How Much Does A Funeral Cost? How Do I Pay For It?

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Breaking Down Funeral Costs

Funeral expenses can be substantial, often ranging from $7,000 to $12,000 for traditional burials and $4,000 to $8,000 for cremations. Understanding the breakdown of these costs is crucial for effective financial planning.

Key Components of Funeral Expenses

  1. Basic Services Fee: This includes funeral home services such as planning, permits, and death certificate processing, averaging around $2,500.
  2. Casket: A significant expense, caskets can cost approximately $2,500, though prices vary based on materials and design.
  3. Funeral Home Fees: These fees, covering the use of the facility and staff, generally total around $550.
  4. Embalming and Body Preparation: Necessary for open-casket services, these procedures cost about $850.
  5. Funeral Ceremony: Conducting the funeral service typically costs around $925.
  6. Transportation: This includes transporting the deceased to the funeral home and cemetery, costing about $500.

Regional Variations

Funeral costs vary widely depending on the state. For instance, the average cost in the following states:

  • California: $10,727
  • Hawaii: $15,203
  • New York: $10,355
  • Florida: $7,667
How Much Does A Funeral Cost

Payment Options for Funerals

Paying for a funeral can be challenging, but several options can help manage these costs.

Life Insurance

Life insurance policies provide a death benefit that can be used to cover funeral expenses, easing the financial burden on loved ones.

Funeral Insurance

Also known as burial insurance, these policies are specifically designed to cover funeral costs, providing peace of mind.


Setting aside funds in a dedicated savings account ensures that funeral costs are covered without affecting other financial goals.

Prepaid Funeral Plans

Prepaying for funeral services locks in current prices and relieves family members from financial and decision-making burdens.

Government Assistance

Programs such as Social Security or Veterans Affairs may offer benefits to help cover funeral costs for eligible individuals.


Platforms like GoFundMe allow friends, family, and the community to contribute towards funeral expenses, providing significant support during difficult times.

How We Can Help

At The Annuity Expert, we understand that planning for funeral costs can be overwhelming and emotionally draining. Our mission is to provide you with the best solutions at the lowest costs, ensuring that you and your loved ones are financially secure.

With over 15 years of experience as an insurance agency, annuity broker, and retirement planner, we are well-equipped to guide you through the options available for covering funeral expenses. We believe in transparency, affordability, and personalized service to meet your unique needs.

We recognize the core problem: funeral expenses can place a significant financial burden on families during a time of grief. The symptoms of this problem include stress, financial strain, and potential debt, all of which can exacerbate the emotional toll of losing a loved one. Our goal is to alleviate these symptoms by providing comprehensive financial planning and insurance solutions tailored to your situation.

How Much Is A Graveside Funeral

What We Recommend

Step 1: Free Consultation

  • What Happens: Schedule a free consultation with one of our experts to discuss your needs and financial situation.
  • Main Benefit: Gain a clear understanding of your options and receive personalized advice.

Step 2: Personalized Plan Creation

  • What Happens: Based on your consultation, we will create a tailored plan that includes the best insurance and savings options to cover funeral costs.
  • Main Benefit: Ensure financial security and peace of mind for you and your family.

Step 3: Implementation and Ongoing Support

  • What Happens: We will help you implement the chosen plan and provide ongoing support to adjust it as needed.
  • Main Benefit: Continuous peace of mind knowing that your financial plan is actively managed and optimized.

Features and Benefits

  • Customized Insurance Solutions: Tailored policies that fit your specific needs, ensuring adequate coverage without overpaying.
  • Expert Financial Planning: Professional advice to help you navigate complex financial decisions.
  • Ongoing Support: Continuous assistance to adapt your plan as your needs change.

Addressing Common Objections

  • Cost Concerns: Our personalized plans are designed to be affordable, with various options to fit different budgets.
  • Complexity: We simplify the process, providing clear and straightforward guidance.
  • Trust: With 15 years of experience, we have a proven track record of helping clients achieve financial security.

Consequences of Not Planning

Failing to plan for funeral expenses can lead to significant financial strain, stress, and potential debt for your loved ones. Conversely, working with us ensures that you have a well-thought-out plan, reducing stress and providing financial stability.

By securing your financial future with The Annuity Expert, you’ll experience relief and confidence, knowing that your loved ones are protected during difficult times.

Contact us today for free advice or a free quote.

Need Help Getting Life Insurance Coverage?

Contact us if you need help applying for a life insurance policy. The service is free of charge.

Life Insurance Inquiry

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of a funeral can vary widely depending on location, services, and choices made for the ceremony and burial. On average, in the United States, a traditional funeral with a viewing and burial can cost between $7,000 and $12,000. This includes fees for the funeral home, burial in a cemetery, and the headstone. Cremation can be a less expensive option, typically ranging from $2,000 to $4,000, depending on the services and urn selection. Prices can vary significantly by region and provider.

Are funeral and cremation expenses tax deductible?

Funeral and cremation expenses are generally not tax deductible for individual taxpayers. However, there are specific cases where funeral expenses might be deductible for estates or under certain circumstances related to the deceased’s income or estate administration. It’s advisable to consult IRS guidelines or a tax professional for detailed advice.

How Much Is It To Bury Someone?

The cost of burying someone can vary widely depending on several factors, including the type of funeral service, the location, and the type of burial. On average, a traditional funeral with a burial can cost anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000 or more. This includes funeral services, a casket, a burial plot or mausoleum space, a headstone or grave marker, and other expenses.

Is $10,000 enough for a funeral?

Is $10,000 sufficient to cover funeral costs? Financial specialists usually advise setting aside more than this figure; many final expense life insurance policies provide an even higher benefit of up to $10,000. When budgeting for your loved one’s funeral expenses, it is wise to aim for at least that amount as the starting point.

What if nobody wants to pay for a funeral?

The county usually has several options to help with burial or cremation costs. However, suppose your family does not have any money for this. In that case, they will still be able to receive assistance from the local government, which would cover all appropriate arrangements and disposal of the body through modern cremation techniques.

Why do funerals cost so much money?

It’s because it takes around-the-clock labor and ample facilities, such as viewing rooms, chapels, limousines, hearses, and more. Therefore, when calculating the cost of funerals, one must not forget to include: retrieving your loved one from where they passed away, embalming & any applicable esthetic treatments, and transportation via a hearse or private automobile.

What is the etiquette for funeral money?

Funeral money is not traditionally given as a gift, though sometimes it would be appropriate to make an exception. For example, if the deceased’s family is left in dire financial straits, friends and family could work together to contribute funds for assistance.

Is it normal to pay for your funeral?

Pre-paying is an option that many people are turning to alleviate the financial and emotional burden of making decisions on their behalf after they pass away. This way, loved ones can focus on grieving without worrying about the costs of memorializing them.

What is the cheapest way to hold a funeral?

Cremation is often the least expensive option if you’re looking to keep funeral costs down. However, certain aspects such as flowers, venue hire, catering for the wake, and paying for a burial plot will still incur an additional cost. Nevertheless, there are several reasons why cremation can be cheaper; it eliminates steps like embalming or dressing the body, and families do not need to view the deceased in person if they choose not to.

How much is a graveside funeral

A graveside funeral costs vary based on several factors, including location, funeral home fees, casket/urn choice, and burial plot expenses. It can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

Does Medicare or Medicaid pay for funeral costs?

Neither Medicare nor Medicaid directly covers funeral costs. Medicare, primarily health insurance for people 65 and older, does not cover funeral expenses.

Does life insurance cover the cost of a funeral?

Yes. With traditional life insurance, the beneficiaries are paid out and can use the money at their discretion, including the funeral cost. Funeral or burial insurance is designed to cover the cost directly. Oftentimes, the money is paid out directly to the funeral home.

Are prepaid funeral expenses a good idea?

Prepaid funeral expenses can provide peace of mind and relieve loved ones’ financial burdens. However, potential drawbacks include a lack of flexibility if plans change and risks if the funeral provider goes out of business. Evaluate options carefully and consider consulting with a trusted advisor.

Does Social Security pay for funerals?

Social Security provides a one-time death benefit of $255, available to a surviving spouse or eligible child. Although helpful, this amount is far from sufficient to cover the full cost of a funeral. The average funeral can cost thousands of dollars, leaving a significant financial gap for families to fill.

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Shawn Plummer is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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