Paying for a funeral can be a costly expense.
Dying is not cheap in America.
Families are often left with a significant bill for the costs of burial.
The National Funeral Directors Association lists the median cost of burial as $7,848.
The average cost of cremation and a funeral is $6,970.
Often, these expenses are due upfront by family while the loss is still fresh.
According to a recent Investopedia article titled “How to Pay for a Funeral,” it is possible to keep costs lower with thoughtful planning.
How can you keep burial expenses in check?
First, it is helpful to know whether the costs are optional or required.
The Federal Trade Commission provides support through the enforcement of the Funeral Rule.
This rule was created to help people choose the goods and services they need and only pay for those they select.
This rule applies whether burial arrangements are made in advance or immediately following the death of a loved one.
Funeral providers can charge all customers a basic fee.
Often the “basic fee” can include caring for the remains of the decedent, planning, obtaining permits and death certificates, preparing notices for the service, and making arrangements for cremation, burial, or transfers to third parties.
What expenses might be optional and cost extra?
Additional expenses could include providing staff or equipment for a service at the graveside, preparing or embalming remains, cremation, internment, providing a limousine or hearse, transporting the remains, and arranging for a viewing, memorial service, or ceremony at the funeral home.
It can also cost extra to purchase an urn, casket, or outer burial container.
Cash advances are fees charged by funeral providers to cover services from third-party vendors when the funeral home handles the coordination.
Some of these services include obituary notices, flowers, musicians, singers, officiants, and pallbearers.
Discuss your wishes and options with your loved ones in advance.
If possible, begin researching and making funeral arrangements.
Doing so will help you be more intentional with your investment.
Reference: Investopedia (March 9, 2023) “How to Pay for a Funeral”