Smart Cremation Review: Should You Choose Them?

Smart Cremation has been a national funeral provider in the US for almost a decade.

In that time they have seem to have built up a pretty solid reputation with the communities they operate.

So would I recommend using Smart Cremation?

Well first, I’ll let you be the judge…

In this provider review, I’ll go through everything you need to know about them, including services, plans, costs, pro’s & cons, much more.

About the Company

Smart Cremation has been around for the last decade. They can meet immediate needs as well as work with you to create a prepaid plan.

One of the perks of this company is that they provide special discounted plans for veterans.

Their Smart Family professionals will come to your home and guide you through the many options that are available.

They also promise to lay out all costs clearly ahead of time so that there are no surprises- a valuable and comforting business practice during times of loss.

Another nice perk, your cremation plan travels with you in case you have to relocate.

Smart Cremation Locations

Smart Cremation is based out of Houston, TX. They service all cities in the states listed below.

  • Nevada

  • Texas

  • California

  • Washington

  • Oregon

You can find a Smart Location location in almost any major city in these states.

Funeral Planning

Let’s back up a bit and discuss why you should plan your funeral/cremation ahead of time.

The days that immediately follow the death of a loved one are overwhelming, to say the least.

Besides dealing with the painful cycle of grief, the family has the additional burden of planning a memorial service and disposing of the remains in a dignified manner.

These decisions can be costly as well as painful. Planning your funeral ahead of time relieves them of some of these pressures so they can focus on healing their grief.

So while it might seem morbid, it’s really an act of love towards those you will leave behind.

Pre Need Cremation Plans

If you want to work with a service provider to make a pre-need cremation plan, Smart Cremation makes the process very easy.

All you have to do is contact them by phone or via the contact form available on their website.

They will then arrange for a Smart Family professional to visit you in your home and discuss arrangements with you.

Why Plan Ahead?

Your own death and cremation are probably the very last things you want to think about!

It seems morbid and unnatural to plan for your own demise before it happens.

Yes, it’s not a pleasant or easy topic, but there are many great reasons that people are choosing to make pre-need cremation arrangements.

It gives you control

Planning your cremation ahead of time allows you to opt for only those services you want, and none that you don’t.

It gives you the assurance that your cremation will take place in exactly the way you want, leaving no possible sources of confusion or conflict for your family.

It protects you from inflation

If your purpose is to reduce the financial burden on your family, cremation is the way to go.

It costs significantly less than a traditional burial.

Even better, pre-paying for cremation costs locks in low prices, protecting you and your loved ones from rising prices that you hadn’t expected.

It’s an excludable asset

Some forms of pre-need funeral planning can be counted as part of your income when determining Medicaid eligibility.

But your pre-need cremation plan is excluded from your assets in determining this.

So it’s a good way to use some of your income to help family members without risking the loss of your Medicaid coverage.

Professional Services

The cremation process is just a small part of the complicated journey of saying goodbye to a loved one.

There are a number of professional services which should be taken into account in your planning.

Arranging and pre-paying for these will make things even smoother and easier on your family.

Transportation

Smart Cremation has a seamless process for transporting remains.

They arrange all the details, giving your family one less hassle to deal with.

They also have a high-tech “Smart Assurance Identification System” to track the remains from the time of death until ashes are returned.

Paperwork

Who knew that dying entailed so much paperwork?

Death certificate. Cremation permit. Disposition permit.

These are all necessary, yet they are the very last things that a recently bereaved family member wants to deal with.

Fortunately, Smart Cremation takes care of all that paperwork for you.

Cremation Process

Again, the Smart Assurance Identification System provides peace of mind throughout this process, right up until you receive a loved one’s ashes in a keepsake urn.

This peace of mind is worth a lot, and is included in the price of most pre-need plans.

Handling Remains

Smart Cremation honors your wishes about how to handle the remains post-cremation.

You can choose to have them returned to the family or scattered at sea.

Either way, Smart Cremation takes care of everything.

If you are a veteran, you can also arrange to have your remains taken to the National Cemetery.

Cremation Services

It’s nice to have choices regarding your end-of-life services.

Smart Creation has a number of different packages based on your budget and on final wishes.

All packages automatically include the removal of the body, a basic service fee, a crematory fee and a credit towards a local cemetery.

Beyond that, you can customize your package to your needs.

Direct Cremation

This is by far the least expensive, no-frills option when it comes to cremation.

The cost will include transportation of the body, paperwork and the process of cremation itself.

You would make arrangements to receive the ashes afterwards.

It does not include a memorial service, a casket or opening a grave or a vault in the cemetery.

Smart Creation offers a variety of options for direct cremation.

Basic Cremation

This is one of Smart Creations’ direct cremation packages.

Besides the cremation process, the price includes an alternative container for the ashes made of heavy cardboard with a woodgrain finish. This comes with a pillow, handles and a crepe interior.

Standard Cremation

This direct cremation package is very similar to Basic Cremation.

However, the alternative container comes as a half couch finished in Emerson Blue.

Like the Basic Cremation package, it also comes with handles, a pillow and a crepe interior.

Veterans

As a veteran, you have earned certain honors for serving your country.

Among these are a flag and a Presidential Memorial Certificate for your family to treasure.

You are also eligible for discounts on your cremation package.

Of course, figuring out how to secure these honors and discounts can seem overwhelming.

Fortunately, Smart Cremation has plenty of experience in arranging cremations for veterans. They can even arrange interment in the National Cemetery in some cases.

Benefits

If you are a veteran, Smart Cremation will provide you with a special Veterans’ Kit, which includes all the forms and instructions needed to apply for veterans’ benefits.

It also provides information about eligibility and what costs the VA will cover.

Smart Cremation provides the following benefits to veterans at no extra charge:

  • Delivery of your urn to the staff of the National Cemetery, if desired

  • Arrangement with the National Cemetery scheduling office for a time, location, honors and flag presentation

  • Arrangement for a marker/columbarium inscription in the National Cemetery

  • The awarding of the Presidential Memorial Certificate

Professional Advice From Staff

Smart Cremation will also connect you with a veterans’ specialist who can answer all your questions and ensure that you are able to secure the benefits to which you are entitled.

These specialists are knowledgeable about all the benefits offered and experienced in the process of applying for them.

It’s fair to say that arranging a cremation is not something that you do very often.

In fact, you may only do it once or twice in a lifetime.

But the staff at Smart Cremation do this all the time. They have worked with many individuals and families over the years in a variety of situations.

So your Smart Family Arranger is a knowledgeable and compassionate resource as you work out all the details of your cremation plan.

Costs

The costs of a funeral and/or a cremation can really add up!

Knowing the average cost of the services you want can help you to prepare.

Here we’ll give you the breakdown of the average cost of most end-of-life expenses.

We’ll compare those costs to what is offered by Smart Cremation.

Funeral Director Fees

This is a basic fee, usually paid to the funeral home. Typically, it covers paperwork, such as death certificates and permits. Sometimes, it might include transportation of the body.

The average cost for funeral director fees can range from $1500 to $3500. In rare cases, they might cost as much as $7000.

While Smart Cremation does not provide a funeral director, their fee for paperwork and transportation is included in the price of the package.

The Cremation

Generally, crematories charge $250-$400 for this process. Sometimes the funeral home may tack on some extra hidden fees.

You can purchase a no-frills direct cremation from Smart Cremation starting at $795. This cost includes some of the services mentioned above.

Visitation

Before cremation, you may opt to have friends and family view the body, similar to a traditional “wake” before a burial.

A number of costs go into this, including embalming, a casket and the use of a church or hall.

Smart Cremation does not provide any services connected with visitation. These have to be arranged separately.

Embalming

If you are planning to have a visitation, you’ll need to factor in the cost of embalming.

The average cost of this service is $200-$800. It will be on the higher end of the range if a body has been severely damaged or autopsied.

Cleaning, dressing and cosmetic preparation may be charged separately.

The Casket

Although an expense, if you’re not planning on a burial it is possible to save money by purchasing a cremation casket instead of a traditional one.

Cremation caskets cost on average between $500-$600.

Smart Cremation provides an alternate container as part of every package starting with the Minimum Cremation package at $845. This overall cost includes other services too.

Cremation Urns

An amazing variety of affordable cremation urns is available online. These include biodegradable urns, companion urns, simple boxes or ornately shaped vases. The prices have a wide range too. They typically cost between $50 and $150.

Smart Cremation offers a modest selection of urns on the Merchandise section of its website. You can opt for a simple wooden box for $195 or a heavy, ornate vault-style urn for $345…and a number of options in between.

Reviews

It’s crucially important to be able to trust service providers in the cremation industry.

Every detail of this undertaking is of sacred importance.

It is worth noting that most reviews of Smart Creation are positive. Customers speak highly of the compassion and warmth of the employees, and of the relief of having the process taken care of smoothly.

There are a few negative reviews citing poor telephone communication as a concern. But the majority of experiences with Smart Cremation have been positive.

Other Cremation Providers

Choosing a cremation provider is not easy. There are numerous choices out there with many factors to consider. These factors include your budget, your last wishes and your location, among many things.

Here are some other providers to check out if you feel that Smart Creation won’t meet your needs.

The Neptune Society

Arguably one of the most reputable in the business, the Neptune Society has been providing cremation services for the last 40 years.

Besides providing cremation, the Neptune Society offers many other services, such as the use of a chapel and a minister for a memorial service.

The National Cremation Society

The National Cremation Society has been around since 1973 and has worked with a total of over 160,000 families. So it would be tough to find a cremation provider with the same amount of collective experience.

Like Smart Creation, they offer prepaid as well as immediate need plans.

Dignity Memorials

This is a network of providers who can help you with every aspect of honoring a lost loved one, whether it’s planning a memorable funeral service or creating a beautiful cemetery remembrance to mark a final resting place.

Dignity Memorials focuses on preserving the story of a life in a way that is meaningful for all involved. Cremation is just one of the many services they offer.

Getting a Quote With Smart Cremation

If you are ready to find out more about Smart Creation, the process is easy.

Simply give them a call at the phone number listed on their website to get started.

Alternatively, you can fill out the contact form with your information and they will get in touch with you

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