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Funeral Expenses 101

Has your family planned adequately for funeral expenses? While you may have some savings put aside in the event of an emergency, there may be some expenses you didn’t consider. Funerals in America are increasingly expensive, between the costs of embalming and caskets or cremation and an urn. Here’s some of the funeral costs you should keep in mind when you’re pre-planning a funeral.

Funeral Costs Explained

The average adult funeral with burial in 2017 costs $8,755 according to the National Funeral Directors Association. That may seem like a big number, and it can be surprising to many families, but there are many expenses that go into it. For starters, every funeral home has a set fee for services that is necessary to keep their lights on, building and grounds maintained, and cost for funeral directors and other staff members that are often available to families 24/7. Other expenses include:

  • Transporting your loved one to the funeral home
  • Processing of legal documents
  • Embalming
  • Cosmetics and dressing
  • Casket
  • Honorarium for officiant
  • Visitation and Funeral Service
  • Death Certificate for the State

What may not be accounted for in the average total are often tied to your loved one’s final resting place. These could include:

  • Final resting place: grave plot, mausoleum crypt, or columbarium niche
  • Opening and closing the grave
  • Grave markers or headstones
  • Additional Death Certificates

When you add in these items your final cost for a traditional funeral with burial may be closer to $10,000 – $15,000, or more. Costs may vary greatly depending on the selected casket, type of final resting place and the location, and additional services requested.

Additional Considerations: Cremation

Cremations tend to be significantly less expensive than a ground burial. Demanding less materials and space, urns and final resting places have a lower starting price point. Having a cremation does not limit your service options, despite popular myths. Most funeral homes have the option to rent a casket for a visitation or traditional service with your loved one present. A benefit may also be having the option of a memorial service, any service where the body in a casket is not present, at a later date or at a residential location.

Advance Planning

Fortunately, there are ways to plan in advance for this expense. When you work with a trusted funeral home partner, you may pre-select items and create a comprehensive plan. Your plan can include everything needed for your final celebration of life. All this, without the added stress placed on your family having to make decisions in the moment. There are also options such as funeral insurance that allow you to pre-pay part or all of your end-of-life expenses to remove the burden from family during their time of need. One of the greatest advantages of pre-planning and starting to pre-pay, as far as saving money, is that you are locking into a set price for services. Inflation and other changes to the prices of goods and services will not affect what you have on your pre-planned contract.

Funeral expenses can be overwhelming so soon after the loss of a loved one, but it doesn’t have to be. Our San Tan Mountain View Funeral Home and Advanced Planning staff is always available to provide you with the details you need to make the right decisions. Contact us today at 480-888-2682 or via email to wecaresantan@mvfuneralhome.com.

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