How Much Does a Funeral Cost

In this article...
  • Funerals can be expensive, costing between $7,000 and $12,000, depending on many factors. Find out how much funerals cost and how to plan for the expense.

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences to go through. Add to that the cost of handling after-life expenses while grieving. Funerals can be expensive, costing between $7,000 and $12,000, depending on many factors such as type of service, casket selection and even the state you live in. With the right plan in place, your loved ones can grieve your loss without risking financial stability.  

How Much Does a Funeral Cost?

The national median cost of a typical funeral with viewing and burial runs about $7,640, according to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA). This fee includes viewing and burial, transporting your loved one to a funeral home, a casket and embalming. These costs don’t include final medical expenses that a loved one might need to cover. Funeral costs can vary widely depending on how elaborate your services are, the casket material you select and even where you live. This is a breakdown of estimated funeral costs, according to the NFDA: 

  • Casket: $2,500
  • Services and fees: $25,00 
  • Funeral director’s fees: $1,500
  • Embalming and body preparation: $750 
  • Funeral ceremony: $900
  • Transportation: $500

The price of a casket is a significant funeral expense and can vary widely depending on the style and material. A typical casket is constructed of wood, metal, plastic or fiberglass, and costs start around a few thousand dollars. More expensive caskets that include mahogany, copper or bronze can run as high as $10,000.

Funeral Costs With Cremation

The average cost of a funeral with cremation can run as low as $3,000 to as much as $7,000 and doesn’t include a cemetery, a creation casket, an urn, a monument, a grave marker or flowers. 

  • Embalming services
  • Preparing the body for a casket
  • Facilities for the funeral ceremony
  • Service car and transportation
  • Cremation fee

Life Insurance for Funeral Expenses

You can purchase a life insurance policy that will help your loved ones and beneficiaries cover your funeral expenses. The death payout can help offset costs incurred by your funeral, and since you can make monthly premium payments, it can be an affordable way to pay ahead. 

Final expense insurance is designed to help cover costs such as medical bills or funeral services. This is an ideal policy for people who do not want to burden their loved one with funeral expenses. This type of insurance tends to be more expensive than term life insurance, but it doesn’t have the strict underwriting guidelines some policies have. You also don’t have to undergo a medical exam, and the plan is guaranteed, which means you are approved as long as you pay the premium payments and don’t have a terminal illness. 

You can also set money aside in a savings account specifically earmarked for funeral costs. And because the money is set aside in a bank savings account instead of a life insurance policy, your loved ones can access the funds quicker and more easily for your after-death expenses. As part of your end-of-life planning, one important step is leaving behind instructions for how you want your affairs handled, funeral coordinated and expenses paid for. 

How Much Does a Funeral Cost in Your State?

The cost of your funeral could be higher or lower depending on where you live in the United States. Hawaii has the highest funeral cost — an average of $14,975 — while Mississippi averages the lowest cost at $6,684, according to data collected from Policygenius. 

The top five least expensive states for average funeral and end-of-life costs are:

 

  • New Mexico: $18,810
  • Missouri: $18,724
  • Oklahoma: $18,702
  • Arkansas: $18,681
  • Mississippi: $18,509
The top five most expensive states for average funeral and end-of-life costs are:

 

  • Hawaii: $41,467
  • California: $32,611
  • New York: $29,902
  • Oregon: $28,849
  • Massachusetts: $28,290