Average Cost of Funeral Expenses

During the bereavement process, families have many things weighing on their minds — and money is generally the last thing on their minds. Needless to say, discovering the average cost of a funeral can leave many of them in shock.  There are many product and service options available that can help them, but they can all be very costly. By having life insurance coverage in place, it can alleviate some of these concerns and let loved ones have time to mourn their loss instead of worrying about financial issues.

Funeral Costs

The average funeral costs around $7500; broken down, families can choose from a simple pine casket for around $600 to one that will stand the test of time for around $10,000. There are also funeral expenses involved with the embalming process, viewing periods, the ceremony, transportation to the cemetery, and other costs.  In addition, the funeral director receives an average of $1400 for his services, which adds onto the tally.  There may be additional expenses for the obituary and obtaining the proper permits as well, and there could be costs for extra services too.

Cemetery Costs

Once the fees are paid for the actual funeral preparations, there are additional costs for the internment, which vary depending on what manner of burial the family chooses.  A cemetery plot costs an average of $1000, and there is a fee for opening and closing the grave site.  To have a loved one interned within a mausoleum crypt is even more expensive, with an average cost of over $4000.  A gravestone marker adds even more money to funeral expenses; they carry an average price tag of $1500, and adding a picture to the marker will add an additional $300 to the cost.


Cremation, which uses intense heat to reduce a body to ash, is a less expensive option with optional cemetery costs.  Compared to traditional burials; it typically costs anywhere from just under $1000 to over $10,000.  Afterward, the remains may be kept by loved ones in an urn that can cost anywhere from $100 to thousands of dollars, or they may be spread in a favorite location.  Cemeteries can also bury the ashes, place them in a mausoleum, or store them in a columbarium niche, while some people have the ashes made into jewelry to remember their loved ones.

Funeral Planning

To protect those left behind from having to make choices during a difficult period, many people opt to pre-plan funerals; some even specify their wants in their wills.  This can also reduce funeral expenses and ensure that the funeral is done in a way the deceased would like. Caskets and cemetery plots can be pre-purchased, and most funeral homes and cemeteries will not charge to pre-plan the funeral arrangements.  In some states, any costs associated with funeral pre-planning can even be financed through life insurance products.

It is important not to leave the burden of funeral expenses to your loved ones; a death in the family is trying and tragic enough without worrying about monetary decisions. By pre-planning a funeral and having the right life insurance policy in place, it can prevent an avoidable financial burden.  Funerals costs can be considerable and families may have lost their primary income along with the deceased. If you’re concerned that your survivors may be burdened by unpaid debt, it is time to explore life insurance products.

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