluttering, or on how to cope with the guilt of letting go? What do you do when a house is more than just a house? Learn More

Grief is a common emotional and sometimes physical response that you feel when you experience loss after a disaster or traumatic event. Bereavement is a type of grief you experience when you lose a loved one. Grief counseling is a type of professional therapy designed to help you work through the various stages and range of emotions you may feel after a loss. There are ways to recover, and groups out there that you can contact for help. You can even chat with an AI bot! Learn More

Travel Issues
Whether you're looking for a bereavement fare before a planned funeral/cremation, thinking of taking ashes cross country on an airplane or abroad, or planning a getaway to recover after a loss, there are a host of travel issues to consider following the passing of a loved one. Learn More

Charitable Giving
Baby Boomers are expected to transfer $30 trillion in wealth to younger generations over the next few years. But, what will they do with it? According to the Giving USA 2021 report, donors bequeathed an eye-popping $41.91 billion to charity in 2020. From selecting a charity to ensuring you receive the financial and psychological benefits, this section will help you think it through. Learn More

For more information on the Cremstar process, visit our How it Works section.

If you have any questions, please contact us:
  • By phone: (888) 802-0999, available 24/7. (Se Habla Español.)
  • By email: [email protected]
  • By chat: 7AM - 10PM Eastern Time, seven days a week; click on the round red chat button on the bottom right of the screen.

If you are in immediate need because a death has already occurred, order a direct cremation now. If a death is imminent (i.e. in a matter of days or weeks), visit the Cremstar Cremation Cost Calculator for a price quote and to email yourself a customized "Order Now" link so that you're ready when the death occurs. To Pre-Pay for a cremation, visit our Pre-Pay page.