If you’ve never been involved with a funeral before, you might think that it’s cheap. Certainly, it can’t be that expensive, right?
Wrong. Funerals regularly run in the range of a couple thousand dollars.
In fact, the National Funeral Directors Association states the average funeral cost in the United States is between $8,000 and $10,000.
Even more surprising, this is just for the bare minimum. If you want to go beyond the basics, prepare to spend a lot more.
How Much Should A Funeral Cost You?
The high cost of a funeral service means it’s often a burden to ill prepared families. Take care of your own funeral preparations now to avoid placing even more stress on your family once you pass away.
Buying life insurance that covers funeral costs, burial fees, and other final expenses will give you peace of mind and save your family a lot of headache.
Here’s what you need to know about how much funerals cost, as well as how life insurance helps.
Factors to Consider
Those who have never had to organize a funeral probably believe it’s a much simpler affair than it actually turns out.
For starters, a typical funeral commonly includes such factors as:
- burial clothing
- burial shroud
- burial vault
- a casket
- death certificate
- grave markers or monuments
- transportation of the body
- and more.
That’s not to mention actually buying the grave site and having it prepared for burial.
Then you have additional factors such as the ceremony itself. These include:
- hiring clergy and musicians
- using a hearse or funeral coach
- getting an obituary
- printing out materials
- basic funeral ceremony fees
Even going the cremation route costs a lot of money. Direct cremation packages range from about $500 up to $3,000 and more.
As you can see, that $10,000 average amount listed above isn’t actually so surprising. Once you consider the basic costs, and the cost of the funeral proceedings, it’s easy to see just how expensive a funeral can get.
In addition to ensuring the money is available to cover your funeral costs, funeral planning also enables you to take control of what happens to your body after you die.
It gives you the ability to choose burial or cremation, select the casket and grave marker you prefer, and figure out the details of the funeral service.
Even if money isn’t a major concern, it’s still a great idea to plan your funeral out so you can have the service you want.
Typical Funeral Costs, An Itemization
As mentioned above, the typical funeral in the United States costs between $8,000 and $10,000.
- Direct cremation packages range from around $500 up to $3,000 and more. Direct burial packages range from $1,000 to $4,000 and more.
- Caskets are another big expense. A cheap cardboard casket costs anywhere from $50 to $500 while a wood or metal casket ranges from $300 to $12,000 or more.
- Other major expenses include burial vault costs (between $500 and $15,000), funeral home services ($500 to $3,000), grave plots ($500 to $10,000) and grave monuments ($500 to $10,000). Even urns range from $100 up to $2,500 and more.
- Other incidental costs include burial clothing ($100 to $1,000), clergy ($50 to $500), flowers ($100 to $1,000), hearse rental ($100 to $500), and transportation of the body to the funeral home ($100 to $500).
Simply put, once you consider all of the different costs, $10,000 doesn’t seem so surprising for even a basic funeral.
* All of these costs are according to the National Funeral Directors Association. May vary by location and personal choices.
Why Estate Planning is Important
The importance of estate planning is simple. It helps you protect your loved ones when you pass away.
Proper estate planning not only makes the grieving process easier, but it also protects them financially.
One of the biggest ways it does this is by protecting them from tax hits. Too many heirs end up vastly overpaying in taxes on their inheritance.
Estate planning not only educes the tax hit on heirs, but also lets you decide who these heirs are, and how much they’ll benefit from your estate.
As mentioned above, planning your funeral is also a part of estate planning. Figure out what you want so you receive the funeral you desire.
Finding quality life insurance which covers end-of-life fees, like funeral costs, is a great way to ensure your funeral costs are fully covered.
Buying the life insurance also guarantees your loved ones who rely on you financially are covered in the event of your passing.
How Life Insurance Helps
Better manage your final expenses by seeking out life insurance which completely pays for your funeral costs at some point in the future.
Some life insurance policies include a specific death benefit. This is a predetermined amount that goes directly to final expenses, such as funeral and burial costs.
Other life insurance policies which don’t include specific final expenses can still be used to cover funeral costs.
The amount paid out to beneficiaries can generally be used however they see fit. If desired, a portion of the proceeds can go towards a funeral for the deceased and similar expenses.
It’s important to note not all benefits are paid out in the same way. The factor which varies the most widely is the speed at which they are paid out.
Some life insurance companies pay out in a lump sum, though some will pay out as a stream of income.
This is why it’s so essential to research several life insurance companies before making a final decision.
Use Life Insurance to Cover Your Funeral Costs
Finding the best life insurance that will help cover funeral costs is the same as finding the best life insurance for any other set of priorities.
Simply put, it starts with doing your research. Read reviews of life insurance companies that interest you and explore their websites.
The best companies have easy to reach phone lines for prospective customers to ask any questions they might have.
You should also look at the financial stability ratings, such as those from A.M. Best, for each life insurance company which interests you. These help you get an idea of just how likely the company will be to actually make the promised payout.
Remember, you might not be accepted by all life insurance providers, especially if you’ve had a serious medical condition.
Premiums and policies vary greatly from company to company, including how final expenses like funeral costs are handled.
It’s never too soon to start thinking about what will happen after you die.
Proper estate planning is the key to protecting your family financially and ensuring that the grieving process isn’t clouded with additional stress.
One way that you can make your funeral costs less of a burden on your family is by investing in life insurance which covers any and all final expenses which might come up.
Life insurance which covers funeral costs ensures your family won’t have to worry about paying for a funeral on their own once you pass away.