How Much Does A Funeral Cost?

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Average Cost of a Funeral

The average cost of a funeral varies significantly based on location, services, and personal preferences. On average, a traditional funeral, including a casket and burial, can range from $7,000 to $12,000. This includes expenses such as the funeral home service, burial plot, headstone, and other associated costs.

Cremation, which is increasingly popular, tends to be less expensive, averaging between $3,000 and $7,000. This includes the cremation process, urn, and potentially a smaller memorial service.

How Much Does A Funeral Cost

Factors Influencing Funeral Costs

  1. Service Type: Traditional burial services are typically more expensive than cremation due to the cost of the casket and burial plot.
  2. Location: Costs can vary widely depending on the state or city.
  3. Funeral Home: Different funeral homes have varying price ranges for their services.
  4. Additional Services: Things like flowers, obituaries, transportation, and memorial services can add to the overall cost.

The Median Cost Of Funerals

The table 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

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

Funeral Insurance as a Solution

Funeral insurance, also known as burial insurance, can help cover these expenses. This insurance is designed to provide a payout upon the policyholder’s death to cover funeral-related costs. It can ease the financial burden on families during a difficult time.

How Much Is A Graveside Funeral


Understanding funeral costs is crucial for planning and ensuring that the financial burden does not fall on loved ones. Funeral or burial insurance can provide peace of mind and financial security. For more detailed information and options, visit The Insurance Marketplace.

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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.

*Disclosure: Some of the links in this guide may be affiliate links. I may receive a commission at no cost if you purchase a policy. It helps us keep the lights on!

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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