A funeral is often an emotional tribute to the life of a loved one, but it does come with its costs. If you are able, it can be helpful to your loved ones to plan and pay for your funeral in advance. Whether you find yourself handling the funeral arrangements for someone who has passed away or want to plan your own, understanding the costs can help with the decision-making process.
The first choice that will directly affect the cost of the funeral is preparation of the body and the use of a casket or urn. A full-service funeral that includes embalming of the body and an open casket for a viewing is typically the most expensive. Caskets alone cost anywhere from a couple thousand dollars to over $10,000. A less expensive option may be direct cremation.
You will also need to purchase a gravesite or other headstone location if it has not yet been paid for. Available headstones vary in style and price – some may be only a couple hundred dollars while others can be in the thousands. Engraving the headstone may also come at an additional cost that you will need to consider. Many funeral homes will have a selection to choose from.
The next item is to factor in the cost of an actual memorial service in a funeral home or a graveside service at a cemetery. Funerals may also include additional products, such as transportation of the body, grave liners, burial vaults, and even floral arrangements for the service. You should be able to ask a funeral home or service provider for a pricing list to see what they offer.
The final cost of any funeral depends entirely on the products and services you select. It is normal for a funeral to cost at least a few thousand dollars, but you can keep this cost lower by gathering quotes for the same options from different funeral homes and comparing them. If there is a legal and valid will dictating the funeral arrangements for your loved one, it should help provide some guidance.