Loved ones must be accorded respect in both life and death. By knowing the average cost of a funeral you can plan the perfect memorial service to honor the life of your loved one. When someone in your family passes away it is important to pay tribute to their life and lay his or her body to rest in the best way possible. The life of a person must be commemorated properly. The information provided below will help you understand what each component of a funeral costs on average. This will help you to set your budget and make sure that you are making educated decisions when purchasing items for your loved one’s funeral.
Average Cost of a Funeral
In the United States, the average cost of a funeral is roughly $6,560, according to a 2010 National Funeral Directors Association survey. The $6,560 price includes the typically chosen items for a conventional funeral, like a funeral ceremony, car service, casket, and so on.
The average cost of a funeral does not include cemetery costs. If you plan to bury your loved one, the cost of a burial plot can range from $1,000 to $10,000+. This does not include additional fees the cemetery may charge. Furthermore, a burial vault will be required and is not included in the cost of the burial plot. A burial vault typically costs $1,000 – $2,000. A grave marker will also be required, which can range from a few hundred dollars for a basic flat marker, to thousands of dollars for a granite headstone. Therefore, if you include the burial costs, the average cost of a funeral will be more than $10,000.
Factors that Impact the Average Cost of a Funeral
There are a number of factors that will impact the average cost of a funeral. The first factor is your location. A funeral will cost far less in a rural area, suburban cities, and in certain states. This is due to lower operating costs for the funeral home, which means lower prices to the family. Furthermore, the cost of land in these areas is far less, which means that a burial plot will be less expensive. If you live in a major metropolitan city, the cost of the funeral will be 25% to 50% higher (or more).
The second factor that impacts the average cost of a funeral is the quality of the products purchased. The $6,560 cost quoted above assumes that most of the products purchased are of average quality. Certain services will have standard prices, such as the cost of transferring the remains to the funeral home, preparation of the body, and the use of the funeral home. However, there are numerous options available when choosing the funeral products. One of the largest single expenses is the casket. A simple cloth-covered casket will start at under one thousand dollars with the price of a hardwood or metal casket averaging thousands of dollars. Additionally, the type of vehicles chosen for the procession, the type of funeral service, and the other products chosen will all impact the funeral cost.
The last factor that impacts the funeral cost is the number of funeral products purchased. The average cost of a funeral includes the most basic products necessary for a funeral service. However, most families will purchase products not included in the average cost. For examples, funeral flowers, a video tribute, webcasting, a memorial website, keepsakes, and thank you cards are only a few of the additional products and services available to families.
In summary, the average cost of a funeral covers items like the funeral director’s fees ($1,500), casket cost ($2,300), embalming ($500), using the funeral home for the funeral service ($500), grave site costs ($2,000), digging costs of the grave site ($600), outer burial container or grave liner ($1,000), and headstone cost ($1,500). Therefore, on average a traditional funeral with burial will cost around $10,000.
However, depending on the products and services selected, and their quality, the average cost of a funeral may be below $5,000 or cost upwards of $20,000. Cemeteries, funeral homes, and other service providers expect full payment for their services by the time of the funeral. Therefore, the best way to reduce the cost of a funeral is to pre-plan. This will guarantee the cost of the funeral and make it more affordable by setting aside a small sum of money each month, versus paying for the entire funeral at once. Another way to reduce the funeral cost is to choose cremation instead of a traditional burial, which will save costs on the casket and eliminate the need for a burial plot, vault, gravestone, and so on. Now that you know the average funeral cost, you can begin to plan the perfect funeral service for your loved one.
Updated: May 20, 2013