More and more Montanais choose cremation

The MSU extension offers a new MontGuide to help you decide

BOZEMAN – After Montana State University Extension educators, Montana’s cremation rate is well above the national average. In 2020, 79% of those who died in the state were cremated. In response to the growing interest, MSU Extension has published a MontGuide on the subject.

Dr Marsha Goetting, MSU extension home economics specialist (MSU photo)

According to data from the National Funeral Directors Association, the cremation rate in the United States was nearly 56% in 2020, down from just over 40% a decade earlier. James Brown, executive director of the Montana Funeral Directors Association, said there were a myriad of reasons behind the increase.

“Many factors are contributing to the growing popularity of cremation among consumers, including cost considerations, environmental concerns, an increasingly transient population, fewer religious prohibitions against the practice, and changing consumer preferences, such as than the desire for simpler and less ritualized funerals. ceremonies, ”Brown said.

Cremation costs are generally lower than a traditional burial, Brown said. However, the total cost depends on the services desired by the family and the products requested at the crematorium. The Federal Trade Commission has information on funeral expenses and a price checklist which includes cremation, says Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension’s home economics specialist.

In Montana, the State Funeral Services Board, under the Montana Department of Labor and Industry, authorizes and regulates crematoria, crematorium operators and technicians, morgues, funeral directors, and private cemeteries. for profit. It also hosts a license search system that allows consumers to find license or discipline information. More information on the advice is online at

According to Goetting, the MontGuide answers questions such as: Should my body be embalmed? Is a coffin compulsory? How can my family be sure that my ashes are the ones given to them? Which survivors can receive my ashes? What can my family do with my ashes? Where can I have my ashes scattered?

“People who wish to be cremated must submit their requests in writing and provide copies of the written instructions to relatives,” Goetting said.

Copies of the MontGuide are available on Hard copies are also available at county and extension reservation offices.

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