Comparing funeral costs: burial vs. cremation

Experiencing a death in the family causes emotional turmoil, and planning that loved one’s funeral may add even more anxiety. Knowing what to expect upfront can prevent you from paying too much during an already stressful time.

Detailed infographic with cost figures for all aspects of funerals, cremation and burial.

Can't see the infographic?  Here's the text-only version:

Experiencing a death in the family causes emotional turmoil, and planning that loved one’s funeral may add even more anxiety. Knowing what to expect upfront can prevent you from paying too much during an already stressful time.

Basic costs of a funeral in 2014

  • Basic service fee: $1,975
  • Removal and transfer of body to funeral home: $285
  • Body preparation: $225
  • Embalming: $695
  • Basic memorial printed package: $150
  • Use of service car to transport flowers and other memorabilia: $130
  • Use of facility and staff for viewing and funeral: $895
  • Use of hearse: $295

Additional costs for burial

  • Burial vault: $1,298
  • Grave plot: $1,000
  • Headstone: $1,500
  • Opening and closing fees: $1,200
  • Metal casket: $2,395

Final cost: $12,198

Additional costs for cremation

  • Casket rental for the service: $1,000
  • Cremation: $300
  • Urn: $250

Final cost: $6,355

Tip: If you want the ashes present at the service, instead of the body, you won’t need to rent a casket. All cremations include a lined box for transport, so don’t feel pressured to buy an urn from the funeral home. You can purchase your own urn online or at a hobby store and save hundreds of dollars.

Average cost of a funeral from 1960 to present

1960: $708

1980: $1,809

2000: $5,180

2012: $7,045

Sources: National Funeral Director’s Association and the Funeral Consumers Alliance

 

 


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