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“How much does a funeral cost?” is the first question you hear from people planning for funerals.In this article we will explain funeral costs breakdown. According to the National Funeral Directors Association funeral costs in the United States range between $1,500 and $15,000 with $7,360 being the average burial and funeral cost and $6,260 the cremation cost. With cost of funerals rising since the 1980s, today even the most basic funeral expenses have become difficult to afford.
Families often over spend on funerals. The reasons for this overspending include:
In such a situation, the best way to save yourself money is by being aware of the average funeral costs and the cost of each funeral item. This makes it easier for you to decide what you need, what you don’t and what would be nice to have.
Opting for burial or cremation is a very personal decision. Though burial has been the traditional method, cremation has been gaining popularity over the past few years, making it difficult to decide.
The purpose of this section is to go over the difference burial and cremation, followed by the pros and cons for each.
Either burial or cremation take place after the funeral. With cremation, the body is incinerated. The ashes can then be scattered, buried or kept with family or loved ones. In the case of burial, the body remains intact.
A funeral has several parts. You can opt for either a burial or cremation. The purpose of this section is to explain each part for both burial and cremation and the cost associated with it.
According to the Funeral Rule, funeral providers and funeral homes charge customers a basic service fee. Regardless of your arrangements, this fee has to be paid. This fee includes the cost of funeral planning, sheltering the remains, coordinating arrangements with the cemetery, securing the required permits, etc.
Cost for Burial
Cost for Cremation
Basic Service Fee
Transfer or Remains
Other Preparations of the Body
Use of Staff or other facilities
Service Car or van
These costs will vary depending on our location in the U.S.
Other funeral costs include:
Absolutely! Funeral costs are affected by your state and even your city. You may have to ask funeral homes in your areas for price lists. As the outdated disclosure laws mean most funeral homes do not have to share a price list on their website.
This section will be covering the average funeral costs for the top 15 most populated American cities, followed by a list of the top 10 cities with the most and least expensive funeral, burial and cremation costs. The data listed below was compiled using Parting.com’s data as compiled by Finder.com.
The table below gives the average funeral costs for the most populated cities in the U.S.
Traditional Funeral Costs
1) New York City
2) Los Angeles
7) San Antonio
8) San Diego
10) San Jose
13) San Francisco
15) Fort Worth
This section will be listing the top 10 cities with the most expensive traditional funeral services with the cost.
This section will be listing the top 10 cities with the least expensive traditional funeral services with the cost.
This section will be listing the top 10 cities with the most expensive cremation services with the cost.
This section will be listing the top 10 cities with the least expensive cremation services with the cost.
When shopping for funerals or burial insurance, be sure to compare rates within your city and double check for changes. You can use this guide to get an idea of the basic funeral costs but remember that they will vary depending on your location. Remember that funeral homes cannot force you to buy services you do not need. You can also use the Funeral Costs and Pricing Checklist by the Federal Trade Commission’s to get an idea of the services involved and use it for comparing costs. If funeral homes have costs that you cannot find on that checklist, ask them about it. You can find the list at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov.
Death is almost always an unforeseen event. It can be very hard to arrange huge amounts for the funeral while you are still grieving the loss of your loved one. With average funerals cost at around $15,000, it is very important that you understand where the money goes. Purchasing services you don’t need may land you in debt.
Here are a few things you should consider when purchasing for funerals.
It is your right to ask funeral homes for a general price list. This list will contain a separate entry for each service or goods available. You can select the services you want from the list and funeral homes cannot pressure you into buying services you don’t need.
Call as many funeral homes as you can in your city to get an idea of the average funeral cost and the services you are interested in.
Don’t tell the funeral homes your budget, ask them for the best they can do.
Purchasing items like flowers, prayer cards, caskets or urns directly from the funeral home can greatly increase your funeral expenses. Buying them separately will save you a lot of money.
Embalming is only required if the body is not buried within a certain time after death. According to the Funeral Rule, funeral homes cannot provide embalming services without permission. If the body is to be buried shortly after death, opt for refrigeration, it will save you a lot in the funeral expenses.
With a direct burial or cremation, there is no funeral service or ceremony. This can save you thousands of dollars in funeral expenses. You can host an at-home funeral service instead. But this is a difficult decision for most people as not everyone is willing to host funeral services by themselves.
As you have probably figured out yourself, funerals are not cheap. The mere thought of having your family and loved ones to dealing with it alone can be frightening. Here are a few steps you can take during your life to prepare for funeral expenses.
Burial insurance is a kind of whole life insurance, designed specifically to take care of your end of life expenses. It offers the advantages of lenient underwriting, small face values, portability and quick approvals.
Burial insurance policies are affordable. Many companies offer senior life insurance where burial is included. If you are under 85, you can easily qualify for one. If you are above 85, you can still qualify for a policy, but you will have fewer options.
Start setting aside cash specifically for your funeral now. Do not use it for any other occasion. Also remember to name someone else as the account holder. You can also go for funeral trusts. Funeral trusts will ensure that the money is only to be used for the funeral.
Most funeral homes allow a pre-need policy. Pre-need policies are basically life insurance policies that have funeral homes as beneficiaries. This can be a good option if you want to pay the funeral expenses over a period of time.
If you have no other options available, pay off the funeral expenses by having your assets sold. This should be a last resort as this is a lengthy process where the assets have to go through the probate process before they are accessible.