The median national funeral cost with a viewing and burial runs about $7,500, and the average funeral costs soar past $9,000 when you include a vault. However, cremation averages just $350 because most funeral homes can do this in-house.
Bankrate’s recent article entitled “Average funeral cost” says, whether you’re planning for your own funeral in advance to relieve your family’s costs or for someone else’s, understanding the costs of a funeral and potentially how to cut them can make the process a little easier. Note that there are a number of fees for a funeral:
- Basic service fee: a standard service fee that covers the cost of planning fees, including any permit and administrative fees.
- Service and merchandise fees: this is for things like transporting, preparing and embalming the body, as well as funeral home fees for the viewing or memorial and any equipment or services required for the graveside service. There’s also the casket or burial container or the required services needed for cremation or interment.
- Cash advances: some services that a funeral may handle for you, such as funeral flowers, clergy and musicians. You may pay an added service fee or marked-up prices to account for the funeral home’s efforts, the extra fees must be disclosed to you in writing.
The average casket costs about $2,000, but premium caskets of mahogany and other wood cost as much as $10,000. Some buyers purchase a casket independently to avoid third-party markups. However, you’ll have to ship the casket to the funeral home. If you choose cremation, you can avoid the cost of a casket.
Here are some of the average costs you may incur for a funeral, according to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA):
- Funeral service fee: $2,100
- Funeral home rental: $500
- Funeral home staff: $500
- Vault: $1,395
- Cremation casket: $1,000
- Embalming: $725
- Urn: $275
- Cosmetic services: $250
- Hearse: $325
- Transportation: $325
- Transportation for the family: $150
- Pamphlets and materials: $160
In short, know exactly what you are buying in advance.
That may be the best argument for pre-planning and pre-paying.
Reference: Bankrate (July 12, 2021) “Average funeral cost”