Everything You Need to Know About the Cost of Funeral Services

| 4 min read Financial Assistance

It’s difficult to place a monetary value on a funeral or memorial service. The chance to honour the life of your lost loved one and let the living grieve and heal is truly priceless. And yet, the real cost of funeral services often add up to between $7,000 and $10,000.

Not many people know that the Federal Trade Commission regulates the price of basic funeral services under the Funeral Rule, but even the price of basic services (known as the “general price list”) can be out of reach for many people.

Today, many families turn to crowdfunding for funerals. The beauty of crowdfunding is not only that can you receive financial support, you also create a place for people to support each other emotionally.

Funeral home costs

When a loved one passes away, families often contact a funeral home to begin preparations. The general price list covers tasks including basic service fees, embalming, and the cost for using the funeral home itself. Here’s an overview of some current prices:

  • The National Funeral Directors Association reported that the average cost of a funeral is $7,045.
  • Embalming, which is included in the general price list, usually costs about $800, but this process is only necessary if you plan to have a funeral with a viewing.
  • In addition to the general price list, some funeral homes may require advance payment for services like verifying the death certificate, preparing notices, and securing a burial permit, which can cost up to $1,228.

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. Associated costs are listed on the general price list, including transportation of the remains, a burial plot, and a casket. These costs can add up quickly:

  • The cost of transportation of the body from the funeral home to the cemetery, whether in a hearse or a limousine, averages $725.
  • Securing a plot of land for burial is another funeral expense regulated by the general price list. On average, a plot costs around $1,000.
  • 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 elect to bypass these options and purchase a more expensive casket. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the average cost of a casket is $2,000.

Memorial service 

For families looking to avoid both the cost and the process of funeral services, a memorial service offers flexibility and is usually less expensive. A memorial involves a celebration of life but may vary from a funeral according to the traditions, beliefs, and wishes of the family. Here’s an overview of costs typically associated with memorials:

  • According to the National Funeral Directors Association, consumer preference is shifting from traditional burials to cremation. Cremation costs approximately $700.
  • The cost of a cremation urn can vary greatly depending on materials and more. Urns made of resin usually cost from $25 to $160, while urns made of glass or metal often cost from $250 to $700.
  • Green burials have become a popular option. According to National Geographic, your body can be buried in a land preservation site for as little as $1,950—a stark contrast to the general price list that funeral homes offer for burial in a cemetery.

Get the financial and emotional support you need

Whichever option you choose, the price of funerals and memorials can be overwhelming. With crowdfunding, you can celebrate the life and legacy of loved ones and help the bereaved cope with the financial burden of their passing. Start a funeral or memorial fund on GoFundMe’s free platform today, and get the financial and emotional support you need.

Start a funeral fundraiser

Written by caitlin