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Funeral Services Available in California

Updated: Nov 17, 2022


Losing a loved one is a really hard time in one's life. As such, we are not in a state of mind to take care of final affairs. Funeral and burial arrangements can get complicated during such times. So it's good to hire a funeral service that takes care of everything. Let us check out some funeral services available in California.

Rules and Regulations for Funerals in California

Each state in the USA has different laws for funerals. It is important to understand California funeral regulations before hiring a funeral service. Some of the rules include: You can file for a death certificate within eight days. The local register releases it for births and deaths. Until issuing a death certificate, you cannot legally dispose of the remains by either burial or cremation. According to California law, you can keep the deceased's body at home after death. By California law, you don't need to hire a funeral director to prepare the body and other funeral and burial processes.

In rural areas in California, where people have land surrounding their homes, it is easier to get permission for home burial. Make sure to apply well in advance. Burials can take place only in established cemeteries in California. The deceased loved ones are responsible for obtaining his/her death certificate. Make sure the physician who attended to the deceased signs it.

Post-pandemic funeral rules dictate that only two people be present during the burial or cremation. Family members must arrive in separate cars and wait in them until the deceased's grave is prepared. Once the employees are at a distance, family members can approach the deceased's grave individually or in groups of two. For graveside services, only a maximum of ten people can attend while maintaining social distancing.

You need a Permit for Disposition to transport the deceased remains from your home to the final disposition place or cemetery. You can easily get the Permit for Disposition for ten dollars at the registrar's office. The crematorium or cemetery you transport the deceased's body to needs this document to accept the body legally.

California regulations stipulate that you must refrigerate or embalm a body. This is when the final disposition does not occur within twenty-four hours. Families conducting home funerals are exempted from this rule. Seal the body properly in a container or embalm it if it is shipped by a common carrier like an airplane or ship.

What is the Cost of a Funeral in California?

An average funeral can cost you anywhere between $7000 and $12000. This counts in basic costs, caskets, hearse, transportation, viewing, and burial. You must conduct the burial or cremation within twenty-four hours, or else embalming or refrigeration will cost extra. The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) states that there has been an increase in the average price by 6.4% over the past five years.

Average Funeral Costs with Burial

For funerals with burials, the average cost is around $7200. The services needing payment include casket, vault, transport service, preparation of the body, Use of the staff and facilities for ceremony and viewing, and print materials.

Average Funeral Costs with Cremation

A funeral with cremation will cost you around $5000, including the urn charges. In spite of the high cost, it's less expensive than a traditional funeral. You can even skip the memorial service option and opt for direct cremation. Here, you find many options for under $1000. This is when the body is taken directly to the crematory from the hospital.

Other Funeral Costs

Burial Plot

Based on whether it is a private or public ceremony and the city, burial plots cost from $1000 to $4000. Funeral directors traditionally do not include them in funeral services. Many prefer to pre-book their plots.

Grave Marker or Headstone

Simple headstones cost $199 and can go up to over $10000 for statues and memorials. They are mostly custom-made items and cost more.


Depending on the flowers you choose, casket decorations and flower wreaths cost extra and vary.

Types of Funerals

Families and Friends Are Gathered for a Funeral Ceremony
Families and Friends Are Gathered for a Funeral Ceremony

Depending on the deceased's faith and beliefs, funeral services range from being buried at sea or at a synagogue, church, or mosque. Some even prefer cremation over burials. Funeral services even help loved ones decide what to go for in case arrangements have not been made. Some types of funerals offered in California are:

“Traditional” Full-Service Funeral

This is usually the most expensive of all funeral types. It includes everything that a typical funeral would. It is a formal funeral service, visitation, using a hearse to move the body from the home to the funeral site. It includes cremation, entombment, and burial of the remains.

Other services within it are embalming and dressing up the body, renting the funeral home for viewing, and use of vehicles for the family to move around. Other costs include those of a crypt or cemetery plot and other goods and services.

There are no mourners or no formal ceremonies at the memorial service in direct burial funerals. Here, you bury the body in a simple container rather than an expensive casket. Even here, you can have a graveside funeral service arranged. Or a memorial service held at a later date. There is no embalming involved. There is no provision for a wake, visitation, or viewing made here. The aim is to avoid the additional costs of a traditional full-service funeral that include pre and post-funeral events.

Intensely private people usually prefer direct cremation services. There is no service or visitation before the cremation. You can simply postpone the memorial service to a later date. You can preserve the cremated remains as per the wishes of the loved ones. Many choose to turn the ashes of their loved ones into diamonds. Companies like Lonite™ Swiss make affordable cremation diamonds as you don't need a casket or embalming. The prices start at $1400 for a 0.25-carat Naturally Amber™ diamond.

Virtual Funeral

Here, the funeral is streamed live while loved ones gather on an online platform like Facebook or YouTube to pay their respects. This has increased in demand even more during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is for people who can't be at the funeral service in person.

They resemble traditional funerals, complete with funeral hymns, readings, and eulogies from loved ones. Most funeral directors entertain requests in person, but there are many funeral planning apps available online that make the online funeral planning process easier. You can even have a funeral procession, funeral flowers, or charity donations in the deceased's name.


Arranging a loved one's funeral is a responsibility that you have to handle with great care and sympathy for the grieving family. It is better to have a thorough knowledge of the funeral regulations to follow for those held in California. Additionally, plan the budget for the funeral based on the type of funeral service needed by the family. Based on the funeral types, costs too vary. We have also outlined the main types of funeral services offered in California to help you make an informed choice.

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