How Much Are Funeral Expenses?

My apologizes for a lack of new posts recently, there was a recent death in my family and I needed to take some time off to grieve. I also had my first experience planning a funeral.

Even when death is expected, its still a shock. Going to the funeral home to plan a funeral in the midst of the loss is tough to say the least. Finances are on the backburner as it takes everything you have just to make all the arrangements -- who cares what it costs. Its a horrible time to be making major financial decisions.

In retrospect, I can now certainly see the value in making arrangements ahead of time. Kind of morbid, but it allows your family to spend their time grieving rather than overwhelmed with the arrangements.

We planned a simple funeral -- nothing extravagant. However, the expenses add up quick. I always thought $10,000 was a lot to spend on someone who is deceased; but as you’ll see -- it adds up pretty quick.

Funeral Home Expenses


Professional Services

$ 1,075


$ 450

Dressing, Casketing, & Cometizing

$ 250

Visitation Services

$ 475

Funeral Ceremony

$ 425

Transportation of Remains to Funeral Home

$ 195


$ 250

Flower Car

$ 125


$ 1,995

Concrete Vault

$ 800

Catholic Memorial Package

$ 150


$ 730


$ 150


$ 200

Copies of Death Certificate

$ 75

State Filing Fee

$ 1

Newspaper Death Notices (3)

$ 325


$ 7,671



Other Expenses




Cemetary Plot




Estimated Cost

$ 12,671

Luckily, there was already a cemetary plot purchased many years ago and the headstone can be done at a later time. The only other thing outside of the funeral home expenses was a luncheon we arranged for everyone that attended the funeral.

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Comments (14)

You didn't cover cremation as an option.

Condolonces on the Loss. I couldn't agree with you more about what a terrible time to have to make financial decisions (most financial decisions are actually happy ones - buying a house, planning a wedding, going on vacation). Wish it was something that could be completely outsourced.

First of all, my sympathies. From the tone of your post, it seems as if this death was not entirely unexpected, but of course it's still very difficult. I admire your presence of mind to look at the finances of the matter in your usual rational way.

As for the high cost of funerals, you may be interested in this book, which exposes the some of the egregiously predatory practices of the funeral industry.

I'm sorry for your loss, 2mil.

I think 'funeral' ranks right up there with 'wedding' as an industry which is full of opportunistic vultures attemtping to make a quick $ on people's emotions. I suspect the profit margins on a $1,995 casket and a $750 wedding dress are similar.

I am so sorry for your loss (and for your family). Wow, that must have been very hard trying to make those decisions; well put that the time is ideally meant to grieve and remember the one who has left opposed to making choices such as those (e.g. funeral related)....

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Ironically, I, too, have been busy making arrangements to attend a family funeral. I am not involved in the planning of the arrangements, as she lived in Hawaii.

I so think that the funeral home industry is the biggest scam. My uncle died not too long ago and we had to pay $5000...ridiculous.

Saving up for a wedding

My BIL died last week. The costs for his funeral, including cremation and a simple service were $4,500. Another $150 would've gone to the officiant had she not been a friend of the family.

When my MIL died 6 years ago, cremation without service was about $1500.

I am sorry for your loss. I did not know that funeral expenses will be so high.

Condolence to you and your family. I myself was in the same situation last April, and yes I can very much agree with what you said about funeral cost. It adds up so quickly that you don't have enough time to account it immediately. $10,000 is somewhat a safe budget for a funeral, but sometimes we cannot control the expenses being incurred on the whole duration. As mentioned on one of the comments, the funeral home business is one of the most lucrative business.

Geeze, thats really expensive, its almost as expensive as getting married...

Hi - I'm sorry for your loss. A few things:

(a) No one needs to be embalmed nor pay for embalming.

My father died 11/26/05 - he and my mother did not want to break the bank with their passing, so they pre-planned and expressed their wishes to us. The funeral home picked up his body and kept it refrigerated until it could be cremated. At his request, there was no service. He was a vet of WW2, so his cremains were buried at the local national cemetary. Total cost: $600. Social Secuirty pays $250 to the surviving family members to be applied towards funeral costs, so in reality, it was only $350.

The local papers did obits - no charge.

Funerals and such are for the living - not for the dead. My parents have asked that we kids (there are 6 of us, with spouses and children) not spend on the funeral... just take the money, fly to thier favorite island in Hawaii and have a weeklong celebration of being a family.

i am sorry for the loss of one family member. But i didn't know that the funeral expenses are very expensive.

I am really sorry for everyone's loss. I too went through this last Oct. with my Dad. My friend who is from Guatemala would like to know if someone has any information concerning expenses involved when transporting the deceased to another country. Thank you and God Bless

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