There are many funeral expenses people overlook when funeral planning after the death of a loved one. The sorrow and grief following the death of a family member can make it difficult for you to focus on important funeral planning details. You may think that you have covered everything, but there are some items you may tend to overlook – especially when planning a funeral’s expense.
Nobody is ever prepared to lose a loved one. The experience will be emotionally exhausting, but it doesn’t have to be financially draining if you’re prepared. Knowing the funeral expenses and how to prepare for them can keep you worry-free when the time comes.
Funeral expenses can be a challenge to pin down if you are trying to plan for a funeral in advance. Sometimes there can be some miscellaneous funeral expenses that you may overlook in your estimate while doing funeral planning. This article will cover some of the details you need to be aware of, in the hope that you will remember to include these items in your funeral plan.
FOR EASIER NAVIGATION:
- #1 – Cost Of Burial Or Cremation
- #2 – Embalming Expenses
- #3 – The Cost Of The Cemetery Plot
- #4 – Cemetery And Monument Cost
- #5 – Death Certificates
- #6 – Obituary Costs
- #7 – Transportation
- #8 – Burial Clothes Costs
- #9 – Funeral Home Expenses
- #10 – Church Or Venue Charges
- #11 – Casket Costs
- #12 – Burial Shroud Cost
- #13 – Cremation Urn Costs
- #14 – Funeral Music Costs
- #15 – Clergy And Celebrant Costs
- #16 – Flowers
- #17 – Pallbearers
- #18 – Police Escort
- Additional Questions & Answers On Funeral Expenses People Overlook
FUNERAL EXPENSES PEOPLE OVERLOOK
Your funeral and burial can be one of the most expensive purchases ever. Extras like flowers, music, and obituary notices can make the cost of a traditional funeral from roughly $8,000 to over $10,000.
Why do funerals cost so much? Consider these often overlooked expenses that add to the cost.
SOME OF THE FUNERAL EXPENSES PEOPLE OVERLOOK:
#1 – COST OF BURIAL OR CREMATION
People may often leave out the cost of their burial or cremation. Even if you work with a specific funeral home regarding pre-paying for your funeral service, there can be a long list of other items not covered by the funeral services. These can include the actual cost of burial and cremation.
When you purchase a burial package, it will usually include removing the body from the place of death, embalming, dressing, and casketing to prepare the body for the visitation. The cost includes the funeral ceremony and the delivery of the body to the cemetery.
The basic service fee of the funeral home is usually not included in the burial package price. Traditional burial packages range from $2,600 to $6,000 depending on inclusions.
How much does it cost to be cremated? Cremation is more inexpensive compared to a burial ceremony.
Crematories will typically charge between $175 and $300. However, you need to purchase other services along with the cremation procedure.
These can include hiring a funeral home to pick up the body from the place of death to the crematory, hiring the crematory to place the ashes into the urn, storing the urn until they pick it up, and obtaining the necessary legal permits for the cremation. You will also need a container or urn to place the ashes.
Be forewarned that many funeral homes offer cremation packages but don’t include the actual cost of cremation.
Most funeral homes do not provide cremation services because the funeral home doesn’t own the crematory. The cremation fee is added to the cost of the funeral home’s cremation package. Cremation packages range from $500 to $3,000, depending on the inclusions.
#2 – EMBALMING EXPENSES
Embalming replaced bodily fluids with embalming chemicals to preserve the body temporarily for viewing.
Embalming is not required in any state, but some state requires embalming if the body is not cremated or buried within 24 to 48 hour of death. Embalming ranges in price from $225 to $1,212.
#3 – THE COST OF THE CEMETERY PLOT
The cemetery plot is one of the funeral expenses people overlook. The funeral home may not include the cost of a cemetery plot in the overall bill, and you may end up with a surprising amount of bills because of this.
The price of a cemetery plot depends on your location, whether you choose a public or private cemetery. Rural cemeteries are less expensive than urban cemeteries. The cemetery cost also includes the service of people to open the burial ground and vault used to reinforce the gravesite.
Some cemeteries have an urn garden or a particular area for cremated remains. Plots in the urn garden are smaller than a standardly sized plot. You will need to check if the cemetery will require you to purchase a small burial container for the urn.
The average cost of a cemetery plot:
Burial plot in a public cemetery – $200 to $2,000
Burial plot in a private cemetery – $2,000 to $5,000
Burial plot for cremated remains in the public cemetery – $350 to $500
Burial plot for cremated remains in a private cemetery – $1,000 to $2,500
#4 – CEMETERY AND MONUMENT COST
Monuments, headstones, and grave markers describe the metal sign or stone identifying the person in the grave.
Grave markers are typically made with granite or metal. Monuments are upright and made of marble or granite, often rectangular in shape. The engraving, delivery, foundation, and installation are all fees for each marker and can cost from $500 to $12,000.
You will still need to consider cemetery expenses in your plans, whether you choose burial or cremation.
Cemetery expenses would include the costs of a niche in a columbarium or mausoleum and the cost of a plaque or monument, along with the monument installation fee. The cemetery owner and monument or place maker determine these fees because the funeral home does not include it in its cost.
#5 – DEATH CERTIFICATES
You need to determine how many death certificates you will need.
Copies of death certificates are generally used for life insurance policies, veterans’ benefits, social security, banks, stocks, bonds, or any other documents or establishments. You will need to purchase multiple copies, possibly more than you think you will need.
The state or municipality determines the death certificate cost, which may change over time.
The death certificate cost is approximately $11 to 13 for each copy.
#6 – OBITUARY COSTS
Obituary cost is one of the funeral expenses people overlook. You can be surprised by the cost of publishing an obituary in a newspaper, especially in a larger city. Most newspapers publish an obituary for celebrities, public figures, and prominent locals for free.
While some newspapers are willing to publish obituaries for free, these notices are usually limited to several lines. The deceased’s date of birth and death, biographical information, or pictures are often not included.
Obituaries in the newspaper range in price from free to more than $600. The average cost is $298 for 20 lines and a picture.
#7 – TRANSPORTATION
If your loved one dies locally, the funeral director will transport his body to the funeral home.
If the death happens out of state, additional expenses will be like a flight or service vehicle. Expect additional costs if you move your loved one from one funeral home to another.
To receive your loved one from another funeral home, transportation costs can range from $440 to $2,040. To forward your loved one to another funeral home, transportation costs can range from $780 to $2,520.
Transportation expenses may include transporting the remains from the location of death to the funeral home or crematory to the burial site.
The funeral home’s fee includes picking up the body from the hospital or home and delivering the remains to the funeral home.
The transportation fee is typically based on a 25 miles radius. It costs more to pick up a body from private homes because more staff members are required to deliver the body.
Night and holiday body removal fee is more expensive. The average removal expenses range from $125 to $500.
#8 – BURIAL CLOTHES COSTS
Burial clothes cost is one of the funeral expenses people overlook. Some families want their loved ones to be dressed in proper clothes for the visitation, funeral, and disposition.
Most funeral homes offer unique burial clothes for this wardrobe need. You can purchase complete outfits from the funeral home, including complete burial clothing and shoes.
Men’s burial outfits, including suits, shirts, and ties, range from $170 to $400. Women’s burial clothing costs $95 to $350.
#9 – FUNERAL HOME EXPENSES
Funeral homes charge the cost of managing the funeral. The funeral home will utilize staff to handle the visitation, submission of paperwork for permits, and death certificates.
The basic services fee covers services like the initial meeting to plan the funeral, prepare, file authorizations and permits, and coordinate with the cemetery, crematory, or other third-party providers.
Each funeral home is different, and the inclusions of their services are also different.
Average funeral costs include overhead expenses such as professional licensing, insurance, legal and accounting fees, administrative expenses, parking lot and grounds maintenance, and building and utility expenses.
Families must pay the basic services fee on top of other services they request. Basic service fees can be covered in the package or service price.
There is a wide range of funeral home charges for basic services fees that range from $480 to $3,000.
#10 – CHURCH OR VENUE CHARGES
If you decide to have a funeral or memorial service outside the funeral home facility, you may need to pay for the venue you choose to use their space. Make sure to set aside enough amount for the rental of the space to be used for funeral service, viewing, and reception after the funeral.
#11 – CASKET COSTS
Caskets are available in different materials and styles. It’s typically made from wood, steel, bronze, copper, fiberglass, plastic, and biodegradable materials. The casket is the most expensive funeral product. Caskets can range in price from $200 to $65,000.
Cardboard or fiberboard caskets – $50 to $500
Wood caskets – $345 to $12,000
Metal caskets – $1,000 to $12,000
#12 – BURIAL SHROUD COST
Burial shrouds are fabrics that are wrapped around the body. It has been used for burial rites for thousands of years.
Today, burial shrouds are used for green burials. These burial shrouds have fabric handles that allow four people to move the body. The price range for a burial shroud is around $195 to $1,000.
#13 – CREMATION URN COSTS
Cremated ashes can be placed in any container, but most people choose to purchase cremation urns.
Urns become the final resting place of the ashes of a loved one. There are many things to consider when selecting cremation options and the cost of urns. There are a variety of materials, shapes, and sizes to choose from.
Urns can be personalized, hand-crafted, and made of materials such as ceramic or marble urns. The price of urns ranges from approximately $80 to $2,000.
#14 – FUNERAL MUSIC COSTS
If you choose to have special music, you must pay an honorarium. Additionally, the musicians you choose to hire will determine the cost.
Soloists (either musical or vocal typically) charge by the hour, but some may charge a flat fee depending on the number of songs performed. Most of the time, musicians include a travel fee.
The more popular the musician is, the more they are likely to charge. Custom-crafted funeral music tells the life story of the loved one in a very personalized and meaningful way and can be used for a video tribute. The average musician’s cost is $150 per funeral.
#15 – CLERGY AND CELEBRANT COSTS
Offering an honorarium to the celebrant or clergyperson is customary.
A family friend may officiate for free if you have an arrangement in advance.
The clergy is ordained by a religious denomination, while a celebrant may not have any religious affiliation but have the training regarding funeral services. The clergy and celebrant cost ranges from $50 to $500.
Some funeral homes have clergy or celebrants on a contract or the staff. The clergy will meet with your family a day or two before the ceremony to prepare the eulogy.
If you purchase a funeral package, check if the clergy or celebrant is included in your package. There is no need to offer an honorarium if it is included because they are already being compensated for their work.
#16 – FLOWERS
The costs of flowers fluctuate depending on the time of the year. Because of this, the actual cost can be hard to pin.
Funeral flowers can be an expensive hidden cost that many families do not factor into the funeral costs. Many funeral flower arrangements can range from $100 to as high as $600, depending on the flower arrangements chosen and the floral company. Funeral homes may have florists, or they can purchase floral arrangements on your behalf.
There are two floral arrangements you can choose from:
Casket spray – a cascading assortment of funeral flowers that are placed on top of the casket
Standing easel display – flower arrangements attached to a free-standing easel placed in a wreath.
#17 – PALLBEARERS
Pallbearers are usually family members and friends. However, it may sometimes be difficult to find six or eight pallbearers.
If you need assistance with pallbearers, the funeral home can provide help if needed. You will need to pay for the services of the pallbearers.
#18 – POLICE ESCORT
You may request a police escort for the funeral procession from the funeral home to the cemetery. With a police escort, the funeral procession can move through the traffic without traffic delays. Local rates determine the cost associated with a police escort.
While not all-inclusive, this list shares eighteen funeral expenses people often overlook. Some of these items may be left out even if you think you have everything covered.
When all the funeral expenses are added up, the average cost of a funeral with other final expenses can exceed $10,000. This amount that many families just simply do not have readily available.
One smart way to prepare for funeral costs and to ease the family’s worries is to purchase burial insurance or a final expense policy. Burial insurance can cover the cost of the funeral and final expenses. These policies are available to people between the age of 50 and 85. Often, the face amounts on these policies range from $1,000 to $25,000 – although some insurance carriers will allow more coverage.
When you are ready to purchase burial insurance, it is better to work with an independent insurance agency like Funeral Funds which can directly compare multiple policies for you.
By reviewing the policy, coverage, insurance company, and premium cost, you will be able to make a better purchasing decision. If you are ready to take action, fill out the instant quote form on this page or call us at (888)862-9456 to assist you.
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ON FUNERAL EXPENSES PEOPLE OVERLOOK
What does the end-of-life cost?
Many people don’t realize that several expenses are associated with death and dying. In addition to the funeral or cremation costs, there are often other bills to pay, such as for a gravestone or flowers.
How much does death cost?
According to a report from the National Funeral Directors Association, the median cost of a funeral in the United States is $7,181. This does not include many other potential expenses, such as cemetery costs, flowers, and obituaries.
Why are funerals so expensive?
A funeral can be expensive because it is a service that professionals must carry out. Funeral homes must pay for their employees, facilities, and other overhead costs. Additionally, the price of a casket or urn can add to the total cost.
Why are funerals expensive in the USA?
Funerals are expensive in the United States because it involves professional services, and there are many associated costs, such as a casket or urn. Funeral homes must also cover their employees’ wages, facilities, and other overhead expenses.
What are the typical expenses associated with a funeral?
Many potential expenses are associated with a funeral, but some of the most common include the cost of the casket or urn, funeral home services, and cemetery costs. Additionally, you may need to purchase flowers or an obituary.
Is it cheaper to be cremated or buried?
The answer to this question depends on various factors, including the type of service you want and the costs associated with cremation or burial in your area. Generally speaking, cremation is often less expensive than burial.
Why are caskets so expensive?
Caskets can be expensive because they are often made of high-quality materials, such as wood or metal. Additionally, the cost of a casket may include the cost of shipping and handling.
How much money is appropriate for a funeral?
The amount of money you should spend on a funeral will depend on your budget and the type of service you want. It is important to consider all potential expenses when planning a funeral, such as the cost of the casket or urn, funeral home services, and cemetery costs.
What is the most expensive thing at a funeral?
One of the most expensive things in a funeral is the casket itself (if you let someone talk you into an overpriced casket). Other potential expenses include funeral home services, cemetery costs, and flowers.
What is the average cost of a coffin?
The average cost of a coffin in the United States is about $2,000. This does not include the cost of shipping and handling, which can add to the total cost.
What is the average cost of a funeral?
The average cost of a funeral in the United States is about $7,000. This does not include many other potential expenses, such as cemetery costs, flowers, and obituaries.
What is the most expensive piece when planning a funeral?
The most expensive piece can be the casket when planning a funeral. Other potential expenses include funeral home services, cemetery costs, and flowers.
Is a headstone a funeral expense?
A headstone is typically considered a funeral expense and is often associated with cemetery costs. Headstones can be made of various materials, including granite, marble, or bronze.
How much does a headstone cost?
The cost of a headstone will depend on the material it is made of, the size, and the engraving. Headstones can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
How much does a wooden casket cost?
The cost of a wooden casket will depend on the type of wood, the size, and the quality of the craftsmanship. Wooden caskets can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
How much does a metal casket cost?
The cost of a metal casket will depend on the type of metal, the size, and the quality of the craftsmanship. Metal caskets can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
How much is an urn?
An urn can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. The cost will depend on the material, the size, and the quality of the urn.
What is the cheapest coffin you can buy?
There is no definitive answer to this question as the cost of a coffin will depend on various factors, such as the material, the size, and the quality of the craftsmanship. However, you may be able to find a cheaper coffin if you shop around or compare prices online.
What is the least expensive thing in a funeral?
The least expensive thing in a funeral is typically the urn. Other potential expenses include funeral home services, cemetery costs, and flowers.
How much does a eulogy cost?
A eulogy typically does not have a cost associated with it. However, some costs may be associated with hiring someone to write or deliver the eulogy.
How much does a funeral director cost?
The cost of a funeral director will vary depending on the services they provide and the location of the funeral. Funeral directors typically charge an hourly rate or a flat fee.
How much does it cost to bury someone?
The cost of burying someone will depend on the type of funeral you want and the cemetery you choose. Cemetery costs can include the price of the plot, the headstone, and the opening and closing of the grave.
How much do you pay a singer at a funeral?
There is no definitive answer to this question as the cost will depend on the singer’s fee and the length of the funeral. However, you may be able to negotiate a lower rate if you are hiring the singer for a shorter funeral service.
What is the average cost of flowers for a funeral?
The average cost of flowers for a funeral is about $300. This does not include the cost of delivery or set-up, which can add to the total cost.
How much does it cost to have a funeral at a church?
The cost of having a funeral at a church will depend on the size of the church and the services you want. Church fees can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
How much should you pay a pastor for a graveside service?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as the cost will depend on the pastor’s fee and the length of the service. However, you may be able to negotiate a lower rate if you hire the pastor for a shorter funeral service.
How much does it cost to have a funeral at a funeral home?
The cost of having a funeral at a funeral home will depend on the services you want and the location of the funeral. Funeral homes typically charge an hourly rate or a flat fee.
How much should you pay a pastor for a funeral?
The cost will depend on the pastor’s fee and the length of the service. However, you may be able to negotiate a lower rate if you hire the pastor for a shorter funeral service.
Why are funeral flowers so expensive?
The cost of funeral flowers will depend on the type of flowers, the quantity, and the delivery fee. Funeral flowers are typically more expensive than regular flowers because they are usually ordered in larger quantities and must be delivered to the funeral home or church.
How much should you spend on funeral flowers?
The cost of funeral flowers will depend on the type of flowers, the quantity, and the delivery fee. However, you may be able to save money by ordering flowers that are in season or by choosing a less expensive type of flower.
What is an appropriate amount to spend on flowers for a funeral?
The amount you should spend on flowers for a funeral will depend on your personal budget and the type of flowers you choose. However, you may want to consider spending a few hundred dollars on flowers as a way to show your respect for the deceased.
How much does it cost to have a funeral in another country?
The cost of having a funeral in another country will depend on the services you want and the location of the funeral. You may also have to pay for travel expenses if you cannot attend the funeral in person.
How much is a floral blanket for a casket?
The cost of a floral blanket for a casket will depend on the size of the blanket, the type of flowers, and the delivery fee. A typical floral blanket can cost several hundred dollars.
How much should you tip the funeral director?
The amount you should tip will depend on your services and your budget. However, a general guideline is to tip the funeral director 10% of the total cost of the funeral.
How much do a spray for a casket cost?
The cost of a spray for a casket will depend on the spray size, the type of flowers, and the delivery fee. A typical spray can cost several hundred dollars.
What is a reasonable amount to spend on funeral flowers?
The amount you should spend on funeral flowers will depend on your budget and the type of flowers you choose. However, you may want to consider spending a few hundred dollars on flowers as a way to show your respect for the deceased.
How much should you pay for music at a funeral?
The cost of music at a funeral will depend on the music you choose and the length of the service. You may be able to negotiate a lower rate if you are hiring musicians for a shorter funeral service.
How much does it cost to print funeral programs?
The cost of printing funeral programs will depend on the number of copies you need and the type of paper you choose. You can expect to pay several dollars per program.
How much should you pay a pianist for a funeral?
The cost of a pianist for a funeral will depend on the length of the service and the type of music you choose. You may be able to negotiate a lower rate if you are hiring a pianist for a shorter funeral service.
How much does it cost to rent a sound system for a funeral?
The cost of renting a sound system for a funeral will depend on the length of the service and the type of equipment you need. You may be able to negotiate a lower rate if you are renting the equipment for a shorter funeral service.
How much do you tip a priest for last rites?
The amount you should tip will depend on your personal budget and the services you receive. However, a general guideline is to tip the priest $20-$50.
How much do you pay a priest for a funeral?
The amount you should pay will depend on the services you receive and your personal budget. However, a general guideline is to pay the priest $100-$300 for a funeral service.
How much does it cost to have a mass said for the deceased?
The cost of having a mass said for the deceased will depend on the location of the service and the number of people attending. You may also have to pay for travel expenses if you cannot attend the service in person.