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How much does a Funeral cost?

The average funeral ranges between $7,000 and $13,000. This includes a service and viewing, transporting remains, funeral home fees, embalming, a casket and other preparations.

Not included items are; flowers, obituaries, cemetery plot, marker or headstone.

man at funeral with flowers

The cost of funerals have been rising steadily over the last 40 years. Today, a typical funeral will cost $10,000 or more. Depending on the materials used, items like urns and caskets can cost thousands by themselves.

Unexpected expenses are tough to deal with. Pre-planning for final expenses can provide peace of mind for you and your family.

One way to plan ahead is to know the average price of a funeral/burial in your area. Once you have an understanding of the fees involved, you can make good decisions based on your budget.

If you’ve ever been involved in arranging a funeral in the past, you know even the basic funeral fees can be extremely expensive.

What does an Average Funeral with Burial Cost?

The median cost according to the National Funeral Directors Association is estimated at $8,500. Several factors may push this cost upwards including – location, funeral home fee and funeral options chosen.

This cost doesn’t include; a cemetery plot or things like transportation, flowers or a headstone.

Funeral Cost Breakdown

In 2017, the (NFDA) National Funeral Directors Association organized a survey on the median price of a funeral.

  • $7,360 without a vault
  • $8,755 including a vault

Again, this price doesn’t account for an obituary, flowers, headstone or a burial plot.

Here is the NFDA checklist from 2017 –

  • $2100.00 Funeral Home basic fee
  • $725.00   Embalming
  • $325.00   Transporting the remains
  • $250.00   Preparation of the body (hair and makeup)
  • $425.00   Staff and Facilities to manage the viewing
  • $500.00   Staff and Facilities to manage the ceremony
  • $325.00   Hearse
  • $150.00   Service Car
  • $160.00   Basic memorial print package
  • $2400.00 Metal casket
  • $7360.00 Funeral cost with burial and viewing
  • $1395.00 Vault
  • $8755.00 Total cost including vault

Some cemeteries may require a concrete box or vault to reinforce the ground above the casket.

How Much Does a Funeral Cost With Cremation?

The (NFDA) estimates the average cost of a funeral with cremation at about $6,000.

Cremation is normally between $1,500 – $3,000 on the low end of the spectrum but can cost as much as $6,000 – $9,000 depending on what options you select.

Burial vs. Cremation

A (NFDA) burial and cremation report from 2018 stated that the cremation rate was projected at 53% and is estimated to reach 70%+ by 2030. As cremation popularity rises, prices will continue to increase, with the average cost now approaching that of a traditional funeral. Read the fine print carefully.

Burial and funeral can cost $10,000 or more and generally depends on the options chosen (kind of service, flowers, transportation, etc.). Style of casket, vault material and headstone design can also add multiple thousands to the final bill.

Funeral Home Fees

Generally, a funeral home will charge a “service fee” which includes features common to most funerals. These service fees range between $2,000 – $2,500.

This service fee may include; organizing the arrangements, getting death certificate copies, securing any needed permits and sheltering the remains.

Casket

funeral casket

A casket is often the most expensive item you’ll buy for a traditional funeral. They vary widely in style, material, design, and price.

An acceptable price for a casket is in the $2,000-$5,000 and is typically either metal or wood, but some can sell for as much as $15,000 or more.

Embalming

Embalming ranges from $500-$800. This really depends on if the body is being cremated or buried. As an alternative to embalming, refrigeration can be offered by the funeral home but it is usually charged by the day.

Flowers and Wreaths

funeral flowers wreath grave yard headstone

Flowers average around $500-$700.

Wreaths generally cost about $125-$700 each. A casket wreath can cost between $350-$750 depending on its size, types of flowers, and the florist used.

Burial Plot

Multitudes of people do not know that cemeteries are usually independent from funeral homes. A price from a funeral home may not have the costs of the cemetery plot or headstone.

A cemetery plot can cost between $400-$4,000, and certain metropolitan areas can cost much more. Along with the plot cost, there is usually a fee to open and close the ground and that can run $700 or more.

When purchasing a burial plot, ask what is involved in the maintenance of the cemetery. Is a maintenance fee included in the funeral costs, or is it an annual or possibly monthly charge for the upkeep.

Headstone

grave yard with headstones funeral family grieving

Costs depend on the types of materials used but vertical headstones usually run $1,800-$5,500 depending on the design and size. Grave markers that are flat to the ground can cost $800 or more.

Depending on what section of the cemetery the body is planned to be buried will sometimes dictate the type of grave marker or headstone you purchase.

Summary

In conclusion, a typical funeral with all the associated fees and services from the funeral home and cemetery including the burial plot, headstone, flowers, etc. could range from roughly $9000 – $15000 depending on what choices are made and what state you are located in.