How Much Does the Average Funeral Cost?

How much money do you need to prepare for a funeral?

Contrary to popular belief, there is actually no fixed, universal fee for funerals. Like all things the cost of funerals can change with time, what’s considered to be average price a few years ago may not be the same this year. Factors such as inflation and other global developments can also influence changes in the rates so it is important to stay updated. Depending on what kind of funeral you want, the costs may vary. There are currently 3 types of funerals prescribed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Direct Cremation, Direct Burial, and the traditional Full-Service Funeral.

Outlined below are the most recent statistical reports available on the average costs of three different kinds of funerals.

Direct Cremation:

This type of funeral is the most inexpensive and does not include any ceremony. Direct cremation costs can range from $600-$4,000 depending on which provider you choose. Establishments that specialize in direct cremation are often less costly compared to full-service funeral homes.

Direct cremation includes only the basic services:

  • Transferring of the body from place of death to the funeral home
  • Filing the necessary paper work and permits such as death certificates, cremation permits, and transit permits.
  • Returning of the cremated remains to the family

Direct Burial:  

Like Direct Cremation, it also does not include any ceremony.

The services included in a Direct Burial are:

  • Basic services of the funeral director
  • Transferring of the body from place of death to the funeral home
  • Filing of the necessary paperwork and permits such as death certificates and transit permits.
  • Properly storing the remains
  • Coordination of the burial at the chosen cemetery

Your expected budget should be around $1,200-$4,000.

 

Traditional Full-Service Funeral:  

Usually when people say “average funeral” they have the traditional funeral in mind when thinking about expenses. Cremation is currently on the rise but the traditional funeral remains to be the most commonly used mode at present.

The services offered in the Traditional Full-Service Funeral are:

  • Basic Service Fee
  • Transfer of Remains
  • Embalming or refrigeration
  • Other preparations for the body such as dressing, cosmetology
  • Viewing or visitation
  • Funeral service
  • Graveside service
  • Memorial package
  • Casket or Coffin

The fee ranges from over $7,000- $10,000.

Please note that these only cover the main expenses. Other expenditures like cemetery plot or gatherings after the funeral are not included. Prices may also vary depending on each funeral home.

 

Sources:

National Funeral Directors Association Statistics (2015, July 30)
What is the Average Cost of a Funeral? by Zeldin, R. (2015, October 27)
Funeral Costs: How much does an Average Funeral Cost? (2016, September 14)

 

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