If you haven’t been faced with the task of planning a funeral, you may not realize just how much planning goes into it.
And if you think a basic funeral isn’t expensive, you might be surprised to see just how high the price tag is.
In the sections below, we’re taking a closer look at how much funerals cost, looking into everything from the casket and flowers to other expenses you may not have even considered.
We’ll also provide you with pointers to help protect your loved ones from the cost of a funeral with life insurance.
How Much Does The Average Funeral Cost You?
The National Funeral Directors Association states the average funeral cost in the United States is between $8,000 and $10,000.
The NFDA also puts the median cost of a funeral with cremation at over $6,000.
Direct cremation packages range from several hundred dollars up to $3,000.
Even more surprising, these amounts are standard for just the bare minimum.
If you want to go beyond the basics, you’ll need to be prepared to spend a lot more.
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
- gravesite purchase and preparation
Then you have additional factors to account for, such as the ceremony itself.
- hiring clergy and musicians
- using a hearse or funeral coach
- getting an obituary
- printing materials
- basic funeral ceremony fees
As you can see, the $10,000 average amount listed above isn’t all that far-fetched.
Once you consider the basic preparation costs and the expenses of the funeral proceedings, it’s easy to see just how expensive a funeral can get.
Typical Funeral Costs
As mentioned above, the typical funeral in the United States costs between $8,000 and $10,000.
- Direct cremation packages: Direct cremation ranges from around $500 up to $3,000 and more. Direct burial packages range from $1,000 to $4,000 and more.
- Caskets: Another big expense, caskets can cost anywhere from $50 to $500 for a cheap, less durable option to $300 to $12,000 or more for a wood or metal option.
- Burial vault: The average funeral costs goes from $7,360 to $8,755 with a vault
- Funeral home services: Varying from one business to the next funeral homes may charge anywhere from around $500 to thousands.
- Grave plots and grave monuments: With each costing between $500 to $10,000, these graveyard expenses are amongst the most expensive.
- Miscellaneous costs: Even urns range on average from $100 to $2,500 and more. Other incidental costs include burial clothing ($100 to $1,000), clergy (typically $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 basic costs above, $10,000 doesn’t seem so surprising for a basic funeral.
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 your family financially.
One of the biggest ways it does this is by shielding them from tax hits. Too many heirs end up vastly overpaying in taxes on their inheritance.
Estate planning not only reduces 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 these final expenses are fully covered.
Buying life insurance also guarantees your loved ones who rely on you financially are covered in the event of your passing.
How Life Insurance Helps
The high cost of a funeral service can be a major burden to ill-prepared families.
Buying life insurance that accounts for funeral costs, burial fees, and other final expenses will give you peace of mind and save your family a headache in their most trying times.
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 between burial or cremation, select the casket and grave marker you prefer, and figure out the details of the funeral service.
At the very least, it is wise to purchase life insurance which completely pays for your funeral costs at some point in the future.
Some life insurance policies include a specific death benefit, the predetermined amount that goes directly to final expenses, such as funeral and burial costs.
Other life insurance policies which aren’t designed specifically for 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, and the factor which varies the most widely is the speed at which they are paid out.
Some life insurance companies payout in a lump sum, while others payout as a stream of income.
That’s why it’s essential to research several life insurance companies before making a final decision.
How to Get the Best Life Insurance for Final Expenses
Finding the best life insurance to help cover funeral costs looks the same as finding the best life insurance for any other set of priorities.
You need to start the process by doing your homework. Read reviews of life insurance companies that interest you and take a few moments to get quotes.
Doing so will help you to get an idea of the best rates you’re eligible for and choose the right company.
You should also look at the financial stability ratings, such as those from A.M. Best, for each life insurance company that interests you.
These ratings help you to gauge 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 adequately covers funeral costs ensures your family won’t have to worry about paying for a funeral on their own once you pass away.