Funerals are expensive and not something you or your loved ones should have to worry about in their time of need. What can you do to prepare for these costs?
One of the easiest ways to arrange and pre-pay funeral costs is through a burial insurance plan. When you set up a burial plan, however, you must know how much the policyholder’s funeral will cost.
This way, not only is the funeral prepared to relieve the burden of planning from your loved ones when the time comes, but the financial burden is covered as well.
But, to know how much the policyholder’s funeral will cost, you must have an idea of how much funerals can potentially cost and the range of prices you may fall under.
The average funeral with burial is $7,360. For cremation, the average is $6,260, both according to the National Funeral Directors Association. To understand this average and the potential fees you may run into, here are the funeral costs to expect in 2021.
Start with the Basics: Funeral Home’s Basic Service Fee
Every funeral home will have what’s called a basic service fee, averaging about $2,100. This fee generally accounts for:
- Funeral planning
- Securing the necessary permits
- Producing copies of death certificates
- Preparing death notices
- Sheltering the remains
- Coordinating arrangements with the cemetery (or the crematory or other third parties)
This is one of the only unavoidable fees for planning a funeral. Be sure to keep in mind that whatever amount this fee is, it will be between at least $500 and $2,500 besides the casket/burial or cremation itself.
Then, the low end of funeral costs is around $5,000, while the high end can reach as much or more than $10,000.
The General Price List (GPL)
Funeral homes are also required to give you what’s called a General Price List (GPL). However, this is not another charge like the basic service fee—it’s an itemized list of prices for each of their services offered for a funeral with them.
Here are the items you will likely see included in your average GPL:
- Basic service fee.
- Transferring to the funeral home.
- Direct cremation (i.e. cremation without a funeral service—you don’t have to pay for a casket).
- Immediate burial. (i.e., burial without embalming or funeral service)
- Embalming (may not be necessary/required by law depending on where you live and your arrangements. For example, if you don’t have a funeral service, you may not have to have embalming).
- Cosmetic preparation of the body (dressing, hair, makeup, etc).
- Use of facilities, equipment, and staff for a viewing, ceremony, graveside, and memorial service.
- Use of a funeral coach or hearse (and van or limousine if necessary).
- Casket or urn.
- Outer burial container (i.e., a grave liner or vault).
- Printed materials.
And, don’t forget that there may be costs not included in the GPL, including (but not limited to):
- Funeral plots
- Grave markers/headstone
- Gravesite preparation
Package Options to Lower Costs
For both easy planning and lower costs to their customers, funeral homes offer various packages on their arrangements. Generally, these packages include their most-used services in combination with one another.
These can include things like the casket, service, and more. You can also add or change elements of these plans to customize them to your specific needs and wishes.
Questions to Ask the Funeral Home
When planning a funeral (especially in advance), it is important to ask specific questions to ensure that you receive the best care and prices. One of the first things you should ask for is the General Price List (GPL).
This way, you can review their overall prices and compare them to other providers or third-party options for things such as the casket or flowers. If you are worried that certain elements are too costly, check and see if other funeral homes offer lower prices or if you can swap the funeral home’s option for something else.
And, make sure to ask if the price list is missing anything. Sometimes, there are other unlisted, cheaper alternative options for embalming, viewing, cremation, and type of funeral or memorial service.
And, be sure to confirm whether or not the funeral home will accept and work with your insurance policy. If you don’t have burial insurance, be sure to review payment options with the home. Or, consider investing in an insurance policy, especially if you are preparing in advance.
Be sure to ask questions about the funeral home itself—how long have they been in business, are they on call 24/7, do they do everything in-house or third-party, and do they require continuous training of their staff. This way, you can ensure that you receive a quality product that meets your standards and expectations.
An Easier Way to Pay for a Funeral—Call Senior Life Services
Seeing such a high price tag on a funeral is not a pleasant feeling. If you’re looking at these costs for your future preparations, the last thing you want is to leave this planning and financial burden on your loved ones.
If you’re looking on behalf of a loved one, you won’t want to arrange and pay for these costs when you’re grieving. The fact of the matter is, no one wants to plan—let alone pay for—a funeral.
What, then, can you do to make this process easier? One of the best ways to have peace of mind over these costs is with a burial insurance plan—this way, you know the arrangements and expenses are taken care of, even before you need it.
You can find excellent burial insurance with Senior Life Services. Our licensed agents will walk you through your options and provide you with a free, quick, and easy quote on great coverage from one of our 15+ carriers.
When you’re ready to get started, give us a call at (800) 548-3249.