Funeral Expenses

funeral-expenses.jpgIf you are going to be planning a funeral or in the midst of one, you will need to be aware of the various funeral costs or expenses involved. It is estimated that an average funeral can cost at least $5,000 and more, depending on the materials and how elaborate you want it to be. Most families pay for funeral or memorial services through the burial insurance or directly out of pocket from a trust fund or their own savings account.  The following notes various funeral related costs:


Body embalming is only necessary if you want to have a viewing of the body. This is not necessary and is optional depending on the type of body disposal you would like.

Funeral Home Services

Obtaining a funeral home and working with a funeral director to assist with staffing at the visitation and funeral services, securing the permits related to the burial, preparing the death certificate, disposing of the body and the overall management of the funeral arrangements may be a service you want to employ. Check what their services consists of for the cost that you will be paying. Some may include the following items into their overall costs as well.

Funeral Caskets/Urns

If you are planning a traditional burial, you will need to purchase a funeral casket. They will vary greatly in price depending on the materials.  An urn to hold cremains (cremation ashes) is much less expensive and also provides a large selection of sizes and materials. 

Burial Vaults/Liner

In order to protect the casket in a traditional ground burial, you may opt to purchase a burial vault or liner for added protection. Generally, the cemetery or burial grounds will have guidelines on whether this is a necessary purchase. If you have chosen cremation over burial, than this will not apply.


Expenses will vary when choosing a facility. Chapels, churches, community centers, burial at sea, or parks may assess a fee for their facility use as well as any equipment rental needed for the service. If your working with a funeral home, this may be included in their services. If the deceased was a member of a particular denomination or church such as Christian, Catholic, or Mormon may provide their church for a minimal or no fee. Military funeral services may also be able to provide the location.

Funeral Programs and Prayer Cards

Creating a memorial keepsake is important. Don’t skimp on this item. You can create funeral programs and prayer cards simply by using templates to lessen expenses. Funeral homes may also offer this but you can certainly make them on your own. 

Burial Grounds

The burial plot for either a casket or an urn will have a charge for the area. You may be charged a digging fee and a fee to cover the casket for ground burials. It will vary depending on where you are planning to bury the remains.  Ashes that are scattered may also incur charges depending on the specific area.

Headstone or Grave Marker

For traditional ground burials, you will need to purchase a headstone or grave marker. These prices will vary depending upon materials chosen.


Transporting the body to and from the place of death, visitation or funeral wake location, chapel, and burial location. 

Funeral Flowers

You may want to have a florist bring in some fresh flowers to be placed inside the ceremony and even at graveside. You can choose fresh floral arrangements or faux arrangements to just add color and have a longer lasting ornament. Having a green funeral or burial will lessen expenses as well so you may want to consider some of the items that are incorporated into this type of service.

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