Funeral expenses can add up quickly — especially if you’re not prepared.
Planning for your funeral can help alleviate some of the financial burdens at a time when you and your loved ones are already having to deal with so much. By understanding the average costs of funerals and taking some simple steps to prepare, you can ensure that your family isn’t left with an unexpected bill they can’t afford.
If you live in Florida, it’s crucial to know how much a funeral might set you back so you can plan accordingly. First of all, the average funeral cost can vary depending on the type of chosen funeral service.
- The funeral director’s fee
- The cost of the casket
The average cost nationwide for a traditional funeral is $7,640. The price in Florida is less than the national average. The total comes in around $6,500 for cremation and $7,461 for services and burial.
Planning a funeral doesn’t have to be complicated. By taking the time to think about what you want, you can make the process easier for your loved ones. Below, we will discuss the average cost of cremation and funerals in Florida and some ways you can cover costs by planning ahead.
How much does a funeral cost in Florida?
There is a broad range of things to consider when planning a funeral. For instance, you may need to choose a burial site, pick out a casket, determine where a memorial service will be held, and more.
However, before you can get a clear picture of the cost you’re facing, you must make some basic decisions. For example, getting an itemized list of the cost of various elements would most likely be helpful.
Suppose you want to be buried, for example. In that case, you’d need to know that the average price of a wood casket in Florida runs at $2,984. Of course, that doesn’t factor in the actual burial cost, the burial vault for the casket, or fees for services.
Here are some of the average expenses you can expect to come across for a Florida-based traditional funeral and burial:
- Embalming. In Florida, the embalming fee is a typically necessary consideration, at an average of $725.
- Transportation. The average cost of a hearse to transport the casket to the cemetery is $325 in Florida.
- Gravesite marker. These can broadly range from $399 for a simple, flat headstone to $2,000+ for a bench memorial, and $3,600 for an upright companion headstone.
- Flowers. The immediate family often buys a casket spray or a wreath. These typically cost under $250. The amount is determined by the type of flowers and the size of the display.
- Opening and Closing Costs. The national average is $1,240 for in-ground burials, mausoleum crypt entombment, or mausoleum cremation niche entombment.
- Burial Vault. Most cemeteries demand a burial vault for the casket. A vault is an extra $1,395 nationwide according to the National Funeral Directors Association.
- Private Viewing. The cost of holding a private viewing, which usually takes place at a funeral home, is an average of $200 in Florida.
All of these extra expenses add up. Moreover, the cost of materials other than wood for the casket and burial location in the cemetery may all cost more.
If you’re looking for an option that’s less expensive, cremation cost is much more affordable. You can have a funeral service and choose to bury the ashes in a cemetery or scatter them somewhere special for a much reduced price.
How much does cremation cost in Florida?
How much does it cost to cremate someone? According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the median cost of a funeral with cremation is around $6,971.
How much does it cost to be cremated in Florida? It’s substantially less, with an average price tag of $5,472.
Here’s a brief breakdown of costs:
- Cremation. The average cost for cremation in the state of Florida is $3,407.
- Cremation Urn. The average cost of an urn to hold the cremains (cremated remains) is $275 in Florida. A scattering urn may cost slightly less.
- Additional Costs. Cremation niches vary in price, as well. The average range is $750 – $2,800 if purchased in advance. The cost of using a scattering garden can be as little as $150 or as much as $1,000+.
As you can see, much depends on the options you choose.
Be aware that there is a 48-hour waiting period in Florida before cremation is allowed, and a permit must be signed by the deceased’s next of kin.
Additionally, Florida state law does not require the purchase of a casket for cremation. However, you must use a container made of a rigid material such as reinforced cardboard or plywood.
Who pays for funeral costs?
When it comes to who pays for funeral expenses and who decides where and how the deceased person is to be buried, everything comes down to the law.
According to Florida state law, the deceased person’s written last wishes or will is the first determining factor. If neither is available, then the law stipulates the responsibility lies on family members in the following order:
- Surviving spouse
- An adult child or a majority of your adult children
- Next of kin
With that said, the answer to who pays for a funeral really depends on the family’s preference and budget. Some families choose to set up a crowdfunding page or ask for donations from friends and extended family members to help with funeral expenses.
To prevent family members from having to try and figure out how to cover the rising cost of funerals, it’s better to consider purchasing final expense life insurance.
How to Control Funeral Costs
If you live in Florida, and especially if you have a large family, you can breathe easier knowing that your loved ones will not have to bear the burden of estate or inheritance taxes after you’re gone.
Even so, planning a funeral is the best way to ensure that your loved ones don’t have to bear the burden of unexpected costs. Knowing what things cost will help you make informed decisions about the type of funeral and burial you want and help reduce stress for those left behind.
Remember that the most common funeral costs are the casket, urn, and headstone or marker. All of these can vary in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the materials used and the level of customization.
As already mentioned, other potential costs include:
- Transportation costs for the body
- Embalming or cremation services
- The cost of a funeral service or memorial
- Reception or catering expenses
- Cemetery fees
Today, many people are pre-planning their funerals and end-of-life options, and you may wish to do the same. Doing so can ensure getting the arrangements you want and that you get them at today’s prices and free from inflation.
Planning for the Future
Keep in mind that funerals can vary widely in price depending on your location, the type of service or ceremony you choose, and other factors. The dollar amounts we’ve discussed here are only averages, and your costs could be considerably higher.
By planning ahead, you can help offset these expenses, and it is a thoughtful, responsible thing to do. Funeral insurance can help take the financial burden off of your loved ones in their time of need and allows you to define how you would like to be remembered.
Many insurance companies offer final expense insurance. Policies you may wish to consider include:
- Final Expense Insurance. Like whole life insurance, funeral insurance stays in place until you die. Payments are based on factors like overall health, age, and sex.
Whole Life Insurance. A whole life plan stays in effect from the moment you sign up until you pass away. You will typically pay higher premiums for these kinds of policies.
Term Life Insurance. Depending on considerations like general health, age, and sex, term policies may be less expensive than some other types of life insurance. As you age, it may be more difficult to qualify.
Government Funeral Assistance
In addition to final expense insurance, you should be aware that the federal government provides a one-time Social Security death benefit of $255. This benefit is payable to the spouse or dependent children of the deceased.
There might be additional benefits available if the deceased person was a veteran. Moreover, suppose the income of a resident of Florida meets poverty guidelines. In that event, the Florida Department of Health and Human Services will provide the funds to cover funeral costs.