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What Costs Should I Review When Planning a Funeral?

Man hugging father

As most people are aware, funerals are expensive. A premium casket alone can run up to $10,000. Costs
can vary, depending on the state, the selections you make, and whether the deceased is buried or
cremated. The national median price was nearly $8,000 in 2021, as stated by The Zebra, and funeral
costs are rising. The following are common funeral expenses to consider, with average costs as of 2021.

  • Funeral services fee — $2,300
  • Facilities for viewing — $450
  • Facilities for ceremony — $515
  • Casket – metal $2,500; wood $3,000
  • Cremation — $370
  • Urn — $300
  • Transfer of remains — $350
  • Embalming — $775
  • Cosmetic services — $275
  • Burial plot – public $1,500, private $3,500
  • Headstone or marker – flat $1,000, raised $3,500
  • Vault — $1,572
  • Hearse — $325
  • Flowers — $600
  • Printed materials — $185

One way to cut costs is to choose an eco-friendly, green burial or funeral. The median price of a
biodegradable casket is $1,500 – substantially less than the price of a metal or wooden casket.

Will Life Insurance Cover Funeral Expenses?

Life insurance can help pay for a funeral. Provided the monthly premiums are paid, policy beneficiaries
will receive a death benefit after the death of the policyholder. This money can be used to help ease the
financial burden, including paying for funeral costs.

Are There Other Ways to Cover the Costs of a Funeral

Although life insurance provides the biggest payout, there are other ways to cover funeral expenses:

  • Payable on death (POD) account: This is a specialized savings account designed specifically to
    cover funeral costs. When you set up the account, you designate a person to have control over it
    after you die. That person can gain immediate access to the funds by showing a valid death
  • Final expense insurance: Also referred to as burial insurance, this type of policy is meant to
    cover end of life expenses. In addition to funeral expenses, these may include any outstanding
    medical or legal expenses that would need to be settled by the beneficiaries of the deceased.
    Benefits of this type of insurance include lower premiums, quick approval, and no medical exam
  • Traditional savings account: A savings account can be used to put away money for any purpose,
    including funeral costs. Be sure to name a beneficiary if the account is meant to cover your
    funeral expenses. Otherwise, it will have to go through probate as part of your estate and access
    to the funds will be delayed.
  • Military burial benefits: Members of the military are eligible for special burial benefits when
    they die. For a non-service-connected death, the Veterans Administration (VA) will pay a burial
    allowance of $300, or $796 if the deceased was hospitalized at the VA at the time of death. For a death connected to military service, it will pay $2,000.

After reviewing expenses associated with a funeral or burial, speak with our friendly local agent. We can
help you find the right insurance to help cover these costs.