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How much can a funeral cost?

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Estimating How Much Your Funeral Will Cost

Funeral homes, cemeteries and other service providers expect to receive payment in full at the time of the funeral. With the average cost of a funeral in the U.S. exceeding $8,000, it can be a hardship if you have not planned ahead for this expenditure. There are several ways to manage your funeral expenses and spare loved ones the financial burden.

Average Funeral Costs

According to the 2012 funeral price survey by the National Funeral Directors Association, the average funeral cost for an adult funeral is $8,343.00. This is based on the most commonly selected items for a traditional funeral including a casket and vault. However, it does not include cemetery costs. A grave space, a grave marker, and opening/closing the grave can easily cost another $1,500 to $2,500. Not included in this amount are items such as flowers, the opening and closing of the grave, paid newspaper obituary notices, certified death certificates, monument expenses, and honorarium given to clergy and musicians. In short, the average cost will increase or decrease depending on merchandise and services selected. Therefore, a typical traditional funeral and burial cost is likely at least $11,000.

Managing Funeral Expenses

A funeral doesn’t have to be expensive to be meaningful. Careful planning takes into consideration the costs vs. the benefits of the various options for funeral services and merchandise. Allocate more of your funeral dollars to those items that have the most meaning to you. A casket of the highest quality may be of utmost importance. Or you may choose to go with a rental casket to free more dollars for a mausoleum crypt or an extended visitation period.

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