How much does a funeral cost in 2023?

Last Updated May 25, 2024

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Final expense burial insurance

Funerals are a meaningful way to commemorate someone’s life, but they can also be costly for those in charge of planning them. Having a solid plan in place before you die is the best approach to safeguard your family from financial hardship after your death.

Working with a licensed insurance advisor to analyze your options is one way to do this. Here is a list of our Top 5 Life Insurance Companies. If you don’t have enough money saved to pay for a funeral out of pocket, a burial final expense life insurance policy can help cover those costs — and any other final expenses — even if your financial condition changes. Combine this with a will and testament to specify how you want your funeral to be handled.

Funeral Cost Calculator

When choosing life insurance for final expenses, it can be difficult to know how much coverage you actually need. To get an idea, we created the funeral cost calculator below. Simply, select the options you would like to get an idea of the average cost in your state. 

Once you have your amount, we recommend giving us a call so we can go over all the options to help cover that cost for you. 

State Funeral Cost Calculator
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These figures were obtained from the NFDA and are estimates only. For a detailed quote, please contact an agent. 

What is the average cost of a funeral?

In the United States, an average of 2.4 million funerals are held each year, with costs ranging from $7,000 to $10,000 and it’s only getting more expensive. Funeral expenditures have increased by 227.1 percent in the last 30 years, according to the Consumer Price Index.

This does not include expenses related to the end of life, such as final medical bills that your family may be responsible for after you pass away.

Funeral cost vs cremation cost

Cremation, how much does it cost?

The NFDA reports that the average cost of cremation services in 2022 is $6,970. This is a 16% change over the last 6 years. the fees for cremation include:

  • Service Fees
  • Removal/transfer of remains
  • Embalming
  • Other body preparations
  • Use of facilities/staff
  • Cremation services car/van
  • Printed materials
  • Cremation Fee
  • Cremation casket
  • Urn

If you are planning on being cremated, you will want to make sure you have whole-life cremation insurance to cover all the costs, outlined above.

Funeral costs: how much do i need to save?

A sample computation based on the typical cost of a funeral with burial, viewing, and memorial ceremonies is provided below.

Service Rendered Cost
Basic Service Fee
Transportation of Remains
Staff for Funeral & Viewing
Memorial Package

Additional costs such as gravestones, flowers, guest transportation, or additional body preparation are not included in the estimate. The typical cost of a funeral also varies based on where you reside.

2023 Funeral Costs By State

As you may be familiar, the average cost of a funeral varies by state.  According to World Population Review and their data, they divide these costs into two categories to get an overall total of death expenses. The first is the Funeral Cost, which we all know averages to be somewhere around $9,000 nationally. The lesser-known category, End of Life Cost, calculates all of the other expenses upon death like hospice and debts. This is incredibly important to understand since we may end up having to pay those charges for our passed loved ones.

States (A-M)
Funeral Cost Average
End of Life Cost Average
Total Cost
States (M-W)
Funeral Cost Average
End of Life Cost Average
Total Cost
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

Planning your funeral arrangements

When your family is already grieving the loss of a loved one, a threat to their financial well-being will only add to their sorrow. Funeral preparations can be specified in your will or written instructions left with someone who administers your affairs, such as a financial planner or lawyer.

By putting your wishes in paper, you can make this process easier for your loved ones. You may chose cremation or a green burial over a typical funeral. They will never know if you do not express these wishes to your loved ones.

Cremation vs burial cost

We often see searches for, “cremation cost near me” and “cheapest crematorium near me.” Did you know Cremation is less expensive than burial on average, though not by much. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the median cost of a funeral with a viewing and burial is $7,848, compared to $6,970 for a viewing and cremation. Some states require you to include a burial vault to safeguard the casket, which adds $9,420 to the cost of a burial.

Both burial and cremation prices are increased by the cost of a viewing and/or memorial service.

You’ll save a lot of money if you choose a direct burial or cremation that doesn’t involve any activities or memorial ceremonies. For example, a direct cremation costs around $2,500.

Cost of Wake or Visitation

Visitation and a wake serve the same purpose: they both allow relatives and friends to gather and pay their respects. A wake, on the other hand, is more likely to be more expensive because of the presence of the deceased’s body. There are additional fees related to preparing the body for viewing and transporting the body if the wake is held outside of the funeral home if the body is present and if the casket is open.

In contrast, the presence of the deceased’s body during visitation is uncommon, and if it is, the casket is frequently closed. Visitation is frequently held at the funeral home, which saves money on transportation.

Using final expense burial life insurance to pay for a funeral

Setting up some financial protection with a senior final expense life insurance policy is the greatest way to ensure that your family does not have to dive into their savings or go into debt to pay for your burial.

Your family is sort of trapped with it if you haven’t planned and made preparations through insurance or pre-purchasing cemetery or grave space.” The payment is required on the day of the funeral,” says the narrator.

When someone dies, that’s not the only cost left behind“. Medical expenditures, legal bills, and accountancy bills could all be on the horizon. There could still be rent [and] utilities depending on where they were living.

When you die, life insurance pays out a death benefit to your chosen beneficiaries, which they can spend as they see appropriate. Regardless of extenuating circumstances, the death benefit is usually received quickly, sometimes as soon as 48-72 hours after the claim is filed.

Your family will be able to use the payout to pay for your funeral and other expenditures if you have the correct insurance in place, allowing them to concentrate on honoring your memory.

Why final expense life insurance is better support than your estate

It’s not a failsafe method to leave assets behind to assist your family and pay for your burial. When you die, your estate goes through probate and is distributed first to creditors for any unpaid debts. The remainder of your estate is then divided according to your wishes.

Creditors cannot seize a final expense life insurance policy, and it is not subject to probate as long as your beneficiaries are willing to accept the sum. It’s a reliable way to send financial support to your loved ones, and it usually happens faster than money that has to go through probate.

“Once you get the death certificate, the procedure of obtaining insurance proceeds — unless the death is unusual — may be completed swiftly. Most final expense life insurance payouts occur within 48-72 hours. As a result, it has the potential to make a significant difference.

Having a strong plan in place is the greatest approach to prepare your family for your death. Work with an insurance agent to acquire a final expense burial life insurance policy that will cover your funeral expenses, and an attorney to create a will and testament that will specify your estate and final wishes.

Funeral and Cremation FAQ

What is the meaning of cremation?

Cremation is the act of reducing a person’s body to ashes by fire, typically after a funeral ceremony. 

What does the bible say about cremation?

Many believe that the Bible neither favors nor forbids the process of cremation. Some believe that their bodies would be ineligible for resurrection if they are cremated and others believe it “expedites” the process of turning a body into dust. 

Who pays for funerals?

Some funerals are paid out of the deceased person’s estate. In other cases, those expenses are left for loved ones to take care of. This can be mitigated with a burial life insurance policy to cover the cost of funeral expenses. 

How can I get help with funeral costs?

The easiest way to get help with funeral costs is to make sure you have a final expense policy in place early. This will ensure your family can pay for the costs when you are gone and any debts you might leave behind. Because Social Security pays so little towards funerals and many states don’t offer assistance, senior life insurance is usually the best solution.

What is the cheapest funeral option?

In 2022, the least expensive and cheapest option is direct cremation. This lets you avoid the costs of funeral homes, vaults, and funeral fees. A direct cremation is an option that could potentially save you and your family thousands of dollars

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