How Much Does A Funeral Cost?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

When someone dies, their loved ones often face the daunting task of arranging a funeral. This can be expensive, but there are a few ways to pay for it. This guide will explore how much funerals cost and payment methods. We will also provide tips for making the process easier for loved ones. Read on for more information.

What’s The Average Cost Of A Funeral?

Funerals may cost your loved ones as much as $10,000. However, with the appropriate precautions, your loved ones can enjoy your life while minimizing financial risk.

Funerals may be an emotional and vital occasion in life, but they may also place a financial strain on those in charge of planning and arrangements. The ideal way to prevent your loved ones from financially struggling after your death is to have a thorough strategy before you die.

You may accomplish this by setting up a life insurance policy for them to pay funeral costs and using a will and testament to designate how you’d want your funeral to be done. Creating a thorough action plan can help your loved ones avoid financial hardship.

In the United States, there is an average of 2.4 million funerals each year, with the deceased’s loved ones spending anything from $8,000 to $10,000 on them. Burial is…costly. And it gets more expensive over time. Funeral costs have risen by a staggering 227.1% in the last 30 years.

Who Pays For A Funeral?

The funeral cost is typically paid by the deceased person’s family or estate, although in some cases, it may be covered by insurance or other financial resources.

These resources might cover the funeral cost if the deceased had a prepaid funeral plan or life insurance policy with a funeral benefit rider. In addition, some states have programs that provide financial assistance to low-income individuals to help cover the funeral cost.

If the deceased did not have a prepaid funeral plan or life insurance policy with a funeral benefit rider, and if there are no other financial resources available, the funeral cost may need to be paid out of the deceased person’s estate or by the family members.

If the deceased person did not leave a will and did not have any assets or savings, the cost of the funeral may need to be paid for by the local government or a charitable organization.

It is important to remember that the cost of a funeral can vary significantly depending on the type of funeral services and burial or cremation options chosen. To help manage the cost of a funeral, it can be helpful to shop around and compare prices from different funeral homes and to consider choosing less expensive options. It may also be helpful to discuss your funeral plans and financial resources with your family to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled and to help avoid any financial burden on your loved ones.

The Median Cost Of Funerals

The graph below displays the median funeral costs in 2021 according to the National Directors Funeral Association:

Basic services fee$2,500
Funeral home fees$1,500
Embalming and body preparation$750
Funeral ceremony$925

Medical Bills After Death

This does not include end-of-life expenses such as final medical bills that might have to be paid by your loved ones after you pass away.

Cost Of Funerals And Final Expenses By State

The expense of dying will differ depending on where you reside, much like the cost of living. The table below may give you a sense of what average funeral expenses will be in your state. You’ll see that a burial can cost more than usual in states with high living costs, such as New York and California.

STATEFuneral CostFinal ExpensesTotal Cost
New Hampshire$8,516$15,066$23,582
New Jersey$9,712$17,181$26,892
New Mexico$6,793$12,017$18,810
New York$10,799$19,103$29,902
North Carolina$7,367$13,033$20,400
North Dakota$7,670$13,569$21,239
Rhode Island$9,269$16,398$25,667
South Carolina$7,445$13,170$20,615
South Dakota$7,748$13,706$21,454
West Virginia$7,072$12,511$19,584

Planning For A Funeral

Nobody wants to think about dying, but planning for the people they leave behind is vital. Risk to their financial stability would only add to the agony of your family if you’re already dealing with a loss.

You can safeguard your loved ones from the financial strain of a funeral if you prepare ahead of time. There are two essential methods to prepare your loved ones for your death.

  1. Make sure they’re financially prepared for the expense of your death
  2. Make a list of your desires with your financial planner, or write them down in a will and testament.

How To Prepare Financially For Funeral And Beyond

The easiest way to prevent them from dipping into their savings or getting into debt to arrange their funeral is to purchase a life insurance policy.

Although funeral costs are usually expensive, several other associated expenses connected with death must be considered, such as end-of-life care and regular charges and expenditures you paid.

Your family will be able to finance your funeral and other expenses if you have the appropriate coverage, allowing them to concentrate on honoring your legacy. In addition, life insurance pays out a death benefit to your designated beneficiaries when you pass away, which they can do with as much or as little as they want.

Planning Your Funeral

Your family will need to take action after you pass away. The whole family is going through a difficult period when a loved one dies. Planning a funeral on top of this may be overwhelming.

A funeral is similar to a wedding in that it needs to be planned meticulously. Every little detail will need to be handled, from selecting your coffin to arranging the food and flowers for your memorial service. The distinction is that most people spend months planning their weddings, but funerals must be planned in only a few weeks and are exacerbated by grief.

By writing down your instructions, you may make it less stressful for your loved ones. For example, you might choose cremation or a green burial instead of a conventional funeral. If you don’t inform your family about these desires, they will never find out.

You can also leave instructions regarding your burial in your will and testament or written directives with someone who oversees your affairs, such as a financial advisor or lawyer.

Types Of Life Insurance For Funerals

Several life insurance options help you safeguard your loved ones from financial hardship if you pass away. Each pays out a death benefit, but how they function and their coverage vary considerably.

Term life insurance

The most popular form of life insurance is a term life policy. It generally ranges between ten to thirty years and is the most cost-effective option. Because a term life policy is the most affordable, it’s an excellent choice to get the most coverage for your money.

Although a term life insurance policy is typically the best option for most individuals, it does have an expiration date. So if you want to use term life insurance to pay for your funeral expenses, be sure you don’t lose your coverage by converting your term to a permanent life insurance policy or purchasing a new life insurance plan.

Whole life insurance

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance. It lasts the rest of your life, but it is five to fifteen times more expensive than term life insurance.

Final expense life insurance

If you’re closer to retirement and don’t have to worry about daily expenditures for your family, final expense insurance can be an intelligent alternative. It’s typically more expensive than term life insurance, but it doesn’t need a medical test and is a guaranteed issue, so long as you can make the premiums and aren’t terminally ill.

The final expense plans, also known as Burial Insurance, have a relatively low death benefit, but they’re enough if all you want is funeral costs (and perhaps last medical expenditures). It’s somewhat more expensive than term life insurance, but it ensures that your loved ones are looked after if you can’t get a standard life insurance policy.

Estate Planning And Probate

Understanding that a will isn’t a guarantee against financial strain is critical. So if you’re counting on leaving your estate and assets to your beneficiaries so they may financially support your loved ones and pay for the funeral, it’s vital to note that this plan isn’t foolproof.

When you pass away, your property is subject to probate, which ensures that your assets go to the people you specified in your will and testament, examines where you may owe debts, and ensures that any creditors you owe get paid.

Because your dependents may not receive as much as you intended if the payment is paid to creditors before they get anything from your estate, they might not receive enough to pay for a funeral or have to make difficult financial decisions regarding funeral costs. They could end up having no money to pay for your burial.

Is A Life Insurance Policy An Asset?

Creditors cannot take a life insurance policy, which is not subject to the probate procedure. The individuals may only receive the payout on the policy you designate in it — making it an excellent method to provide financial aid to your loved ones in the event of your death.

Finally, your executor doesn’t distribute your estate and assets as rapidly as the life insurance death benefit because of the probate system.

Buy Burial Insurance

Why waste time worrying about funeral expenses when you can have them taken care of in minutes?

Next Steps

We hope this guide has been helpful and provided some useful information about the cost of funerals and payment methods. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a quote.

How Much Does A Funeral Cost And How To Pay For Burial And Funeral Expenses.

Need Help Getting Life Insurance Coverage?

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

Life Insurance Inquiry

Frequently Asked Questions

Is funeral expenses tax deductible?

No, funeral expenses are not tax deductible.

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

I’m a licensed financial professional focusing on annuities and insurance for more than a decade. My former role was training financial advisors, including for a Fortune Global 500 insurance company. I’ve been featured in Time Magazine, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, and Women’s Health Magazine.

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

Scroll to Top