5 Funeral Expenses You Won’t Expect

No matter how organized your list is, there may be funeral expenses for which you have not planned.

#1 Transportation

When the burial or cremation happens after the funeral services, it is customary for the family to be transported to the cemetery (or wherever) by a limousine or sedan. A hearse will be used to transport the casket, but there are only two seats up front and therefore can only transport a driver and one passenger. Additionally, a lead car can be hired to lead the procession to the burial site. This can usually be reserved through the funeral home you are working with. If you’d really like to go all out, you can also get a motorcycle or police escort for the procession of cars. These rentals can cost you a pretty penny, depending on what kind of deal you can arrange through your funeral home, but if you select all of these options, you’re looking at a couple hundred dollars, at least.

#2 Vaults and Grave Liners

If you are planning to bury a coffin in a cemetery, one unexpected cost may be the grave liner or vault. A grave liner is installed before the burial, and it helps the hole maintain its shape before and after the burial ceremony. A grave liner will cost you between $700 and $1000, and most cemeteries require them. If you are planning to bury the casket in a vault, you are looking at more like $900 to $10,000, depending on the size and materials the vault is made of.

#3 Dressing

When a body is embalmed and dressed, the funeral home will probably charge you a dressing fee that you may not be counting on. Though this is not an exorbitant fee by any means, every little bit counts when the funeral fees start building up. You’ve probably planned on the embalming fees, which usually range from $250 to $600, but there may be other fees related to the preparation of the body after embalming takes place, such as cosmetology, dressing, and casketing. Usually you can count on between $50 to $200. Additionally, for a body to be stored, funeral homes usually charge a storage and refrigeration fee of about $50 per day.

#4 Obituary

Though newspapers used to publish obituaries for free, which is why you may not be budgeting for this expense. Obituary fees vary wildly depending on the newspaper, and some will publish a short announcement for free, but others may charge per inch or per line. Longer obituaries could run up your budget by as much as $200.

#5 Grave Site Set Up

In order to have a gravesite service, the site must be prepared ahead of time. The fees associated with the pre-service set up is usually around $100, but if you have a vault or any other custom request, you may want to ask your funeral director specifically about grave site set up fees and what you can expect.

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