Funeral Program Costs and What to Expect
These include the administrative costs that the funeral provider incurs to provide basic services such as:
- Taking delivery of the remains and keeping them safe and secure until final disposition
- Obtaining required documents such as the death certificate and permits
- Preparing death notices as required by local law (an obituary or memorial statement costs extra)
- Coordinating with providers of other services as needed (at your request)
Preparing the Remains
The main decision you must make is whether the remains will be interred (buried or entombed) or cremated (rendered into ashes for preservation or dispersal). If you choose internment, you may be offered these additional services.
- Embalming (to preserve the remains temporarily for viewing or if the burial will be delayed)
- Beautification (grooming and application of cosmetics to provide a more natural appearance)
Facility/Venue and Transportation Fees
These funeral costs vary depending on the number of events that will be hosted by the funeral home:
- Funeral or memorial service
If you choose a graveside service, there may be a fee for funeral staff attending to assist. Transportation for the remains (air or ground), vehicle rental or motor escort fees may apply as well.
Housing and Honoring the Remains
You may choose from the selection of caskets offered by the funeral home after viewing a price list, or purchase a casket from a third party supplier. The same applies to urns or alternate storage containers for cremains. For an in-ground burial, you may be required to purchase a grave liner. You may order a headstone or grave marker when you make the funeral arrangements or at a later time if desired.
Additional Items and Services
The funeral home may pay vendors for the following merchandise or services and bill you so that you don’t have to deal with multiple invoices:
- Clergy fees for officiating at the service
- Fees for musicians
- Flowers and other decorations/displays
- Printed funeral programs
- Video tribute or other special features
Final Resting Place
Fees from the cemetery vary and may include:
- Cost for the funeral plot, mausoleum or crypt space
- Cost for opening and closing the grave
- Fee for holding a service at the cemetery
- Annual fees for maintenance
The cost of a funeral has risen substantially in the past 10 years. As a result, many individuals make provisions in advance for their funeral expenses as part of their estate plan. This saves family members from facing a substantial financial burden during their time of bereavement.