According to the NFDA, the national average cost of a funeral with a viewing and burial was about $12,500 in 2020. This includes a vault, which the cemetery will usually require. Even without a vault, you can expect to pay between $7,000 and $9,000 for a modest funeral.
What makes them so expensive? Well, the funeral home is there to make money. The directors have many expenses and an overhead staff to pay. To make a profit and stay ahead of the competition, they must charge a certain amount for their funeral services. Look at the table below to see what the common fees are for a standard funeral.
National Average Funeral Costs
|Casket||$3,500||Price depends on the materials chosen. This cost is typical for a metal casket.|
|Cremation casket||$1,500||This can be a cardboard box or a traditional casket (no metal parts).|
|Urn||$500||The container that holds cremated remains.|
|Embalming||$850||Not required by state law, but a funeral home may require it if you have a viewing.|
|Cremation fee||$370||If the funeral home doesn’t own a crematory and uses a third party, expect to pay this amount.|
|Required fee for basic services||$3,400||Covers the funeral home’s time, storage of the remains, and overhead costs.|
|Other body preparation||$850||May include dressing, hair styling, and cosmetic reconstruction.|
|Use of facilities/staff for ceremony||$600||If you have the ceremony at the funeral home, expect to pay this amount.|
|Hearse||$450||Transporting the remains from the funeral home to the burial site.|
|Service car or van||$250||Bringing the family and guests from the funeral home to the burial site.|
|Printed materials||$250||Memorial package, guest book|
The numbers above exclude things like a monument or market, an obituary, or flowers.
With the average cost of a funeral continuing to go up, it can have a huge effect on your family. Awareness is the first step to reduce stress and help them prepare. The next step? Consider buying a final expense plan.