Funeral Cost Breakdown: Ultimate Guide 2021

Funeral Cost Breakdown

This article Funeral cost breakdown will assist you in your planning as you seek to make the right decision with your funeral pre-planning.

The standard funeral cost ranges from around $7,000 to $12,000. This cost includes the basic service fees, viewing and burial, a casket, transportation of the remains to a funeral parlor, mummifying, and other arrangements.

For a funeral that involves cremation, the cost ranges from around $6,000 to $7,000. However, the cost doesn’t include markers, monuments, flowers, cemeteries, and the like.

The costs of the funeral have risen steadily since the 1980s. Currently, it’s not a surprise for the standard funeral to demand about $9,000 or even more based on whether the deceased is cremated or buried.

Urns and caskets alone can demand thousands of dollars based on the material used and style.

Having an advance plan for the events that you know about can assist to remove the pain of unnecessary expenses for your entire family – funeral expenses included.

If you’ve been part of a funeral arrangement committee, you truly know that even the essential funeral expenses may be challenging to afford.

Even worse, if you entered the process with a fixed budget at hand, the extras alone can make the cost of the funeral rise quite fast.

The best way to ensure that the cost of the funeral is controlled is by planning by putting forth the expected expenses of a particular burial and stipulating what every item will cost.

When you have the expenses at hand, you can now prioritize the items based on their essentiality, what must be there, and what might not be necessarily important.

This post will assist you to know the actual standard funeral cost and how you can do price shopping to ensure the funeral cost is kept under control.

Saving money & price shopping

Most families always emotionally squander thousands of dollars when buying items for funeral arrangements. Spending more than the necessary amount is usually common because of a wide range of reasons:

* Several cemeteries and funeral homes can take advantage of the occasion and make it a profit-making event rather than being lenient by saving some money for the family.
* Several families don’t have prior knowledge about funeral planning.
* Most decisions are usually made on the spot.
* Time is usually a problem, you need to do various things in a short time.
* Huge emotional consequence of losing a family member can cover up judgment.

Funeral expenses nowadays can even go beyond $10,000.

Let’s assume you are looking for a brand-new car. Do you just settle for the first car you see, grab the first one you try it, and pay for the marked price with no question?

That is certainly not true. When we go out to buy new cars, we first engage our family members and friends, salespeople, drive a wide model of vehicles, talk to different consumer magazines, and bargain for its price.

If a certain model or model has poor reviews or it’s overpriced, we usually give it less attention and move to another car. We need a car that is best and worth its price and everyone is usually willing to do the extra work of researching it.

We also do exactly that when we are looking for small accessories such as kitchen appliances, computers, sofas, and office accessories.

It is usually known that the extra research we may put in looking for a particular item enables you to learn more about the item, and you’ll have enough reason to purchase at a given price.

Therefore, why don’t we price shop for funeral costs? Well, the expenses of a funeral that is either a cremation or burial are usually pricier – even at times exorbitant – than any large purchases we do in life. Yet on yearly basis, many families pay the “market price” when burying their own.

Thankfully, there’re the easiest ways to cut funeral costs. And the key way to ensure that funeral expenses are controlled buying the funeral items and services they need.

Most family members don’t usually consider shopping for all funeral expenses; however, it is worth knowing all your options at hand before shopping for anything or choosing a funeral residence.

The tips below will save you a lot of money:

* Speak to different funeral parlors within your locality to know their price ranges for the services you need. Most funeral homes will offer you their general pricing after you’ve requested.
* Funeral items like liners or caskets may be bought outside the funeral parlor. By shopping for some specific items outside the funeral home, families are capable to save themselves a huge amount of money without having to forego any final arrangement plans.
* The other way you can save yourself a lot of dollars is the mummifying process. No state is required to do compulsory embalming for the deceased.

However, some basic regulations are relevant to preparing the deceased before cremation or burial, which entails the duration between the deceased and burial to avoid the disintegration of the body.
* If you’re opting for direct cremation or burial, then you’ll have skipped the embalming cost altogether.
* Even though you choose a funeral parlor for cremation or burial, you shouldn’t take their memorial and visitation services, not unless it’s very important to the deceased or family.
* Besides, memorials may be done in private residences or areas that have a special significance for the deceased that can bring a purposeful service at a very lower cost.

If you’re sure you need a burial as opposed to cremation, common expenses include:

* Cost of digging the ground, and laying the deceased in the grave
* Transportation fees that include van and hearse use
* Gravesite expense and the cost of the burial plot
* Coffin container or vault
* Basic service fee
* Casket price

With price shopping of all the funeral services and items, a lot of resources are saved yet it enables you to still give a decent send-off to your beloved ones in a memorable and colorful funeral.

Contact the local funeral service providers for a list of prices and opt for your ideal funeral home.

Having a plan before anything allows you to be organized and most importantly, you’ll not spend money that you don’t have, plus you offer your family member a memorable send-off.

Before you start to understand your funeral rights

As we age, it is okay to start thinking around final arrangements. Among the essential part of doing final preparations is ensuring you know – and have done the arrangements for your funeral expenses.

Before you start, it is essential to know you’ve particular rights when funeral matters are a concern.

The FTC – The Federal Trade Commission initially came up with the rules that govern funerals in 1984 to keep funeral homes at their toes that ensure people are not being pressured to buy services and goods that they don’t want or need.

The funeral rules offer you the right to:

* Be given a written statement before payment is made.
* Be given an itemized statement of all services and goods.
* Purchase only services and goods you need.
* Choose a different container for cremation.
* Get a price list for our burial containers.
* Decline embalming before a funeral.
* Check a list of the prices of the casket.
* Come with your urn or casket.
* Be given pricing info by phone.

What is the estimated funeral cost with cremation?

As we pointed out earlier, the average cost of a funeral that involves cremation is about $6,000. Of course, on the low end, cremation services may span from $1,000 to $3,000.

However, on the high end of the spectrum, it can cost between $6,000 and $8,000 based on the option you choose.

According to a report, the cremation rate is estimated to be at 63% by the year 2025. Since most clients are increasingly choosing cremation, prices for the services are also increasing exponentially.

What is the estimated cost of funeral & burial?

It has been estimated that the average cost of a funeral & burial is around $9,135. However, the mentioned cost doesn’t include transportation, burial plot, or flowers.

Based on the funeral home selected and the items opted for, the actual expenditure could be significantly higher. That is the reason why we advise most consumers to do price shopping.

People who have lost a loved one would endeavor to do a deep search for the best funeral homes and related costs. Keep in mind that the same family members are the ones concerned with coming up with funeral plans.

It is difficult to balance between grieving and at the same time making decisions that are more crucial for the deceased. For sure, it’s overwhelming to be the best shopper in such conditions.

However, with good planning, you can lower the stress that your family members have to go through when you die.

In this era, most people are coming up with plans upfront to deal with a financial cost, to make sure their last wishes are respected, and also to ease the strain on your family members left behind.

The breakdown cost of funeral services

A repeatable association did research and find the average cost of a typical funeral. Like in 2019, the average cost was estimated to be $7, 640 minus a vault; but the vault included made the cost stand at about $9,135.

However, the cost also didn’t include an obituary, flowers, headstone, or the burial plot. To help you make well-though funeral cost, here is an example of funeral cost breakdown you might want to consider:

Item Cost

-Funeral parlor’s essential service fee -$2,195

-Transportation of the deceased to funeral home -$350

-Embalming -$750

-Body preparation like facial & hairstyling -$255

-Staff & facilities to handle a funeral ceremony -$500

-Hearse -$340

-Service car -$150

-Essential monumental printed package -$175

-Metal casket -$2,500

-Average cost of funeral w/viewing & burial -$7,640

-Vault -$1,495

-Cost w/Vault -$9,135

Most cemeteries need a burial concrete grave box or vault to keep the ground against breaking and buckle over the coffin.

A vault is supported to keep the remains from water that emanates from the ground and also against insect activity. When breaking down the funeral cost, you might require to add the cost of the grave box or vault.

Funeral home

Many funeral parlors will charge a basic service fee that is essentially the fee that is charged in most funeral homes, and it is indeclinable. As we have tabulated above, these must-pay charges range between $2,000 and $2,500.

This indeclinable service fee can include getting any permits required, coordination of the arrangements, sheltering the deceased, and getting a death certificate. But the fee doesn’t entail the services that are optional like a casket.

When selecting the funeral home to use, it is fundamental to understand all your options. Talking to many funeral parlors will offer you a span of costs for the services in your locality.

Funeral parlors are supposed to offer you overall pricing info through the phone for all the services that you need.

Cremation vs burial

The median cremation cost span between $1,000 and $8,000 based on the services and state chose. The cost of cremation may be as higher as a funeral since different fees are charged in the funeral home.

The median cost of burial may cost over $9,000 and depend on the little items selected such as a headstone, transportation, flowers, etc.

Even though the coffin may cost many thousands of dollars, other items like grave liners and headstones may also add up dollars based on the used material.


The mummifying average cost is between $500 and $700 and in most cases, it does not go above $1,000.

Keep in mind that embalming is not a necessity and is based on whether the deceased is cremated or buried and how fast the service occurs after the person passes on.

Freezing is always the best alternative for mummifying, but you should be aware that refrigeration also costs many dollars.


If you opt to acquire flowers, putting aside between $500 and $700 is enough to offer you a colorful display. With flowers, you can save a lot of money with no hassle.

There are even other families that receive flowers from visitors in a way in paying tributes to the beloved one who died. There are various funeral homes with local florists that provide flower packages and the charges are included in the funeral bill.

If you’re so selective, you can look out for different florists in your locality to find the ones that offer you discounts.


Garland is normally placed around the coffin and essentially costs around $100 – $200 each. Casket garlands are laid out across the coffin itself and differ in size and cost.

A substantial-sized coffin garland will likely cost between $500 and $700 based on the florists, size of the display, and types of flowers used.

Funeral plot

What most people don’t know is the fact that cemeteries are different from the funeral parlor and they separately come with their defined costs.

In that case, the estimated burial plot may range between $350 and $5,000, however, in metropolitan spaces like places in Chicago and Los Angeles, the cost may be a bit higher.

Aside from the grave area, you’ll have to incur a cost of opening and closing of the grave and it can demand about $1,000 if it is an open space, but if it is a private cemetery, the price may go as higher as $3,000.

If your loved one was a veteran, you need to confirm with the VA (Veteran Administration) in issues related to allowances for the burial.

This entity supports the burial expenses of any alive spouse, parent, or child of a celebrated veteran, which includes the cost that is incurred while transporting the deceased. Besides, the burial plot dedicated to veterans is way lower than the ordinary ones.

However, family members are usually required to take charge of minor funeral cost which includes family transportation, obituary notices, and flowers.

Apart from the plot, there come other extra costs related to ground opening, putting the coffin, and closing the grave. Such costs normally add many hundreds of dollars or even more, based on the cemetery selected.

When buying the gravesite, inquire how the gravesite will be secured. In that case, the cost for maintenance may be added to the overall cost of the funeral, or even you can opt for a monthly basis or even better, be the annual maintenance fee.

Grave Marker or Headstone

Standing headstones normally stays cost between $2,000 and $5,000 based on the style. On the flipside, grave markers stay flat and cost about $1,000.

However, every cost relies entirely on the material used, if you’re looking for cost-friendly materials, you can opt for bronze or stone materials. Also, the type of grave marker or headstone you purchase can depend on the area your loved one is buried.

Good to know, many funeral homes can sell to you grave marker and headstone, however, if you are not of the idea, you can acquire them using third parties, which essentially saves you a lot of money.


When it comes to a traditional funeral, you’ll have to incur a bit higher charge for buying a casket.

Coffins differ widely in price, style, design, and material. On average, a casket will cost around $2,000 and $5,000 and comes as either wood or metal, and even further, some other advanced coffins can sell over $10,000.

While doing a casket purchase, you ought to know that it’s not mandatory to acquire the item from a funeral parlor directly. In that case, if you want to save some extra dollars, you may opt to buy from a third party, or outside the funeral home.

People are even opting from large retailers like Walmart or Amazon to save a good amount of money. The good news is that the law allows any funeral home to receive your third-party casket with no extra charges.

Funeral insurance costs

It is pretty expensive to conduct a funeral either by burial or cremation. This is a reality that most people underestimate but the reality stands to be true, it’s quite expensive!

As per the NFDA, the average cost of any funeral can cost around $9,100. Even for the cremation services, you can expect to incur a huge amount of money concerning the services done.

Unluckily, close to $255 is paid by the federal government for these costs as a lumpsum amount – and it’s only for the person(s) who qualify.

Saving money to cater for all funeral expenses is a hassle, however, life insurance for funeral expenses can help.

If you’re hoping to give reprieve to your family members against incurring a lot of expenses when you die, decide to acquire an insurance policy for your funeral.

Funeral insurance – popularly referred to as final expense insurance or burial insurance – is particularly made to assist with funeral expenses and related end-of-life costs.

Life insurance & funeral expenses

All life insurance may help cover funeral costs. With a life insurance policy, all the funeral expenses are covered with no additional charges. In specific, life insurance is particularly made to assist to sort any funeral expenses like burial costs or medical bills.

Popularly known as funeral insurance or burial insurance, this policy is most common with the elderly since it major on ensuring the living family members don’t undergo financial turbulence when they die.

With regards to this policy of final expense insurance, you’ll never get a one-size fit it. Every family is different in its ways and has exceptional concerns for their deceased member.

One of the most outstanding life insurance companies is Lincoln Heritage that has been in the business for over 55-years. They’ve been able to help a family who has the policy to cover the funeral expenses.

Pre-paying funeral expenses

Many people are now opting to pay their funeral expenses – to avoid over-burdening the family left against huge funeral expenses and also to ensure the final wishes of the owner are followed after they die.

And one of the excellent methods to keep aside money to sort burial and funeral expenses is with a life insurance policy, which is at times known as funeral insurance or burial insurance.

This policy is majorly concerned with covering the death expenses – the amount of money available for this often ranges from $10,000 and $25,000.

These expenses are majorly purposed for covering up the funeral expenses, however, they can also be used by the family to cover up medical expenses, unpaid bills, or transportation for family members.

Any final expense insurance policy offers you a free quote of final expense life insurance to enable you to decide the policy that is suitable for you.

Since these life insurance policies give fewer death benefits, these insurances don’t need a physical or medical exam.

The cover is usually given depending on the answers you provide regarding your health or the health of the applicant. For seniors, burial insurance is a suitable thing since the application process is easy, and most importantly, it is affordable.

Assist with funeral expenses

Losing a family member is one of the painful experiences a person can have to undergo.

As though losing a close family member was a challenge, the left family members are normally overburdened with the funeral costs. And these costs usually need direct or instant decisions.

The grief and the stress of finding this amount of money are usually challenging and help needs to come from all corners.

Don’t hesitate to call friends to help you raise money to offset funeral expenses. And funeral arrangements shouldn’t overburden you, trusted organizations can chip in to assist you in the processes.

Even though you may not be in a position to pin down every step of your final journey, preparing such decisions beforehand can allow your family members to be organized.

Also, it is a great way to help to reduce stress and even avoid overspending money that is not available.

Other types of funerals

They are various funerals to suit different persons, beliefs, cultures, races, financial situations, and many other factors. One may prefer one type compared to another.

Low-cost funerals

Many people cannot afford the high cost of funerals due to the high cost of living nowadays. The cheapest option you can always go for is direct burial. This means that you do not have to embalm the body with no direct visitation.

On the other hand, you can always opt for direct cremation and you do not have to bury the body. These two options are more convenient for those families who are looking forward to a low-cost funeral that involves fewer dollars.

Horse and carriage funeral

This type of funeral is not available in all places. It is a better alternative to a hearse since it provides more elegance and style to the families.

The horses provided are usually white and black and you will just have to choose the color of your decorations. The costs of the horse and carriage are usually charged per hour and can cost you more.

Military funeral

This is usually for military veterans. They are usually given a free burial in the cemetery and a grave marker if they meet certain requirements.

The spouses and their children are also entitled to a grave marker and a plot in the national cemetery.

Additionally, their families can also a wide range of benefits upon the death of these veterans. Different criteria are followed for one to receive such benefits.

These types of funerals cost more and families should consult a VA to be aware of how they are going to receive benefits and discounts.

Green funeral

This type of funeral usually saves families a lot of dollars. It involves using biodegradable caskets that are much cheaper than normal caskets.

What to ask your funeral provider

One of the most important questions to ask is whether that funeral home is owned by a corporation or independent regardless of when you need it.

Some of these funeral providers can offer you a wide range of goods and services depending on your needs also. They are several other questions you can ask.

* What are the payment methods available? Whether they work with any insurance companies.
* Which options do I have when it comes it cremation, embalming, and so on?

Which funeral costs are cheaper?

The are several funerals that could cost fewer dollars, therefore, cannot interfere much with your budget.

These costs include preparation of the body which entails cosmetics, clothing, hairdressing, and many more. Other cheaper costs include those of the pamphlets for use during the service and obituary notices.

The cost of a baby’s funeral

There is not much difference between the funeral of s baby and that of an adult. Several similar items need to be purchased during both funerals. Though it requires a smaller casket, it will still cost you some more monies.

Legal responsibility of funeral costs

The executor will always be responsible for all the funeral costs if an estate plan or will exists. Any next of kin can as well be responsible if the executor is not around.

Better still, if the responsible person can’t afford the costs, they will have to sign a release that allows you to turn over the body to the office of the coroner to be disposed of.

How does social security pay funeral costs?

Social security does not have to pay for the funeral but those families eligible can receive some benefits such as a lump sum of 255 Dollars when their loved ones die. They can as well receive some additional benefits.

Medical covers

Medical covers do not usually cater to funeral expenses because they are not medical expenses in any way.

Shipping costs incurred during a funeral

Whenever you ship a body, you will incur some extra costs. If you retire out of state and you desire to be buried back at home then you should include such expenses in your budget.

Raising money for a funeral

Most people cannot afford to pay for all funeral expenses. During such situations, the family can hold fundraising to be able to cater for such expenses.

You can as well raise more funds through church offerings, car washes, and many more.

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