Jeffrey Manola is an experienced life insurance agent and the founder of Top Quote Life Insurance. His mission when he created Top Quote Life Insurance was to provide online consumers searching for life insurance with the absolute best quotes for term life insurance, permanent life insurance, no medical exam life insurance, and burial insurance. Not only does he strive to provide you with the ...

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Written by Jeffrey Manola
Founder & Licensed Agent Jeffrey Manola

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insur...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 30, 2022

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Facts You Should Know

  • Funeral costs are a large expense and may not be affordable for your family
  • Researching local funeral homes and expenses can help you plan in advance
  • Burial insurance will most likely cover your entire funeral and burial costs

The average funeral costs several thousands of dollars which can be a burden to your family members. Planning your funeral expenses ahead and sharing your final wishes with your family will help everyone emotionally and financially. 

There are several things you can do to prepare for your passing. As much as it may hurt to think about these things, it is really important to set your next of kin up for success when you do pass away. 

One of the best ways to pay for funeral expenses is to secure a final expenses insurance policy. This may already be included in your current life insurance plan. 

In this article, we take a look at average funeral costs, a break down of funeral expenses, the role of the funeral director, and how you can plan to pay for your funeral. Read on to see the average funeral cost breakdown 2022 needs.

Average Funeral Costs

The average funeral with a viewing, ceremony, and burial in America costs around $7,848, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. This expense does not include cemetery, monument, flowers, or obituary expenses.  

There are several associated costs with a funeral, including:

  • Funeral home rental, service fee, and staff 
  • Embalming services
  • Cosmetic services
  • Hearse transportation
  • Transportation of family members
  • Pamphlets, obituaries, leaflets

Some services related to funeral expenses require a cash advance, such as funeral flowers, clergy, and organists. 

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A Breakdown of Funeral Expenses

There are some elements to a funeral that account for a large portion of the final expense. Understanding these expensive elements can help you plan in advance for final costs and balance what your wishes are and what you can afford. 

The Casket

The cost of a casket ranges from $2,000 up to $10,000. This makes up about 20% of the average funeral cost. Although state law does not require a person to be buried in a casket, many cemeteries do. Some cemeteries will allow you to be buried in a shroud. 

The Headstone

A flat marker headstone made of marble starts at $1,000. A headstone varies in cost, but the average price of an upright, detailed headstone is $3,000. There are online companies that have slashed the prices of flat marker headstones which could be a more affordable option for you. 

The Plot

Plots typically start at $500 but can go up to $5,000 or more for premium spots. Cemetery vaults range from $1,000 to $5,000 and cremation urn placements range between $350 to $2,500. 

The Funeral Ceremony

The ceremony is the main event where the family gathers to mourn the loss of a loved one. Services included with this event are:

  • The ceremony 
  • Funeral home rental
  • Funeral service fee
  • Funeral staff charge

These charges add up to around $3,100. As you can see, every component related to a funeral is expensive. This is why many people are opting for cremation. 

It is expected that basic cremation services will rise to over 60% of final arrangements due to the drastic price of funeral services. 

Average Cremation Costs

Cremation costs are much more affordable than a burial. The average cost for cremation is about $2,075. This includes the urn, the cremation service, and the cremation casket. 

If you combine cremation with a viewing and ceremony, the average cost comes to around $6,971. This increases the price drastically. 

Even though the cost of cremation is more affordable than a traditional funeral, it is still in the several thousands of dollars. 

There is a network of affordable cremation services that start at $800 through a company called DFS Memorials. DFS Memorials works with a network of funeral homes and cremation providers to provide the cheapest cremation costs currently available in America. 

The entire process from transporting the departed to returning the cremated remains to your family is covered by the company’s fee. You can check and see if there is a DFS Memorials provider near you. 

Assistance From the Funeral Director 

As you can see, there are several factors that go into the proper planning and financing of a modern-day funeral. This can all be very overwhelming, which is why the funeral director will assist you and your family to make the final arrangements. 

The funeral director is in charge of organizing your funeral from start to finish. This includes the arrangements for the following:

  • Embalming
  • Cremation
  • Ceremony
  • Viewing
  • Transport
  • Burial

The director will consult with you about exactly how much the costs will be for your funeral. They will assist you with picking out the casket.

They also offer counsel and comfort during this time of hardship. 

The funeral director is such a critical role in the proper implementation of a funeral, that it is suggested to research the funeral homes in your area in advance. Read customer reviews, check into how much the average funeral costs with each home, and make your arrangements with your chosen funeral director. 

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How to Pay for Funeral Expenses

There are several ways you can plan to pay for your funeral.

You can begin by saving up cash and storing it in a safe location. Disclose this location to your appointed person that will be handling your final arrangements. This is one of the easiest ways to have cash available to cover your funeral, but it is also risky. 

A traditional savings account is an option, but your account will have to go through probate when you pass, which can cause a significant delay in your beneficiary receiving your funds. 

A payable-on-death account is a special type of account that releases funds to an appointed person after you pass away. The funds are released when a valid death certificate is presented by the beneficiary. There is no hold on funds and they are available immediately without having to go through probate. 

Another way to pay for final expenses is to have a life insurance policy or final expenses policy that will provide a cash payout to your next of kin to assist in paying your funeral expenses. 

Final Expenses Insurance Coverage

When you have universal life insurance, a lump sum is paid out to your person of choice. This money can be used for funeral expenses, but your appointed person may need those funds to pay for basic living expenses or pay off your debts after you die. 

Additionally, life insurance payouts will be spent the way your beneficiary sees fit. If they do not want to spend the money on your final expenses, it is ultimately their choice. 

Some insurance companies offer funeral coverage which is a cash payout specifically designed to cover your funeral and burial costs. 

The payout from a funeral insurance policy is typically smaller than a traditional life insurance payout and ranges from $10,000 to $50,000. Money that is leftover from the burial insurance policy can be applied to the deceased debts, medical bills, and loans. 

Conclusion: Average Funeral Costs and How to Plan for Expenses

Funeral expenses are very expensive and can bring a financial and emotional burden to your family. Planning in advance will help alleviate these issues during this difficult time. 

It can be hard to plan your own final arrangements, but you will be helping your family out tremendously and it will give you peace of mind. 

All the components of a funeral and burial are expensive, to the tune of thousands of dollars. The average cost of a funeral is over $7,000 which is why so many people are opting for cremation. 

The funeral director is professionally trained to handle your final arrangements. They also assist in choosing the components of your funeral, such as the casket and headstone. 

Financing a funeral can be a difficult task. You can save cash or open up a special bank account that releases funds to your appointed beneficiary upon your death. 

One of the best options to pay for a funeral is to get a burial insurance plan. These plans are designed to cover your final expenses with a lump sum payout upon your passing. 

Taking the steps now to make sure your final wishes will be financed will give you and your family the peace of mind you deserve.