Average funeral costs can range from $5,500 to $12,000 and will depend on your region, options included with your funeral, and whether you’re choosing burial or cremation.
There is no limit to how much you can spend on a funeral, and funeral homes will offer a wide range of services and products to include in the funeral, and outside companies can also offer a range of options that skyrocket funeral costs.
During a time of grieving, it’s important not to overspend and regret the costs later, and that’s likely not what your loved one would have wanted.
Keep reviewing this article so you can understand the average funeral cost and what funeral options can increase the prices that you should be watching out for.
What Does The Average Funeral With Burial Cost?
The average funeral with burial costs around $9,245; there are many ways to decrease and increase this cost based on the features you choose, including what kind of casket you pick, as the prices can vary wildly.
On top of the actual funeral cost, you would need to purchase a burial site and other added features like flowers, transportation, and anything else above a standard funeral.
Many costs are specific to funerals with burial, and you see the price double depending on your burial site, tombstone, and other costs associated with the burial.
What Does The Average Funeral With Cremation Cost?
The average funeral with cremation costs around $7,000. If you opt-out of most funeral costs, a simple cremation can cost between $1,000 and $3,000, while adding all of the standard options to a funeral with cremation can cost between $6,000 and $8,000.
Cremation offers many cost savings, including no burial site and no large coffin to purchase; there are also no ongoing costs after the funeral and cremation.
Average Funeral Cost Per Region
Average funeral costs in each region of the US differ slightly and certainly don’t take into account any specific funeral homes being used or added services included in a funeral.
Listed below is a general idea of the average funeral cost in each region of the US.
|Region||Average Cost of Funeral With Burial||Average Cost of Funeral With Cremation|
CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT
NJ, NY, PA
DE, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, WV, VA
|East South Central|
AL, KY, MS, TN
|West South Central|
AR, LA, OK, TX
|East North Central|
IL, IN, MI, OH, WI
|West North Central|
IA, MN, KS, MO, ND, SD, NE
AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY
AK, CA, HI, OR, WA
What Is The Price Breakdown For A Funeral?
Funerals have standard options that are part of or offered through a funeral home which I’ve listed below. If you opt for higher-priced options such as the casket, prices go much higher.
Funeral homes should be able to provide an itemized bill or estimate so you can review where all of the costs are and if there is anything being included that seems out of place or unneeded.
|Basic Service Fee||$2,300|
|Transport to/from the funeral home for remains||$350|
|Preparation of Body||$275|
|Memorial Package for Guests||$183|
What Can Impact The Cost Of A Funeral?
Funeral costs have various options that can be added, removed, or modified to cost more or less depending on what you want and what the funeral home is offering to you.
There are also costs that aren’t included in the funeral that need to be accounted for, such as the burial site and headstone, which start to increase the overall cost.
Funeral homes have a set minimum price that they will charge, which provides the bare minimum services, and this fee can’t be excluded, but it can be slightly different between each funeral home.
This fee would be around $2,000 – $2,500, and what’s included should be fairly standard across most funeral homes.
This fee should include getting the death certificate registered, storing the remains safely and securely, and organizing the funeral that you have opted for.
This is primarily an administrative fee and won’t cover a basic funeral, so additional costs must be added on top.
Any funeral home will provide an idea of the costs of their services, including this fee. If they’re unwilling to break down costs, then something may be wrong, and you should check other funeral homes for costs.
Cremation vs. Burial
Cremation provides a way to cut down on many costs for the funeral, burial, and even ongoing costs with a cemetery. An extremely basic cremation can cost as little as $1,000 – $3,000, but a cremation funeral can still become expensive due to all the added features that are offered.
Comparing a cremation with burial with all the same funeral costs will always have the cremation costing less as you don’t need as many products or as expensive, and there are no ongoing costs once you’ve received your urn.
When considering things like caskets, headstones, and the other costs of a burial, there are thousands of dollars in savings when deciding on a cremation.
Costs for embalming can be between $500 – $1,000 but may not be required in your state or for the type of funeral you’re having. Embalming is only to preserve the body until the burial or cremation, so it becomes an optional expense if there is minimal time needed to preserve the body.
You also have alternatives such as refrigeration, but that has cost as well, so you’ll need to determine how long there is until burial or cremation to see if embalming is needed or if refrigeration is cheaper for a few days.
Flowers and Wreaths
Flowers and wreaths are common during the viewing and funeral ceremony. Costs for flowers average around $500 – $1,000 but can certainly go higher depending on the florist or if the funeral home provides them.
Wreaths cost about $100 – $200 each or could be as much as $700+ if you have a larger wreath on display of a large casket.
Neither flowers nor wreaths are required for a funeral, and it may depend on the people coming or even the deceased. I know my mother would love flowers, and my father either wouldn’t care or may actually prefer not to have them.
A burial site can be a significant expense on top of your funeral costs; this cost is not part of the average costs of a funeral listed above. Costs become must higher in large cities with limited space. Some of the costs you’ll be facing with a burial site are:
- Burial site – $350 – $5,000+
- Open and close burial site – $1,000 – $3,000+
- Yearly maintenance fee – $150 – $350
Looking at my own major city, the cost of a burial site starts at $5,000 before any of the other fees get added on top.
If the deceased is a veteran or husband/wife/child of a veteran, there are some costs that the VA will cover, and veteran cemeteries can also be much cheaper than private or public cemeteries.
Headstones, gravemarkers, or monuments can add additional costs to burial funerals, and you need to buy something to mark the grave, so some type of cost will be required for this, even if it’s a basic option.
- Upright headstones – $2,000 – $5,000+
- Grace markers – $1,000
- Monuments – $20,000+
The casket is something that can vary in price wildly, an average casket will cost you $2,000 – $5,000, but you can find caskets for $10,000+ depending on the materials used and design.
Caskets may or may not be important to you, but for a burial, something will be required; that doesn’t mean you have to buy the casket from your funeral home. There are many cheaper places to purchase caskets, and even stores like Walmart sell caskets for reasonable prices.
How Do You Save On Funeral Costs?
Understanding everything that goes into a funeral means that you can look for ways to decrease costs, and there’s nothing wrong with trying to save money on a funeral. You want to give somebody a good send-off but don’t want to incur long-term debt.
- Check multiple funeral homes so you can compare prices and services offered.
- Many items used during the funeral can be purchased independently and provided to the funeral home for use, such as the casket used, which can save thousands of dollars. You can even hire your own makeup artist, especially for woman that loved to be made up.
- If the time between death and burial/cremation is short, you can decline embalming, which is only required for preserving the body until burial or cremation.
- Funeral homes offer visitation and memorial services for a fee; you can save a lot if you decline these or have the visitation and memorial services at your home.
Ultimately it’s a tough time; just remember that you don’t need to accept every service or product that a funeral home offers, and if you do like the idea but not the price of something, you can find alternatives.
Does Insurance Cover Funerals?
Standard insurance can cover funeral-related expenses; often, this is via a death and disability portion of your insurance or dedicated life insurance that will provide overall insurance in the event of death and can be used towards the funeral costs.
Life insurance may also have dedicated final expense insurance, which can be faster to receive so that it can be used for the funeral and other related expenses. This is a more common option for older people that want to ensure nobody is put out due to the funeral costs.
Check with other family members or even the deceased workplace to determine what insurance, if any, is available to assist. Many companies will provide insurance as part of a comprehensive benefits package.
Some insurance may also cover the cost of returning the remains to a different country if the deceased has been traveling. It would be determined based on where the deceased lived, not necessarily where they want to be buried.
The US federal government may provide $255 towards funeral costs, but you need to qualify, and this doesn’t cover a lot in the way of funeral costs. The lump-sum payment is provided through social security, and there may be additional benefits that can be requested.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions on Funeral Costs
You may have some lingering questions around funeral costs which I’ll try to answer below so that you have everything you need and a full understanding of the average cost of funerals and what can increase or decrease those costs.
Are Funerals Tax Deductible?
Most standard funerals are not tax-deductible. An estate may be able to deduct some of the costs, but that requires a tax professional to review and advise on.
What Is The Average Price Of A Baby or Child’s Funeral?
There is no change in cost based on the age or size of the deceased; the average cost remains the same. Casket costs may be slightly cheaper when comparing the same items, but smaller caskets can still cost a lot depending on material and design.
Who Is Responsible For Funeral Costs?
The executor of a will or estate is responsible for arranging and paying for a funeral often these costs come out of the estate or money set aside within the will.
Without an executor, the responsibility falls to the next of kin, which is the deceased closest blood relative. If nobody is able to pay for the funeral, then the deceased can be signed over to the coroner’s office, who will make arrangements.
Benjamin is a certified financial advisor, with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He is knowledgeable about various business and financial topics, such as retirement planning and investment management. Ben has been recognized for his work in the financial planning industry. He has also been featured in various publications.