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How much does a funeral cost?
September 24, 2021

The cost of a funerals can be surprisingly expensive for many families and the financial burden can add emotional pressure to what is already an overwhelming even for anyone. These financial burdens can make it difficult to concentrate on the details of making an arrangement when grieving the loss of a friend or family member.

Fortunately, funerals are not a regularly occurring event in most people's lives, which is why most people are not generally aware of the costs involved. There are many items that comprise the cost of a traditional funeral with a casket burial, including:

  • Cemetery Costs/Fees: Burial Plot, Headstone, and Maintenance.
  • Funeral Home Costs: Body Pickup, Funeral Director and Staff, Embalming, Casket, Viewing, and Transportation.
  • Church or Memorial Services: Religious Leader and Flowers.
  • Reception/Memorial Service

Cemetery Costs

A funeral director often serves as the intermediary that facilitates arrangements with the cemetery. Alternatively, the family of the deceased can make arrangements directly with the cemetary. When a funeral director is involved with handling all of the arrangements, they typically receive a commission which adds to the total expenses. A burial plot costs, on average, about $3,000 to $5,000 depending on the location within the cemetery. There is also a cost for opening and closing a grave (digging the grave) which adds another $1000 to the cost.

Then one must consider a grave marker: basic markers will cost about $1,000, while more elaborate headstones can cost $2,000 or more. Additional fees can include maintenance plans, whether billed monthly, quarterly, or annually, add considerably to the ongoing cost of a burial: these fees pay for the grounds-keeping over a long period.

Funeral Home Costs

Once the death certificate has been prepared and signed by the associated authority, deceased body is transported from the home, hospital, or mortuary at a cost of around $250 to $350. The funeral director and staff charge roughly $1,500, and embalming costs are around $600 to $1,000.

A decent wooden casket should costs about $2,000, while air-tight steel caskets cost even more. Waterproof, airtight, steel caskets are some of the most expensive kinds. Additionally, viewing services typically amount to about $1,000. Transportation of the casket via hearse to the funeral services and subsequently to the gravesite are billed at around $500, and additional limousines to take family members and friends to the cemetery cost about $200 each.

Church or Memorial Service

These expenses include the cost of renting out the venue for the memorial service, and the fee paid for a religious leader to preside over the services. Funeral ceremonies often cost around $1,000. Typically flowers are commissioned for these services as well as at the gravesite. These add costs ranging from $300 to $500 or more.


A reception is typically held after the funeral. These are often convened in a home or in a public space, or at the funeral home. If the reception is held at a space that is not a home, there is the cost of the space that can be around $300 to $500. Any food or drinks that are provided for the attendees adds an additional cost, often amounting to another $500 or so.

Total Funeral Costs

The average no-frills funeral with burial will add up to a total of about $11,000. A reception adds another $1,000. These expenses may be double than that once extras are added up.