When a loved one passes away, the hours, days, and even weeks afterward can pass in a fog marked by heightened emotions. Unfortunately, it is during this time that someone is often required to make detailed and costly funeral and burial arrangements if they were not made ahead of time by the deceased. Not surprisingly, funeral providers sometimes take advantage of surviving loved ones by inflating prices and/or selling services and/or products that are not necessary. In case you find yourself in this position, the Minot elder law attorneys at German Law offer a brief rundown of what products and services for a funeral should cost.
Funeral and Burial Average Prices for 2019
According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average cost of a funeral has jumped from around $6,000 in 2013 to $10,000 as of 2019. That’s an increase of over 50% in just six years. The cost of a funeral will depend, to a great extent, on the type of funeral. There are three basic options:
- Traditional Funeral Services — usually include embalming, dressing of the body, funeral home rental, a viewing, body transportation (via a hearse) to the funeral site, casket cost, and a cemetery plot or crypt.
- Direct Burial — a simpler version that would likely include a simple container, no viewing or visitation, and no embalming. A memorial service would still be held at the graveside if desired.
- Cremation — the body is cremated after death without embalming and the remains are kept as the family desires.
The cost of a funeral will also depend on the specific services and “add-ons” you choose to include as well. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, some average costs include:
- Basic services — consultations, preparation and filing of permits, coordinating arrangements and third parties, overhead expenses — $2,000
- Casket — casket styles vary from simple cardboard all the way to metal and fine wood — $2,200
- Burial vault — rectangular boxes made of concrete, composite plastic, or metal that may be required by a cemetery — $1,300
- Body removal — pick up and transport costs for newly deceased body from a residence, hospital or other location to a funeral home — $125-$500
- Embalming — draining a body of fluids and replacing them with chemicals to temporarily preserve the body. It is not legally required and is growing out of style — $225-$1,200
- Dressing, hair, and makeup –– preparing a body for viewing and visitation — $200
- Storage and refrigeration — $35-$125 per day
- Viewing — an opportunity for friends and loved ones to say their goodbyes, offer condolences, and see the body one last time — $150-$1,200
- Funeral ceremony staff — coordination and supervising the funeral arrangements and assisting with the ceremony — $500-$800
- Hearse or funeral coach — $300
- Urn — $100-$2,000
- Grave plot — $400 — $10,000
- Grave opening and closing — $300 — $1,000
- Graveside service — $200 — $1,700
- Grave marker — $500 — $12,000
- Flowers and music — $200 — $2,000
Can Funeral Planning Help?
Thinking of your death and funeral in terms of the cost may be difficult to do; however, the reality is that dying is expensive. Moreover, by addressing the issue ahead of time you are able to prepare your estate and your loved ones for the eventuality of your death and the associated expenses. Including a funeral planning component within your estate plan takes a considerable amount of stress and pressure off of your surviving loved ones. It also ensures that your wishes will be honored when the time comes. One popular funeral planning option is an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust. An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) is a special type of trust that is funded by the proceeds of a life insurance policy. Not only does it ensure that there will be sufficient funds immediately available to cover the cost of your funeral but it also allows you to plan the details of your funeral and service to ensure that your wishes are honored.
Contact Minot Elder Law Attorneys
Please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about funeral planning, contact the Minot elder law attorneys at German Law by calling 701-738-0060 to schedule an appointment.