Pre-Planning Guide: How to Estimate the Cost of your Funeral

This article was written by LifeAdmin, on June 28, 2017


There are a lot of questions when pre-planning your funeral and burial, and you may not know how to talk to your pre-need insurance agent about all the questions you have. Let’s get right down to brass tacks and talk about the actual cost of the funeral you are pre-planning.

“Simple” Committal of Remains

The most basic fees for the disposition of a body would be the burial or cremation costs or donation to medical center or university, the cost of permits and copies of death certificates and notices, the fee for sheltering the remains until they can be interred, and then burial plot in the cemetery if a burial will be taking place. This simplest pre-planning option does not include any funeral services, but if a burial is taking place, a casket must be purchased for the body, and a headstone is typically placed as well.

Basic Service Fees for the “Traditional” Funeral

In addition to all the fees listed above, these include funeral director and staff fees, embalming, visitation/viewing staff and facility, graveside service staff and equipment, hearse, burial vault or grave liner, floral arrangements and possibly catering/food for the guests.

A Note on Caskets

Typically, a casket is the most expensive cost of the pre-planned funeral. Most funeral homes have caskets ranging from $2,000 all the way to $10,000. The difference in cost is decided by the materials the casket is made from. The best way to pay for the casket you really want is to pre-plan your funeral and pay for it over time. However, if you are looking to save money on your pre-planned funeral, the casket is the first place to be a little conservative. About two-thirds of families choose a metal casket, which vary in price depending on its materials and thickness.

Does Cremation Cost Less?

Cremation is less expensive than traditional burial. Most funeral homes will estimate cremation to cost one-third of what a traditional burial would cost. You can still have a viewing and funeral if you pre-plan for cremation! When you’re looking at the cost of cremation including a traditional funeral, there will be many of the same fees listed above. If a viewing is included, embalming will be required and most funeral homes will allow you to rent a casket for the memorial services. Depending on what you choose to do with your remains, there may or may not be a cemetery fee to consider. A casket is not required for a cremation, and you have the right to buy a container yourself for the cremated remains.

Pre-Planning Optional Services

Some optional services to be aware of include embalming (which is not necessary without a viewing), a grave liner (which is not required by state laws) or outer burial container, and perpetual care of the grave by the cemetery. Be aware that fees will apply if the remains ever need to be forwarded from one funeral home to another.

50 thoughts on “Pre-Planning Guide: How to Estimate the Cost of your Funeral

  1. It’s interesting to read about caskets and how to handle the cost. It makes sense that it could be very good to prepare for the casket before hand and pay for it over time. This could be very beneficial for my mom because she wants to do all she can to pre-plan and I think that getting in contact with a funeral home could help her.

  2. My dad has been really adamant on planning his funeral. Since he won’t put it down, I decided to look up some information about it. That is good to know that the most expensive thing will be the casket. If it is the most expensive I guess it is a good idea he is planning early so we can start to pay it off. Thank you for all the information!

  3. Thanks for the in-depth as to how to estimate the cost of a funeral. It’s interesting that some optional services to be aware of include embalming, a grave liner or outer burial container, and perpetual care of the grave of the cemetery. I’d be sure to be aware that fees will apply if the remains ever need to be forwarded from one funeral home to another. These tips would be very helpful for when my time comes.

  4. My uncle just died and we are now looking up some funeral homes to assist us. My cousin sent us this article for us to estimate the cost. My aunt wants him to cremated because it costs less and she can take the ashes home.

  5. I like that you mentioned how you can possibly save by ordering a casket in a simpler material. My wife and I are getting old and have been looking at getting a plot in the local cemetery. I appreciate you reminding us that pre planning can really be beneficial financially.

  6. Thanks for your comment about how you should pre-plan a funeral so that you know how much it will cost you. I like how you said that you should look into how much you are willing to spend on the burial services as well. My husband is looking into funeral homes and burial services for a good price for his grandmother who is really sick in the hospital.

  7. I didn’t know that the simplest pre-planning option does not include any funeral services. My grandfather is very old now and requested to settle his affairs. My aunt is asked to get pre-planned funeral service and she shared this article with everyone. It says that the casket is the most expensive in the funeral.

  8. It helped a lot when you mentioned how some funeral homes include in their prices the help of a funeral director. I understand that taking the time to know this can help you find the best company that can help you plan your funeral. Personally, I would also want to take the time to compare several funeral services in order to see what options are available for me and how I can make the funeral of my loved one as customized as possible.

  9. I like how you mentioned that cremation can be less expensive than traditional burial for it would allow you to skip a number of traditional rituals that come with the burial services, such as the casket or cemetery fees. That is quite a good thought to have since death can come at any time and being prepared would save a lot of troubles for your loved ones. I’ll have to think more about this so that I’ll know in due time which funeral services I would require. Thanks!

  10. I’m glad that you mentioned being able to pay for a casket over time, to make it easier to afford. I have been planning a funeral and I wasn’t sure how to choose a casket. I can see how it would be alright to choose the one my family wants because we can all pay for it over time.

  11. I like your blog and Thanks for the in-depth as to how to estimate the cost of a funeral. It’s interesting that some optional services to be aware of include embalming, a grave liner or outer burial container, and perpetual care of the grave of the cemetery.

  12. I’m glad that you mention that caskets can cost up to $10,000. That’s usually the most expensive factor in a funeral, so it’s good to consider what casket you get carefully. Planning a funeral can be stressful, but it’s important to take the time and effort to make sure that everything is prepared and ready for the funeral service.

  13. I liked your tip about pre-planning your funeral and paying off your coffin in small installments. Paying for something that expensive over time would probably reduce the stress on your family when you pass away. I’ve always been worried about leaving my family with a financial burden when I die, so maybe I should start paying off my casket now.

  14. My wife and I have been wanting to prepare for her brother’s funeral and we haven’t been sure what to do. I liked that you had mentioned that pre-planning can be helpful and a lot of funeral homes will work with each other if that’s needed. We’ll have to start looking around for a funeral home in the area that will fit everything we’re needing.

  15. My father is asking me to help him pre-plan his funeral as he wants to be able to do it before he passes. That is why I am glad to have encountered your article as it gives more in helpful details on how these things work. The part where you mentioned that some funeral service also includes embalming, grave liner, and perpetual care for the grave services is something that my dad will surely be happy to have. I will be sure to relay to him this new information as his eyesight is already as bad as his knees. Thanks!

  16. Thanks for the interesting read about pre-planning a funeral. I actually didn’t know that if you plan a funeral ahead of time you can pay for a casket over time. This seems like a good option to do if you are in a situation where you can, especially if this can help you save money as well.

  17. I didn’t know that the most basic fees for the disposition of a body would be the burial or cremation costs or donation to a medical center or university. My uncle passed away last week and our family is to take care of his body because he doesn’t have a family. My dad suggested having a funeral service and shared this article with us.

  18. I agree that you need to consider what optional service a funeral home will offer. It would be good to consider things like perpetual care of the grave, as you mention. My husband is trying to plan a memorial service for his grandpa who served in World War 2, so he’ll have to consider what additional options they want for him.

  19. I had no idea that you needed to get a permit in order to be able to bury your loved one. It is important to remember that doing your research can help you find the best way to honor your loved one’s memory and stay within the law. A friend of mine was a veteran and passed away yesterday, so I was looking for the best services to send him off.

  20. Thanks a lot for mentioning how cremations were less expensive than funerals. It is important to remember that doing some research can help you find the best options for your loved one. My aunt passed away yesterday and she wanted to be cremated, so I’m glad I found your page.

  21. I agree that you need to consider if a funeral service offers the important features. It would be smart to consider what kind of things you want to have at the funeral when planning your budget. My husband and I are looking for a funeral service for his mom, so we’ll have to consider what features are important to have.

  22. My uncle was diagnosed with a terminal disease and he’s given only a few months to live. He wants to settle his affairs and plan his funeral service ahead. It was mentioned here that if he wishes to be buried, we need to purchase a casket and headstone. Moreover, it’s suggested to hire professional funeral services for quality service.

  23. My grandma has been dealing with some significant health problems for a while now, and she’s been spending a lot of time in the hospital. With all the time she’s at the hospital, she’s been planning her funeral. Thanks for pointing out that a casket is the most expensive cost of a pre-planned funeral. I think that’s helpful for her to understand the general cost of a funeral. It would probably be really helpful if she could find a reliable funeral home and learn more about what she needs to do to prepare.

  24. Personally, I don’t know too much about veteran funeral services so I wanted to look up some information. I really appreciated how this article talked about how typically, a casket is the most expensive cost of the pre-planned funeral. This is something that I have never thought about when it comes to funeral services.

  25. I have been thinking about what to choose in case I pass away since I want to preplan my funeral. It got my attention when you said that cremation is actually just one-third of the price of a burial so it is more economical. Since I am a money saver, and I want to spend as less as I can, I think I will consider cremation instead. After all, surely my sister will want to keep me as close to her as possible anyway.

  26. That’s good to know that most funeral homes will let you rent a casket for the funeral service if you decide to do cremation. My grandpa wants to be cremated but the family would really like to have a traditional funeral since it would help give us closer. I’ll have to find a funeral home that’ll allow us to rent a casket so we can still have a traditional service and my grandpa can still be cremated like he wants.

  27. I really appreciate your tip to choose cremation if you can! My wife and I have been put in charge of planning my grandmother’s funeral. I will be sure to talk the funeral home about cremation!

  28. I appreciate what you said about the cost of caskets. My grandma is trying to plan out her funeral just so that we won’t have to take care of it when she’s gone. I know that she would prefer to have a casket, but I had no idea that they could cost as much as $10,000. I think I would love to talk to her about all of this and see what she’s planned. It might put me at ease about her decisions.

  29. I find your tidbit about how even if most funeral homes estimate cremation to one-third of a traditional burial, the cost of getting one can come up to that if one were to have a viewing and a funeral for it. Aside from this fact, one of the factors to consider when pricing a cremation is what kind of urn will be used and how will it be stored. In the future, to answer questions about planning such a service, I will ask a professional to be able to negotiate a fair price and be able to create a wonderful service for one’s family at the same time.

  30. I really appreciate your tip on how the casket is usually the most expensive part of a funeral. My grandmother recently passed away, and my wife and I have been put in charge of planning the funeral since my grandfather also passed away a couple of years ago. I will be sure to allocate most of our budget for getting my grandmother a nice casket.

  31. That’s good to know that if you have a burial that you need to pay for the plot in the cemetery, the service, sheltering the body until it is interred, a death certificate, and the burial itself. My grandpa is pretty sick and he wants to start planning his funeral, so I’m helping him figure everything out. We’ll have to find a funeral home that can help us set up everything and figure out the costs since he does want a burial when he passes.

  32. I didn’t know that the casket is the most expensive part of the funeral. My cousin is going to die on Saturday at 3 pm and I just want to make sure she gets what she deserves. I’ll have to consider your funeral tips the next time a cousin of mine leaves life too soon.

  33. I have a friend that is helping a loved one look into funeral arrangements. She wants to make sure that she would be helping more than hurting. Knowing that cremation will be a cost-effective option might help her honor her loved one’s wishes.

  34. I was unaware of the fact you shared about cremation and how it is overall cheaper than a burial. I think it’s best to contact a funeral home in order to get accurate estimates concerning the different services they offer. My grandfather is terminal, so I’ll reach out to a funeral home in town that can help my family with the funeral planning process.

  35. Thanks for pointing out that the best way to pay for the casket you really want is to pre-plan your funeral and pay for it over time. My dad is thinking about pre-planning his funeral arrangements and looking into everything that he would need to do that. I think it would be helpful to his current wife is he preplanned his funeral so that they could start paying for everything and make it less stressful for her during what would already be a pretty stressful time.

  36. My grandfather is very sick and my family is starting to pre-plan for the funeral, so I am glad that I found this article. It is good to know that there are many different casket options. Plus, it could be nice to get an intricate, beautiful casket and then pay it off over time. This way we have more options as a family.

  37. I had no idea that caskets could range from $2,000 to $10,000. My mother has recently passed on and I am looking to plan her funeral. I need help with everything. I will make sure to keep this information in mind as I search for the right funeral home to help me with the planning.

  38. It’s good to know that funeral services such as cremations are less expensive than burials, so I might look for a business that offers this. I think my father wouldn’t mind having a cremation since he always told me that it’s his memorial service that counts. If this will give us the solace that we need so that we can keep his memory living, I’ll suggest this to my siblings so we can finally put his body to rest.

  39. Since my grandma is getting up there in age, we have decided to pre-plan her funeral out. She has agreed to it which if she didn’t, we wouldn’t bother. Anyways, we’ll have to find a casket for her and I do like that you mentioned a price range. She’s mentioned that price isn’t important so we’ll probably go with the one she likes the best.

  40. It was interesting to read that a cremation could cost about a third of a traditional burial! My parents have mentioned that they’d want to have their funeral services in a chapel, but haven’t expressed if they want to be cremated or buried traditionally. I’ll have to talk to them about that.

  41. I thought that it made sense when you said that funeral services can vary depending on what you choose to request. I have been thinking about pre-planning for my funeral services so that my family isn’t stressed but I have been worried about the cost of the services. I will be sure to research differently priced funeral homes so that I can find one that will fit my needs within my budget.

  42. Thanks for explaining that the casket is usually the most expensive part of pre-planning a funeral. My husband and I want to find a funeral service and work on pre-planning ours. I’m glad I read your article and got an idea of what to expect from the funeral expenses.

  43. I never know that caskets usually range around $2000-$10,000 because it is our first time to plan for a relative’s funeral. My aunt passed away last night and we are searching for a funeral home that has an affordable funeral arrangement and package because there’s no one to shoulder the cost except me. Thanks for your very informative article that discusses all the details that I need. This is such a great read!

  44. I never knew that the cremation process is 25% cheaper than the traditional burial process. My mom wants to settle and plan everything for the funeral of our sick dad. Thanks for elaborating on the costs of caskets that are mainly subjective for pre-plan in every funeral and pay it over time.

  45. Thank you for telling me that caskets cost around $2,000 up to $10,000 depending on what material they are made from. My grandmother and I shared an intimate session last night when she begged me to arrange the necessary stuff for her funeral because she feels like her time is approaching. Although it’s really hard for me, I want to be able to do her requests so I’ll start looking for funeral services and makers of headstone monuments without alarming my parents.

  46. It’s good to know that cremation doesn’t cost as much. My parents were telling me last night about how they want to look into preplanning their funeral so that my siblings and I won’t have to worry about it when they pass away, and they wanted to know more information about preplanning. I’ll make sure to pass these tips along to them once they find a funeral home that offers preplanning services.

  47. It’s interesting to know that caskets are actually the ones that make a funeral service expensive. This might not work for me who’s trying to save for her own pre-planned funeral, even if I’m not dying. It would probably be better to explore other options like cremation or shop around funeral homes before making a decision.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *