– What Are the Different Costs Associated With a Funeral


No one wants to wonder about their death or that of a loved one, let alone prepare for it. But when it happens, a funeral can be a heavy financial burden if the deceased leaves no plans, savings, or estate behind. According to the National Funeral Directors, the average cost of a funeral was around $7,800 in 2021 and since then has been on the rise.

Dealing with the bills that come with a funeral can be difficult, especially when you are grieving. There are funeral loans that can help you if you don’t have the necessary funds to pay for the services but how to determine how much exactly you would need to borrow? What all costs are associated with a funeral?

We have put together a guide to help you understand exactly what you need to prepare for in case of the death of a loved one.

The average cost of a funeral

According to the Federal Trade Commission, many fees are associated with a funeral-


  • Basic service fee: This is the standard service fee that comes with a funeral. This covers the cost of permits, administrative fees, and planning the ceremony.
  • Service & merchandise fees: These cover things like preparing the body, embalming, transportation, as well as funeral home fees for the memorial and any equipment that will be required during the ceremony. You will be required to pay for a casket or any equipment necessary for cremation.
  • Cash advances: These are for the services that the funeral home might handle for you such as clergy, organists, flower arrangements, etc. You may have to pay an added service fee or marked-up amount to account for the funeral home’s services but these fees are always disclosed in advance in writing.

The average cost of a casket is little more than $2,000, while mahogany, or copper, or bronze caskets can be as much as $10,000. Some people purchase caskets independently to avoid third-party fees. However, you will be responsible for bringing the casket to the funeral home if you buy it independently, which can be expensive. If you are opting for cremation, you can skip the casket. Most funerals would rent you a casket if you want to hold a viewing before cremation.

Listed below are some costs you will have to deal with in case of a funeral according to the NFDA:


  • Funeral service fee – $2,300
  • Funeral home rental – $450
  • Funeral home staff for viewing ceremony – $450
  • Funeral home staff for burial ceremony – $515
  • Cosmetic services – $275
  • Vault – $1,572
  • Cremation – $368
  • Cremation casket – $1,310
  • Embalming – $775
  • Urn – $295
  • Hearse – $350
  • Transportation of remains – $350
  • Transportation for the family – $150
  • Pamphlets/cards – $183

How to find affordable funeral services

  • Shop around: As with anything else, looking around first can help you save money in the long run because the rates for every funeral home will always be different. Even a couple of bucks can make a big difference.
  • Choose your urn: even though cremation is typically cheaper than burial and embalming and is a great cost-effective alternative to burial, purchasing a container or urn can be expensive. Buying it beforehand can save you at least a couple hundred bucks.
  • Donating organs or the body: A relatively new practice but many people are choosing to donate organs or the body after a loved one passes away. A lot of medical schools offer to cover all expenses related to acquiring the body for medical research. 


With the anxiety and grief that comes from the death of a loved one, a funeral can create unwanted financial stress. Hence, it’s important to be aware about all the potential funeral costs and to plan how you will be paying for them. If you don’t have the necessary funds to pay for the services, you should consider looking into funeral loans to help you out. We hope this articles helps you understand all the costs associated with a funeral.

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