When a loved one passes away, it can be a difficult time. It’s a time for grieving and reliving happy memories, but, even though we may not like to think about it, this can also be a financially taxing time as you work to plan an appropriate funeral or memorial for the deceased. Funeral costs are on the rise. When the time comes to lay your loved ones to rest, be prepared for the expenses.

From services to burial or cremation, there are a lot of moving parts to holding a funeral. The more you can research and plan ahead of time, the more you will be able to be present on the day of the memorial. Rather than worrying about finances, you can take your time to grieve, share stories, and send your loved one off in peace. Keep reading for a breakdown of costs and how to cover these expenses in a reasonable, affordable manner.

Service Costs

When someone dies, their body has to be prepared for burial. This involves embalming the body and preparing it for a funeral service. It can involve smaller details as well, such as how you want to dress your loved one and what flowers you want on the casket. You can always take a quick trip to some clothing stores to help make sure they go out in style. Just because someone has passed on, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a nice jacket or fancy dress to be displayed in.

Many of these costs go directly through the funeral home. Costs such as choosing a coffin, hiring a minister for the service, and renting a space are all things to consider when you plan for your budget. Oftentimes a traditional funeral home will take care of a majority of the details, but you’ll have to pay for that convenience.

Traditional Burial vs. Cremation

Your loved ones may have requested to be either buried or cremated. Costs do differ between these two options. When someone is buried, you have to pay for the lot and the casket they are buried in, as well as the costs of the actual burial. On the other hand, cremation costs are slightly lower. Rather than paying for a casket, you can rent one for the visitation at a much lower cost. This financial option also gives you more flexibility with what you choose to do with the cremated remains. Depending on your area, the cost will differ for each option, but typically a cremation will cost about $2,000-$3,000 less than a burial.

Cover Your Expenses


On average a funeral with burial will cost around $8,500 and a funeral with cremation services will cost around $6,000. Although you can sometimes receive financial assistance from the government or life insurance policies, these options often won’t begin to cover your entire expenses. In the case of terminally ill individuals, you may be able to prepare for end of life costs before their passing. American Life Fund viatical settlements give you the opportunity to trade your life insurance in to a broker as a life settlement transaction. You will receive a lump sum of money to help cover end of life expenses and funeral costs. Ask a viatical settlement provider if this may be a good option for you to help cover funeral expenses and medical bills for a family member or loved one who has a terminal diagnosis.

State by State

Funeral costs are not a one-size-fits-all scenario. There are a lot of different pieces to the puzzle, and where you live will determine a lot of the costs. Research your specific state to see what the average cost of a funeral is in your area. Consider that you may need to pay extra expenses if you are transporting a body or cremation remains from one state to another.