Your funeral is the biggest event you’ll ever plan that you’ll never attend. Death is a solemn occasion, and the people have a variety of ways to mark the event. Some have a formal church service, some bring the community together for a big wake or memorial, and some keep things quiet with a private ceremony and a quick cremation. However, no matter how you want your funeral to go, it’s sure to cost at least a few thousand dollars.
Understand The Expenses
For a traditional funeral, you can expect the total price to come from several sources.
- $2,000 to $5,000 to transport the body if you died out of state
- $500 to $1,000 for the embalming
- $250 to prepare the body for viewing
- $2,000 to $5,000 for the casket
- $1,000 to $5,000 for the grave marker or headstone
- $400 to $500 for a cremation
- $500 to $700 for flowers for the viewing, service, burial, memorial, etc.
- $375 for the funeral procession
- $500 to $1,000 in fees for funeral home services
Read The Fine Print
You can also expect other costs like autopsy fees, death certificate fees, delivery fees, and so on. Thanks to costs like these, even a small ceremony can become costly. These expenses will need paying when you’re not around to do anything about them, and if you don’t address them before it’s too late then your family will have to deal with a lot of debt at what’s already a stressful time.
Consider The Options
While your family can’t avoid an expensive funeral or final arrangement, there are options available to you that can protect them from dealing with a sudden debt.
Funeral homes allow people to prepay for their funeral arrangements, including everything from the casket and graveyard site to the funeral service and burial. This lets you pay for your funeral in installments and makes sure you’ll get the funeral you want without any financial burden to your family. However, you usually can’t transfer your payments if you move out of state or if something happens to the funeral home.
You can donate your body to science. By allowing medical students to examine your cadaver after death, the institution you donate to will pay for all the transportation and burial costs. However, your relatives won’t be able to hold a viewing or a private burial.
You can take out a burial insurance policy. This policy works like life insurance by paying out directly to a beneficiary after your death, and it can cover all final expenses up to its full coverage amount. However, you’ll need to look for a policy early if you want to lock in the best rate.
Burial insurance is usually a good option since it gives your relatives some flexibility. They also won’t have to pay for your final expenses out of their pocket, out of your estate, or out of your other life insurance policies. If that sounds like a good idea, be sure to speak with a local insurance broker as soon as you can.