The cost of funeral services
is frequently on par with the big purchases you have made, or will make, during your life. Funeral costs at Wujek Calcaterra & Sons vary based on factors such as the goods and services you want for yourself or a loved one.
Average Cost of a Funeral
Generally speaking, cremation is cheaper than a burial, but not by as much as you might think. The average cost of a funeral and cremation, excluding extra expenses such as markers or monuments, flowers, etc., is around $6,000 to $7,000. For a funeral with a burial, the average cost is between $7,000 and $9,000. This estimate includes embalming and other preparation, a casket, viewing and burial, basic service fees, and transportation of the remains. Whether you choose cremation or burial, however, it is not uncommon for funeral costs to exceed $9,000.
Reasons for Planning Ahead
When you make a purchase on the same scale as funeral services, such as a car or a computer system, you usually shop around to find the best price. When it comes to funeral planning, shopping around can also help you save money, but most people do not do so. There are several reasons for this. Surviving family members may be inexperienced at funeral planning. If the death was sudden or unexpected, they may feel pressured to make decisions within a very short timeframe. Furthermore, grief at the loss of a loved one may influence loved ones’ decision-making processes.
Whether you are arranging a funeral for a loved one or organizing your own, making plans ahead of time eliminates some of these difficulties. You are free to shop around without time constraints, and you are likely to be less burdened with negative emotions that could prevent you from making logical decisions.
Rights of Those Planning a Funeral
Before you start planning a funeral, your own or someone else’s, you should be aware of the rights that you have in that regard. In 1984, the Federal Trade Commission introduced the “Funeral Rule” that sought to increase funeral homes’ transparency about pricing. The purpose was to prevent them from taking advantage of grieving family members.
Under the Funeral Rule, you have the following rights when planning the services:
- Declining embalming
- Selecting an alternative container for cremation
- Providing your own urn or casket
- Receiving a written statement prior to paying
- Seeing price lists for outer burial containers and caskets
- Receiving an itemized statement of goods and services
- Buying only the goods and services you want
Ways To Decrease Costs for Funeral Services
Some funeral costs are simply non-declinable. Funeral home basic services fees are a good example. These are typically between $2,000 and $2,500 and include services like sheltering the remains, coordinating arrangements, securing any necessary payments, and obtaining copies of the death certificate. These matters often need to be handled in a specific way to be compliant with the law.
Burying or cremating the remains will cost some money as well. Depending on your location, the cost of cremation can range from $1,000 to $8,000. However, different facilities may offer the same services at different prices, so again, it is important to shop around if possible.
If cremation is not desired, a direct burial is often the least expensive option. There is no visitation for a direct burial, and no embalming takes place. This may be a good option for families who want to bury the remains but are struggling to afford the costs. Dispensing with embalming and visitation can save approximately $1,400 on the total cost of a burial.
Knowing approximately what a funeral will cost can help you to plan accordingly. Wujek Calcaterra & Sons can help with our funeral cost estimator
, which we provide on our website for free as a courtesy to you and your family.