Dying is not free! However quite a number of people won’t count funeral costs as one of their considerations. That is why there are so many people who do not have a life insurance policy that will cover their funeral costs. If you have never taken your time to calculate what goes into planning an average funeral, then you may never understand the burden left behind for your family when you are gone. It is simply a senior life insurance policy that can help your family in covering such expenses.
Understanding how much an average funeral cost is crucial to everybody after all. Whether you are the funeral planner or simply planning for yourself when you will be gone, it is necessary to know exactly what goes into a funeral plan. Most people honestly don’t have an idea of exactly what charges and expenses they should expect. Some end up spending huge amounts on extra services that they may not want in the first place. Here is the breakdown of all the things that need to be paid for in a funeral;
- Basic legal formalities
All formalities required by law need to be respected including all the arrangements like holding of remains and the resting place. Funeral announcements on paper or any form of media too will have to eat into your pockets. All these formalities combined would cost thousands f dollars
- Transfer of remains
The remains need to be picked from wherever they are and transported to the funeral home and that will cost a few hundreds of dollars
- Services offered by a funeral home
Thinking of body remains is actually one of the last things many of us think about but the truth is when the time comes, we will all be running up and down to find every possible means to get everything running smoothly. If you have never been to a funeral home, then understand from now that even the remains have status! The costs will tend to vary based on the type of service offered. The way you want your remains to be taken care of comes with a cost and that will vary with the status of your choice.
- Embalming and body preparation
This is a common service that is provided mostly by the funeral home service providers. It comes at a cost that sums up to hundreds of dollars. Embalming is only avoidable if the remains are transported across state line. Hairdressing and cosmetics are also added to this category thus increasing the cost to roughly a thousand dollars.
This a real cost you cannot avoid in a funeral. Depending with the material used in making the casket and the dealer you buy from, the casket will cost from a thousand dollars upwards.
- Funeral viewing and ceremony
This one depends on the location you choose to hold the ceremony. For instance if body viewing and ceremony are held in the funeral home chapel, you will have to pay roughly a thousand dollars to help in running the ceremony to the
- Professional service fee
This is the fee payable to the funeral provider’s time who is usually an expert. This can also roll up to thousands of cash paid up front.
- Funeral transportation
Transportation of the body to the cemetery also comes with extra charges like hiring the driver and car/van. This may cost hundreds of dollars
- Memorial printed package
Every funeral needs this. Printed programs and guest book all will come at a cost. Other minor expenses in this category will include flowers, newspaper obituary fee, copies of death certificate. All these summed up will roughly come to thousands of dollars
- Plot for mausoleum fee
If you prefer for the cemetery, then the plot has to be paid for, service hired in opening and closing of the grave, grave liner hired to help in dropping the remains into the grave and the gravestone; all these added up will cost thousands of dollars
From quick calculations of the above breakdown, a funeral will cost roughly 10,000 dollars. This is however not a standard cost as the final overall cost depends on a number of factors such as the status of the deceased, his/her wishes and type of funeral organized.
Managing funeral costs
From the above information, it is true that a funeral can be quite expensive depending with the planners and organizers. A lavish high profile funeral will always demand more money compared to a simple cremation funeral. If indeed you wish to keep the costs down then the following strategies will help.
- Opt for cremation– this will avoid several costs incurred in burying the remains. It is quick and cheap. Cremation funeral are known to cost about a few thousands of dollars.
- Buying cheaper coffin– usually there are many options that differ in costs. Always find one that can’t strain the budget available
- Reduce formalities– some people prefer to have maximized formalities which come at a cost. Going for the common green funerals these days would cut down the costs
- Involving family and friends in planning the funeral- this basically helps in case they agree to contribute towards the send off. Flowers need not be bought but rather arranged by family and friends
A meaningful funeral should be affordable
When asked what a meaningful funeral should cost, I just say it should not be costly. What many people don’t realize is the fact that a proper send off isn’t all about the lavish catering, expensive classy coffins or large gatherings. Modest small gatherings of family and friends with proper planning can be a memorable send off as well. However, depending on the deceased’s mean and wishes, if there is enough money, give the deceased hi/her wish.
Managing the funeral costs when you are alive
Funeral costs often tend to be a big burden once you are gone. There are quite many prepaid funeral plans available these days called funeral insurance or senior life insurance. You can register now and have yourself a perfect send-off of your choice. Involving a funeral director will come in handy to help put everything into perspective regarding all the necessary costs that will be incurred in a funeral.