What is the Cost of a Funeral?
No one likes to think about death, but there's a 100% probability that it will affect you! Therefore, end-of-life issues such as funerals, wills, and estate planning are essential.
According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the median cost of a funeral in 2009 was $6,560. However, this does not include the cost of the cemetery plot, crematory, monument, or flowers. Here's what it does include:
- $1,817 for basic services.
- $250 for transferring the remains to the funeral home.
- $628 for embalming.
- $200 for other preparation of the body.
- $395 for the use of the funeral home's facilities and/or staff for the viewing or wake.
- $450 for the use of the funeral home's facilities and/or staff for the funeral ceremony.
- $275 for the hearse.
- $125 for a service car or van.
- $125 for a basic memorial printed package.
- $2,295 for a metal casket.
- The cost of a vault is an additional $1,195 on average.
Keep in mind that these are averages and your costs may be higher, especially if you live in a more expensive part of the nation, such as the big cities.
Cremation is becoming more and more common as a substitute for the traditional burial. They comprise about 42% of funerals, about double what it was in 1996. It's more common in some areas (Washington) than others (Mississippi). The average cost of a cremation is $1,700. Keep in mind that costs for a wake, funeral service, and other items will add to this cost.
What should you do?
- Plan. You may wish to visit with the funeral home that will help your loved ones during their time of grief. You can do as little as outline your wishes and desires or as much as prepaying for the services, casket, etc.
- Save. If you don't have the resources to prepay your funeral, begin saving now. You may also wish to consider life insurance to cover the expenses.
- Talk to your parents about their plans. It's a difficult subject for them to broach. If you address the subject, they may open up and free you from difficult decisions during an emotional time. A simple, non-specific question such as, "Have you made plans for the future?" may be all it takes.
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