A Complete Guide to Funeral Costs and Pricing

Preparing to say your final goodbyes to someone you knew is never easy.

Amidst dealing with your loss and the stress of planning, you also have to think of the funeral costs of a meaningful service.

Knowing the different types of services and their costs can lighten the burden of planning. You can choose the best way to honor the life of the deceased and their religious and cultural background while meeting your financial requirements.

Although the actual cost of the service you had in mind will differ based on your location and chosen service provider, this post will shed some light on some of the available options and their approximate pricing.

The average cost of different types of funeral services

The preferred funeral option in the USA is cremation. A cremation with a memorial service can cost approximately $2,000 to $7,000 including the memorial planning, memorial documents, and accessories.

If your funeral service provider does not own a crematory, you may also need to pay an additional fee of a few hundred dollars for a third-party cremation.

If you want a simpler set-up, you can of course choose a direct cremation without a service. These may range from $1,000 to $3,000 depending on your area. For an additional fee, you can opt for a witnessed cremation, where a few selected family members are present during the proceedings.

You also have the option of a burial service. According to the NFDA, the average cost of a burial is $7,400.

The cost of burial also varies depending on the cost of the burial plot. A plot in public cemeteries costs less than a plot in a private cemetery, with the former starting at an approximate price of $700, while the latter may cost $2,000 or more.

There is also the cost of headstones, vaults, or mausoleums that you may consider. For a vault, the average is around $8,755, while a basic grave marker will require an average fee of $1,000.

The cost of direct burial, however, is much less. Although this fee does not include the embalming of the body and does not account for visitation, the average cost of a direct burial is a figure between $3,000–$5,000.

The approximate price of a funeral casket

Different burial and cremation services require different types of caskets. Depending on the material, the service, and the design, the price of a casket could range from $2,000-$14,000; with personalized designs costing more than a standard design.

A metal casket for burial can cost nearly twice as much as a cremation casket that costs an average of $2,000. The difference between the two is that the casket used for cremation is made of combustible material like canvas, cardboard, pressboard, or unfinished wood.

The cost of a wooden casket, on the other hand, depends on the type of wood. A pine casket, for example, would cost less than a casket made with other types of wood like oak, cherry, maple, or walnut.

Today, you also have the option of green caskets if you wish to make an environmentally conscious decision. These caskets are made of biodegradable materials—bamboo, cardboard, fabric, rattan, fiberboard, or softwood—and will naturally decompose over time.

Alternatively, you can rent a sustainable, cost-effective, multi-use casket for the service, which may cost around $750 to $1,500.

The estimated cost of funeral accessories and memorial planning

If you are planning a memorial or a life celebration ceremony to honor the deceased, there are a few additional costs to keep in mind, including the price of the urn.

The prices of urns change according to the type you choose, and your options are seemingly endless. A full-sized, permanent urn can cost between $200-$3,000. Specialty urns, which are custom-made according to family wishes tend to be priced higher than traditional urns.

Companion urns, which are large and generally used to hold the ashes of two people—often spouses—may be priced at $250 and higher.

Earth-friendly biodegradable urns, on the other hand, may cost $70 to $300.  On the subject of eco-conscious urns, there are also water urns that disintegrate in water or biodegradable urns that decompose naturally that you can opt for instead.

If you wish to hold ashes for longer, a cremation box may be what you’re looking for. The average cost of these boxes is $50–$300, depending on the design of your chosen box.

For an extra fee, you can even get lasting mementos made with the ashes. This can take the form of jewelry that incorporates the ashes, or other creations like sculptures or paintings made by mixing the ashes with clay, cement, and paint.

Some other expenses you may need to consider for the memorial include the venue and preparations for music, performances, presentations, printed thank you cards, and providing food and drinks for attendees.

Gain a more accurate understanding of funeral costs for your chosen service

Funeral costs change depending on the type of service you choose, the accessories you may need, as well as your location.

Discuss your funeral service requirements with your chosen funeral planners to gain a more accurate understanding of the funeral costs for the service you had in mind.

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