Factors Driving the Cost of Funerals

One common issue that a lot of people run into when trying to determine how much burial insurance they need is projecting the cost.  It seems like the price tag for a funeral can vary by tens of thousands of dollars.  

There are a range of issues that can impact the cost of a funeral.  Here are just a few of them:

  • Cremation versus burial. If a body is cremated, embalming and a casket aren’t required, and the body usually isn’t dressed.  As a result, cremation is generally cheaper than a traditional funeral.  (It’s worth pointing out, however, that the amount of savings of a cremation over a burial can vary substantially depending on other factors.)
  • Cemetery plots.  Folks looking to plan a funeral learn quickly that buying a cemetery plot truly is a real estate transaction.  You really are buying a plot of land – it’s just large enough for a casket.  As a result, the cost of a cemetery plot is on some level connected to local real estate values, so a plot will probably be more expensive in Manhattan than Kansas.  Even in an area with relatively low real estate prices, the location you choose within a cemetery will directly impact the cost.  
  • Additional features during a funeral service can also add to the final bill: 
    • Decorations.  You may want to include pictures, mementos and flowers to remember the deceased loved one.  This can drive up the cost, depending on how elaborate you get.  
    • Music.  Many people want a special musical number performed by an individual musician or a group.  
    • Reception accommodations.  If you plan to have a post-service reception for funeral attendees, you’ll probably end up having to get a caterer to prepare food.  It may also mean renting a separate space for the event.  

These are just a few of the factors that can impact the amount you pay for a funeral.  But with the right level of final expense insurance coverage, your next of kin can have enough money on hand to lay you to rest without worrying about how to afford it.  

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