How to Get Help With Funeral Costs for a Parent
Losing a parent can be one of the most difficult times of your life. The last thing you want to worry about is how to pay for a funeral. A funeral service can be truly priceless to the friends and family of the departed, as this allows them to heal, grieve, and pay their last respects. Yet, costs and associated expenses often add up quickly. Learn about different ways to get help with funeral costs for a parent, so you can worry less about expenses and focus on honoring your loved one’s memory.
Six funeral costs to consider
The National Funeral Directors Association estimates that the median cost of a funeral service ranges from $6,260 to $8,755, depending on whether it is a cremation or traditional burial. This does not include cemetery charges, monument or marker costs, or items like flowers and an obituary. Let’s break down the cost of funeral services, so you know what to expect:
Transportation to a home will cost an average of $325. The average cost of a hearse is also $325. A hearse is a requirement for a traditional burial service unless cremation is chosen.
2. Embalming and preparation costs
Embalming is only necessary if you wish to have a viewing. A viewing can apply to a traditional burial or cremation. The embalming and preparation process typically costs $975.
3. Casket or urn costs
A casket provides a dignified way to move the deceased before burial or cremation and is usually the most expensive item purchased for a service. Caskets also have the largest range in price, costing anywhere from $500 to $5,000 and up for a traditional burial.
The average cost of an urn is $275. However, if families choose, a cremation, then they must also purchase a casket. A cremation casket must not contain any metal and averages $1,000 if it is also used for viewing.
4. Viewing and funeral ceremony costs
The cost of viewing is typically $425, and covers the use of the funeral home facilities. The ceremony held at the cemetery is an additional $500.
5. Cremation costs
This option is less expensive than a traditional burial. Cremation typically costs $350.
6. Funeral home service fee
In addition, all funeral homes charge a basic services fee. This fee averages $2,100.
Government assistance for funeral costs
If you live in the United States, you may be eligible to receive a lump-sum Social Security survivors benefit of $255. And in some cases, you may also be able to receive monthly benefits of the deceased. Additionally, funeral state assistance programs exist to help with the cost of a burial.
If your parent was a Veteran, the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs offers financial help in the form of burial benefits. These benefits can range from $1,062 to $2,000, depending on service qualifications.
While government assistance can provide some relief, the process is not automatic. It can take up to six weeks to receive a survivors benefit from the Social Security Administration, and up to four months for a decision from Veteran’s Affairs. Carefully follow the eligibility requirements, as claims can also be denied.
Charities that help with funeral costs
There are many organizations that help with funeral expenses. While benefit wait times through organizations are often quicker than through government assistance funeral grant programs, each organization has its own eligibility requirements and application process. Here are three charitable organizations that may aid with expenses for those living in the United States:
Funeral Consumers Alliance
A nonprofit organization, the Funeral Consumers Alliance, is dedicated to helping families plan an affordable, meaningful service. The organization strives to educate people on planning them and offers resources that can aid with costs. See our savings guide for more information on planning an affordable funeral.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross provides financial assistance for military families, which can include burial costs. Assistance is provided to active duty service members and their immediate families, as well as military retirees and their spouses.
United Tissue Network
The United Tissue Network is a nonprofit dedicated to honoring the wishes of those who choose to donate their body to science. The organization will cover the cost of transportation, the death certificate, and cremation. Families can expect to wait four to six weeks to receive cremated remains.
Start an online fundraiser to help with funeral costs for a parent
You may be wondering how to pay for a funeral with no money. A online fundraiser can help with funeral costs for a parent, when government benefits or life insurance isn’t enough. Starting a fundraiser can also help you through the grieving process by creating a place for friends and family to offer support and condolences.
Crowdfunding can relieve the burden of an expensive funeral
Crowdfunding has become a reliable way for family and friends to raise money to cover the cost of a funeral. Often, those who knew the deceased are happy to help. Donating to a funeral fund can also be a meaningful option in place of sending flowers or cards. If you choose to start a funeral fundraiser, learn more about funeral fundraising tips that can help cut memorial costs.
Crowdfunding is easy to set up
Getting financial help for a funeral can be easy with crowdfunding. In the US, there’s no fee to start or manage your fundraiser on GoFundMe. However, there is one small transaction fee per donation that covers all your fundraising needs. Everything else goes directly to your cause, because that’s what matters most.
Crowdfunding means no wait times to receive help
Many people have used GoFundMe to help with death costs for a parent, and funds can be withdrawn immediately as they are raised. With online fundraising, there are no waiting periods to receive your funds, so you can start receiving financial help for a funeral right away.
Examples of funeral fundraisers for families
Rebecca and her three siblings were met with tragedy at the unexpected death of their father after their mother had passed two years prior. She was able to raise more than her $2,000 fundraising goal to help with funeral cost and the funeral service for her father.
After Francisco lost his year-long battle with bone cancer, his family was left wondering how they would pay for a funeral. In just 10 days, the Flores family was able to raise over $2,500 for funeral costs help.
Grandmother of three, Sharyn lived on disability benefits due to health issues. Her daughter, Tina, was left with unexpected funeral expenses after her mother’s passing. Tina started a fundraiser to help cover funerals cost, and was able to raise nearly $3,000.
Find financial help for funerals when you need it
If you need help with costs after the death of a parent, a fundraiser can be your answer. Crowdfunding can be a beautiful way to honor your loved one’s legacy while relieving some of the financial stress of paying for it. Sign up to create your funeral fundraiser today, so you can stop worrying about expenses and instead focus on healing.