How much does a funeral cost?

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Last Updated June 12, 2024
funeral insurance

Funerals are one of the most unexpected costs and can burden your family in an instant and become overwhelming. In most cases, families are left to pay for funeral costs out of pocket. 

“What are my options?”

Thankfully, there are plenty of methods for mitigating final expenses. Our specialty, Final expense insurance, will give your family the financial freedom to bury you and then some.

Let’s find out if it’s right for you and how much you need.

What Goes Into A Funeral?

Burial Caskets

Although specific to a traditional funeral service, Burial caskets can range greatly in price from each other, with the low end potentially costing you as little as $50, and the high end remaining towards the higher end of $3,000.

The big discrepancy in price comes from the fact that metal caskets can come in very extravagant forms, sometimes containing traces of gold/metal and embroidered with high-quality materials. The lower-end caskets forgo these features, sometimes even existing as a cardboard casket in the case of cremation caskets.

Burial caskets tend to be much higher than cremation caskets due in part to the fact that cremation caskets are burned/vaporized in the process of cremation, whereas a traditional burial casket remains intact indefinitely wherein the remains of the deceased stay.

Funeral home service fee(s)

When hosting a funeral service, the contracting location has to support your funeral in a variety of ways. As a result, there are a few residual funeral home fees associated with the cost of burial. This fee may include labor costs, cost of the facility, paying staff, transportation, and even embalming in some cases.

As a result of adding all of these fees together, the funeral home service fees can reach $3,000 considering all of the above are covered. Even though it is one of the most expensive aspects of a funeral, at least you can feel secure in the fact that this facility and its team are here for you and your service in these unfortunate circumstances.


Embalming, or the process of preserving the human body, is associated specifically with a memorial service. Within said memorial service, especially in the case of an open casket burial, the deceased body is preserved and made to look as presentable as possible.

Within this process, a specialized team is sent to address the diseased corpse in which they use a plethora of beauty tricks and techniques to create a presentable appearance. This is meant to serve those viewing as a fond reminder of what once was. The cost of this process can be up to $1,000 depending on the burial service and the extent of embalming required.

Burial Plot Cost and Headstone

Depending on the state in which the cemetery is located, as well as the desired extravagance of the aforementioned burial, the price of a burial plot cost and accompanying headstone can be between $1,000-$4,000 for the plot, and up to $10,000 for the most expensive headstones.

These features and those like these are generally what drive up the cost of burial services the most as a result of the massive variation in price.

What’s the Average Cost Of A Funeral?

Although it depends on the state in which you wish to host the service, the average cost of a funeral in America ranges from $8,920 to $9,429, which is not factoring in the extravagant amenities one may include in a funeral service/plot. There’s also the Cost of cremation vs burial as well.

Funeral Expense Invoice

How Does The State I Live In Affect Funeral Costs?

Generally, this is due in part to that respective state’s economic state and overall cost of living. The state in which you conduct your services will have a different cremation cost and burial plot cost then another state.

For example, when comparing burial plot cost prices from Alaska to California, you will see a wild difference in price between the two. Land, on average, is far more expensive in California than somewhere like Alaska.

Another example may include the location of said state. Some families enjoy releasing white doves within the service to symbolize the deceased’s transition to their next chapter as well as to show respect, and transfering live white doves is more difficult to remote areas like that of Alaska and Maine vs somewhere like California or Florida. There’s also the cost of cremation vs burial to keep in mind, which will also significantly fluctuate depending on where the services take place.

Does Life Insurance Cover Funeral Costs?

At Final Expense Benefits, we specialize in finding you the absolute lowest prices to cover your funeral costs.

For many seniors, regular term life insurance just isn’t possible, due to age and medical conditions. For ages 55-85, no matter your medical history or pre-existing conditions, we have a plan for you. You will be approved for senior life insurance in minutes and your plan will start the very next day.

  • No Waiting Periods
  • No Medical Exams
  • Prices Never Increase
  • Benefits Never Decrease

How can I cover funeral costs?

Pre-planned funeral arrangement

Similar to a final expense policy, a pre-planned funeral arrangement involves paying your funeral home provider a monthly premium, wherein they respect your specifications regarding the funeral at time of death.

Perks of a pre-planned funeral arrangement highlight the lack of stress involved with the funeral process as the organization is conducting the arrangements for you automatically.

This arrangement may also coexist with existing life insurance policies to further ease the burden associated with a funeral.

Government Funeral Assistance

There are a few government supplemental funeral assistance programs, although none are too substantial unless you qualify for survivor benefits.

Survivor benefits, for example, involve a widow or other similar situation in which the survivor is given supplemental assistance in the form of a monthly check.

Another example of a governmental funeral assistance program includes Social Security Lump Sum’s death benefit, which is a one-time payment sent to the family of the deceased.

Final expense insurance

Probably your safest bet, final expense insurance exists as a whole life insurance policy with no medical examination. The beauty of this type of policy hinges on a couple of factors.

Firstly, the policy does not hold a cash value until it is paid out, therefore you will not be taxed on said policy, nor will you have to claim said policy when interacting with other entities that ask you to list any assets/net worth.

Secondly, this policy contains very low relative monthly premiums in relation to the payout you will receive – which usually exists in $10,000, $25,000, and $50,000 payouts and monthly premiums as low as 30/month.

Third of all, the policy almost always provides your family with additional funds after the funeral is all said and done with, and may coexist with another existing whole life insurance policy, further providing for your beneficiaries.

What is Final Expense Insurance?

Final expense insurance is the type of insurance that’s in place to cover the funeral costs after your passing. This is the type of coverage that you can apply for, and once you’re approved, your family will be entitled to the payout immediately, no matter how early or late your passing might be.

While final expense coverage is generally used to cover funeral/burial costs, one may use the funds in any way desired. In this way, some brokers claim that there is essentially no difference between final expense insurance and another regular Whole Life Insurance Policy. In a way, this is true, as either way you’re relieving any potential financial burdens regardless of your coverage.

Final expense coverage usually exists as a simplified issue plan, meaning that you are approved regardless of any previous medical conditions. The premiums are also generally low (depending on the condition of the applicant) and whole life, meaning that your rate does not change within the span of your lifetime. Additionally, these plans can coexist with Medicaid, depending on your total assets. If said assets are too high to qualify, one may withdraw and use these funds to purchase additional coverage or what have you, maximizing your beneficiaries’ payout.

What Is The Cremation Cost?

Although much lower than the average cost of a burial, cremation cost can also fluctuate wildly. Cremation cost is associated with similar factors to a burial, including the cost of viewing services, casket, urn, as well as the cremation process itself. The average cremation cost in America resides around $1,100 but can reach as high as $10,000 if the most expensive amenities are available.

FTC’s Funeral Rule

The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, introduced its funeral rule in 1984 to discourage funeral organizations from pressuring or forcing individuals to buy goods or services they did not want or need regarding their funeral. This also prevented funeral organizations from overcharging individuals utilizing their services with a standardized set of pricing. 

Specifics of this act revolve around transparency from the funeral provider and mandate things like itemized receipts where you are able to see a detailed breakdown of what you purchased, as well as a written or itemized list of available options to you. The FTC also prevents package deals from being forced onto you unwillingly and specifies that you are allowed to purchase any of these things individually and without the presence of the others. 

How About a Tree Pod Burial?

If you’ve been researching funeral options in recent years, you may have heard of a tree pod burial. As of late, the topic of environmental conservation has become more prevalent as the overall state of the planet is speculated to decline. As a result of this, innovative solutions have been developed within the funeral community, as the standard process of funeral goods and services puts a tremendous strain on the environment and is overall very invasive to such.

One of these solutions, aka the Tree Pod Burial, have been suggested and overall has received positive feedback. A tree pod burial is somewhat similar to what it sounds like, wherein the remains of the deceased are placed at the roots of a tree where the decaying corpse will inevitably feed and raise the tree as the body decays. Tree Pod Burials are relatively cheap, and are overall great for the environment. They also compete when analyzing the cost of cremation vs burial, as the cost of a tree pod burial is similar to that of the cremation cost. As a result, we may see tree pod burials more and more as time goes on.

Can I afford my Funeral?

It’s hard enough to think about your final wishes, let alone how they will be paid. Many seniors worry about their loved ones being left with the burden of funeral and burial costs.

Here at Final Expense Benefits, no matter your income or budget, we can assist in bringing you and your family peace of mind with senior life insurance for your final expenses.

Thankfully, here at Final Expense Benefits, we contract with only the top senior life insurance companies. If you’re a senior on a fixed income, we work with carriers like;

cremation can be a cheaper alternative, the last thing anyone wants to do is leave that financial burden for their family to handle, when you’re gone.

Final Thoughts

To sum it up, a funeral is no doubt a very expensive endeavor, and could place a family in financial hardship if not properly prepared for.

Thankfully, there are plenty of options for someone who wishes to plan this process out in advance, and we hope after reading this article you feel more prepared in tackling the challenges associated with planning and funding a funeral. Consider planning your funeral expenses in advance so you may enjoy life stress-free!

If you’re ever unsure or would like additional information then feel free to give us a call, 9-5, M-F, @ (866) 311-4338

Frequently Asked Questions

How are Tree Pod Burials?

Great, and relatively cheap. They’re also environmentally friendly.

Cremation cost vs Burial?

On average the cremation cost vs burial involves cremation at $3,000 and $8,000 for burial. 

What Does Cremation Cost?

On average cremation costs around $3,000.

What Does a Burial Plot Cost?

On average, burial plot cost hovers around $2,000.

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