Traditional Funeral Costs

A brief look at a traditional funeral

The Federal Trade Commission states that, "a traditional funeral, including a casket and vault, costs about $6000. Extras like flowers, obituary notices, acknowledgment cards or limousines can add thousands of dollars to the bottom line." Often, this is even a conservative estimate. This type of expense is not really necessary, and it's important to realize that there's no correlation between the amount you spend on a funeral and your relationship to the deceased.

You can save a lot of money on a funeral by shopping around and taking the time to know your options. Sometimes it's best to enlist someone who's not closely attached to the deceased in order to have a clear and objective opinion available to you. There are a number of ways to plan low cost funerals, particularly if you choose an untraditional or personalized funeral ; they tend to cost way less than a traditional ceremony.

Although the idea of 'traditional' is quite relative - culturally and even regionally, within the United States - many of these funeral services cost well over $10000 alone, with burial costs still to be added to that figure.

The following is one example of costs for a traditional funeral, coming in at a total of $7795:

Professional and Administrative Services ($1800)

These might include:

  1. Visitation, including the required presence of funeral staff

  2. Embalming (this isn't technically necessary, but certainly makes the funeral much more pleasant) 

Facilities and Equipment ($1000)

This might include use of the:

  1. Preparation room

  2. Visitation room

  3. Reception room or chapel, etc.

Transportation ($500)

This might include:

  1. Several trips and several automobiles

  2. Transfer from the place of death

  3. Funeral limousine

  4. Funeral cars for the family

Merchandise ($2545)

There are many choices available when it comes to these items:

  1. Caskets

  2. Burial containers (vaults)

  3. Temporary grave markers

Other cash payments ($1950)

These include extra costs for many items, such as:

  1. Flowers

  2. Grave site or cemetery plot

  3. Obituary

  4. Death certificates

  5. Honorariums

  6. Headstone or permanent grave marker

These figures can vary widely from one funeral to the next, and this is only an example of what some people will pay. The value of shopping around can't be stressed enough! A search online can educate you about the wide variety of fees and charges involved in funerals.

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