Everything You Need to Know About Average Funeral Costs

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| 4 min read Financial Assistance

Grieving the loss of a loved one while worrying about the cost of funeral services can be overwhelming. Often, burial expenses can get in the way of planning a proper ceremony and honoring them properly among family and friends. So how much does a funeral cost exactly?

The cost of a funeral can be substantial. On average, you can expect to pay between $7,000 and $10,000 in funeral expenses. This can include the viewing, burial, service fees, transport, casket, embalming, and other costs.

Few people know that the Federal Trade Commission regulates basic funeral expenses under the Funeral Rule. Still, even the price of a basic funeral (known as the “general price list”) can be out of reach for many people.

Today, many families turn to crowdfunding for funerals to cover the cost of funeral services and create a new way for friends and family to support each other emotionally through this difficult time.

Cost of funeral services

Families often contact a funeral home to begin preparations when a loved one passes away. It’s important not to go alone and take an impartial party to help deal with sensitive decisions. The general price list covers tasks, including basic service fees, embalming, and funeral home cost. 

If you’re wondering how much a funeral home service is, here’s an overview of some current prices:

  • Embalming usually costs about $800, but this process isn’t necessary if you don’t plan to have a funeral with a viewing.

Some funeral homes can request advance payment for services like verifying the death certificate, preparing notices, and securing a burial permit. The fee for these services can cost up to $1,525.

Cemetery and burial 

For burials, there is usually a procession to the cemetery for the burial of the body after the service at the funeral home. The associated funeral costs of a typical burial are listed on the general price list. These costs can add up quickly, including transportation of the remains, a burial plot, and a casket.

  • The cost of transporting the body from the funeral home to the cemetery in a hearse averages $350.
  • Securing a plot of land for burial is another funeral expense regulated by the general price list. On average, a plot costs between $1,500-$2,500.
  • The casket can be an important element of the funeral in many traditions, but it can also be one of the priciest. Often, funeral homes offer a selection of basic caskets regulated under the general price list, but you can bypass these options and find a more expensive casket. The average cost of funeral caskets is $2,000 and can run up to $10,000.

Memorial service 

A memorial service offers flexibility and is usually less expensive for families looking to avoid both the process and cost of funeral services. A memorial involves a celebration of life but may vary from a funeral according to the family’s traditions, beliefs, and wishes. 

Here’s an overview of the average cost of a funeral typically associated with memorials and cremation:

  • According to the NFDA, consumer preference is shifting from traditional burials to cremation, with 48% of those surveyed preferring their cremated remains to be scattered in a sentimental place. The cremation fee and casket cost approximately $1,678.
  • The cost of a cremation urn can vary greatly depending on materials, but they cost, on average, $295.
  • If the family opts for cremation, an alternative cremation container can help save on funeral costs. An unfinished wood box without decor can cost about $150.
  • Green burials have become a popular option. Your body can be buried in a land preservation site for as little as $2000—but the green funeral costs will depend on your state and the location of the burial lot. 

Get the financial and emotional support you need

Funeral services and memorials can be expensive regardless of the option you choose. However, crowdfunding can help alleviate some financial burdens of the cost of funeral services and provide emotional support during this difficult time. Consider starting a funeral or memorial fund on GoFundMe’s platform today to honor your loved one’s legacy while getting the support you need.

Start a funeral fundraiser

Written by GoFundMe