The funeral industry has long been considered to be one of the most profitable industries in the United States, and perhaps the world. Funeral expenses can easily total over $10,000 or more in some cases, with $7,200 being the average for all funerals. But how much of this cost does the family really have to pay? If you’re struggling with funeral costs, don’t feel alone. There are resources out there that can help you save money on burial costs without sacrificing your loved one’s funeral experience or quality of service.
What are your burial options?
There are many burial options and combinations to choose from, but the basic idea is that you need two different items in order to bury a body. One of them is the casket, which will either be wood or metal. The other item is the grave plot in which the casket is buried. These items can be purchased together as a set from your funeral director, separately from each other from different companies, or even pre-arranged by buying a gravesite for someone before they die.
Of course not all options work for everyone, and it’s worth it to think about what would work best for you and your family when considering what type of burial package you want.
What are casket costs and what is included?
Caskets cost between $400 and $2,000, depending on the type of casket. You can get a simple pine box with no decorative features for less than $400. Caskets are priced based on the quality of materials and construction.
What are burial plots costs and what is included?: The cost of a burial plot is calculated by measuring how much space will be needed for your loved one. This means that you can purchase a cheaper plot now that you are trying to cut some expenses.
What about cremation?
Another option for those looking to save money is cremation. In recent years, cremation has seen a rise in popularity among the American public due to its affordability and perceived ecological benefits. Currently, a cremated body will cost anywhere from $675-$2,000 depending on the number of people who choose that form of disposition. In comparison, standard burial costs between $7,500-$10,000 according to U.S. Census Bureau data (2015). And there are other savings options if you want something more modest- while a traditional casket can run upwards of $3,500 dollars, urns can range from $1,000-$5,000- though not without limitations.
What you should know before buying a plot.
Paying for a plot before passing away can help save money because the ground rental fee and caretaker fees don’t apply if someone owns the plot instead of renting it from the cemetery. In some states, owning a plot will also give you priority over renting one in the future, which is important when demand exceeds supply and prices go up as more people want plots in certain locations. Some cemeteries offer headstones or other grave markers at discounted rates for plot owners.
Choosing a funeral home. Do your homework first.
Choosing a funeral home can be a tough process. Trust me, I know. We all want to do what’s best for our loved ones, but paying thousands of dollars when we’re already in a vulnerable position can really put us under more stress than necessary. So here are some tips for picking a funeral home that will meet your needs and not break the bank at the same time.
First and foremost, talk with your family and loved ones about their preferences first. Then come up with your own list of things you think might be important before you even start looking into prices. For example, do you want the ceremony to be religious or secular? Or do you want urns or caskets?
Once you have your list, search online for local funeral homes and cemeteries. Then narrow down your list based on their proximity, their ratings (you can usually find them through multiple websites), and what they offer. If there are still too many options, try calling them directly—most funeral homes will answer any questions you have over the phone.
Finding out what you really need for your memorial service
This is a personal decision, but
* Open casket funerals are more expensive than closed caskets and generally more attractive. Open casket funerals allow mourners to see the deceased and share in the feeling of their grief. Closed casket funerals involve embalming and therefore do not have an open casket option.
* More people may be interested in attending a funeral service with an open casket than one with a closed coffin.
* Funeral services that include food and drinks may be more expensive than those that do not. Foods and drinks can be provided in lieu of flowers, which will lower your total funeral expenses.
* Consider your cultural beliefs and practices when deciding what will be most important for your funeral service. For example, a Hindu or Buddhist funeral may include religious rituals that are different from those of Christian service. These details should be discussed with a funeral director well in advance of your final arrangements so that everything is taken care of according to your wishes and desires.
* Most cemeteries require embalming, so be sure to confirm whether or not you want your loved one embalmed.
* For cremation, there is a requirement for an urn. You can either purchase an urn or rent one from your funeral home. A casket is not required for cremation services. However, if you want a ceremony before or after the cremation, it will be more expensive than having no ceremony. In addition, there may be a charge for transporting your loved one’s body via a hearse.