Understanding funeral costs
The average cost of a funeral
in America today is $7,755 according to the National Funeral Directors
Association (NFDA 2012), and if you live in a major metro area, these costs
can be even higher if you are looking for what is known as a “Traditional
Funeral Service”. When you begin to break down the funeral costs,
the largest costs incurred are for items like the casket, cemetery plot
and grave marker, which on their own, can end up costing you more than
the average cost of a complete funeral service.
The single biggest issue
when having to arrange a funeral is that we have very little to go on and
to compare with. It is very easy to compare grocery stores and restaurants,
because these are businesses that we deal with on a regular basis.
Arranging a funeral is something that many people have never had to do,
and therefore we are very trusting to the funeral home. Make no mistake
about it, funeral homes and funeral companies are businesses. Think
about the funeral director as a sales person, because that is what they
are. Funeral homes are interested in getting you to spend as much
money as possible, and they are extremely good at doing this.
Be clear about what kind of
funeral services you require
It is important to decide what
type of funeral you want before you even begin discussing things with a
funeral home. The first question is whether the deceased is to be
buried or cremated. If you choose burial as an option, remember that
you will also need to purchase a cemetery plot, and these plots can be
very expensive indeed.
Cremation as a low cost option
Cremation is an option that
more and more Americans are starting to opt for, because it should be much
cheaper. Before selecting a funeral home or cremation company to
handle the funeral, phone several companies first and compare the costs.
You will likely find that the prices are very different between funeral
homes. A cremation with a memorial differs little from a traditional
funeral, other than the body is cremated rather than buried. However,
it can be significantly cheaper as you can eliminate the need for a cemetery
plot, burial vault, grave marker and embalming. A direct cremation
is generally the lowest cost method of disposition. A direct cremation
is when the deceased is immediately cremated, with no service, and the
cremated remains directly returned to the family or scattered. A
direct cremation can be conducted in certain areas of the United States
for as little as $495. Visit DFS
Memorials for local prices.
Saving money on funeral costs
A great way to save on funeral
expenses is to purchase items like the casket, urn or grave marker from
other third party sellers. Today you can actually purchase caskets
from both Costco and Walmart, although you need to order from their web
sites. There are many other companies selling funeral products online,
and these can often be great savings compared to the funeral homes prices.
Federal Law requires ALL funeral homes to accept funeral products bought
from other companies, and they cannot charge you extra for doing this.
“No cost” cremation when you
donate your body to science
Although most funeral homes
will not mention this, it is possible to get a cremation for free.
Donating a body to science for research is one way of getting a funeral
cremation for no cost. The body is used for research by the medical
profession, and the body is then cremated and the ashes returned to the
family, with no costs incurred. The whole process takes between 4-6
weeks and a memorial service can then take place, if chosen.
The message is simple, if
you want to save money on funeral costs, do some research, compare prices,
consider purchasing funeral merchandise from a third party seller, and
even consider making an anatomical donation. This way it is not only
possible to save thousands of dollars on funeral expenses, you could even
find that you could have a free cremation and a funeral that virtually
costs nothing at all!
||Expert Author: Sara
Sara is the Editor in Chief
for US Funerals Online and has been researching and writing about the death
care industry in the US for the last 5 years.
Memorials – Low cost cremation provider network
Last Revised: 05/30/2013