The Cost of Funeral Services —A Breakdown
As mentioned before, the cost of a funeral often surprises many people. Some fees and costs aren’t often considered when planning for a funeral. To help you and your family get a better understanding of what prices to expect, we have outlined the most common funeral services that you will need to budget and pay for.
For a complete list of costs, the Federal Trade Commission provides a funeral pricing checklist to help you navigate the funeral planning process.
From the list above, you can see that a lot of services and fees go into determining the average funeral cost. To know exactly what total price you should be worried about, you must consider whether you want a cremation service or a traditional burial. Each comes with its own set of fees and services that you will need to budget for. Below are just a couple of things to consider when determining which option is best for you.
How Much Do Cremation Services Cost?
There are many reasons why you might consider a cremation service over a burial funeral service. Not only can loved ones keep or spread your ashes in a memorable location, but it also tends to be the cheaper of the two options. In most cases, the average cremation cost is $6,250 for a full service. Below is a list of items that would fall under the cost of a full cremation service:
Basic Service Fees
Transfer of Remains
Venue for Viewing
Funeral Home Staff
As you look through the list, you may notice a few things that you aren’t interested in having if you plan to be cremated. Flexibility is one of the biggest advantages of going the cremation route, as you can decide to skip items such as the urn or prints. Some people may even decide to host the service at their home or another location that has sentimental value.
These adjustments make the cost of a cremation service substantially less. For some direct cremations, the pricing can range from $500 to $1,000, depending on which state you are in.
What Does It Cost to Be Buried?
Comparably, the cost of being buried is well above that of being cremated. According to the National Funeral Directors Association ( NFDA ), the average cost of a funeral and burial is $7,350. If you opt to have a burial vault for your coffin to sit in, then your average cost jumps to $8,750.
Many people might be surprised to find out that the $7,350 figure includes neither a plot at a gravesite nor a headstone. Depending on which you prefer, a burial plot will normally cost $1,000–$2,000 for a public cemetery and $2,000–$5,000 for a private option.
Unlike cremations, burials include an abundance of options you can add to your memorial services, including vaults, mausoleums, graveside service, and premier upright headstones. For anyone considering upgrades, it is important to note that there will be an increase in overall price as well. For example, basic grave marker headstones are typically around $1,000, while custom upright headstones can cost as much as $5,000.
The cost of the funeral can be a big financial burden for the family members of the deceased. Often, unexpected funerals can cost upwards of $15,000 if you don’t already have a grave plot paid for. One way to ensure your family won’t have to worry about funding your funeral expenses is to purchase life insurance or final expense insurance.
Another proactive way to prevent excessive funeral costs is to purchase your grave plot in advance. Often, if you buy a family plot, you can reserve several side-by-side locations so that you can be buried next to your loved ones. Cemeteries will sometimes even give out discounts if you buy multiple plots at one time.
Comparing quotes and prices is easy with Insurify. By answering only a few quick questions, you will be taken to a dashboard displaying all of your coverage options in one easy-to-use location.
Costs Associated with a Funeral Service or Wake
One option for people looking for ways to save a little on funeral expenses is potentially not having a service or wake. Most services run around $5,000 after all the fees are added up. By skipping the viewing and having a direct burial, you may be able to save thousands of dollars overall and have the death certificate delivered to you.