The median national funeral 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 funeral in advance to relieve your family’s costs or for someone else’s, understanding the costs of a funeral and how to cut them can make the process a little easier. Note that there can be many fees for a funeral:
- Basic service fee: a standard service fee that covers the cost of planning fees, including any permit and administrative expenses.
- Service and merchandise fees: this is for things like transporting, preparing, and embalming the body, funeral home fees for the viewing or memorial, and any equipment or services required for the graveside service. There’s also the casket, burial container, or the required services 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 costs must be disclosed in writing.
The average casket costs about $2,000, but premium caskets of mahogany and another 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 coffin to the funeral home. If you choose cremation, you can avoid the cost of a casket.
Here are some of the average funeral costs, 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, to control what a funeral costs, it helps to know exactly what you buy in advance.
That may be the best argument for pre-planning and pre-paying.
Reference: Bankrate (July 12, 2021) “Average funeral cost”