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.