Understanding The Costs of Funeral Services

by Kristal Borjas January 15, 2021 4 min read

Planning a funeral can be financially overwhelming when all the expenses for each component of the ceremony/service start to add up. This is why it’s important to understand general funeral pricing, especially when you have a firm budget with little wiggle room. We may not want to think of the financial part of a funeral, but unfortunately, it’s necessary so everything can go according to plan. Given the emotionally taxing nature of experiencing a death, it can also be difficult to ensure there is an equal balance between the amount you’re paying versus the services you’re receiving. Use these guidelines to help you keep track of what general expenses should look like for an average funeral service.  


The Cost of a Cremation Service and Funeral

Cremations have quickly become the preferred method of service over a traditional burial, both because the cost is more affordable and because cremation offers more options for ceremonies and services. For example, the average cost of a cremation with funeral service is around $6,000, while the average cost of a traditional burial funeral is around over $7,500. Disclaimer with prices provided in this guide - please be aware that any extra services or add-ons can vary the pricing in these estimates.


Direct Cremations

Direct cremation is the most economically sound method of disposition currently available

Cremation Process = $500 - $1000

Generally, most people will add things to the direct cremation such as an urn, flowers, religious ceremonies, etc.

Cremation urns are not usually included with direct cremation, so the cremains will be presented in a simple plastic bag inside of a cardboard box. As such, families will source an urn to provide their loved ones with a more substantial place of rest.

Urns can vary in cost depending on material, sizing, customization, etc. While cheap adult urns below $100 are available, these urns are not meant to last and will eventually need replacing. The amount you invest directly determines the quality of the urn you receive. This comes back to the raw materials used in manufacturing - the cheaper an urn is, the cheaper the raw materials used to construct it. Cremation urns will reflect their quality in their pricing – urns made from top notch raw materials with expert craftsmanship can run you from $150 – $400.


Cremation with Services

While direct cremation is a great choice, often families will choose to add on features such as a formal viewing or funeral service. These added events are meant to allow the bereaved a formal ceremony to say their final farewells and to gather in honor of the deceased.


Average cost of cremation with funeral service at a funeral home = $3,000 to $4,000

Average cost of cremation with funeral service at a crematory = $2,000 to $3,500.

*Please understand that this range is the result of an approximation of features to be included. With any additional services, this basic fee will increase.


If a family is opting to cremate but is also planning a viewing, the preparation of the body must be taken into consideration.

General prep with embalming = $1500 with embalming being the bulk of the final price.   

Regardless of whether the family has chosen to embalm, the next major expense is the cremation container. This container is the vessel which holds the body during the cremation process. Typically, funeral homes and crematoriums offer a free cardboard box for the cremation itself, but families can choose to purchase a casket.


Casket Upgrade = $1500.  


General added fees for Cremation with Services:

Funeral Home Use = $500

Flowers = $500

Pamphlets, Prayer Cards, Invitations = $150 - $250

Memorial Video/Live Stream = $50 - $100

After the cremation process, the cremains of a loved one can be laid to rest in a cemetery. Burial in a plot = $1000 - $2500

Enclosed in a columbarium niche = $500 - $800


Traditional Funeral with Burial + Viewing

Traditional Burial tends to be the more expensive option in comparison to cremation. This has to do with the extra preparation and legal requirements necessary for the care of the body.


Traditional Funeral Service = ~$7,500

*Base fee without any add-ons.

Embalming = $500 - $800

General Prep (Dressing, make-up, hair) = $250 - $400

Facilities and staff = $500

Hearse for Transport of Remains = $500


The most difficult fee to consider is the cost of the casket which will forever hold the deceased. These vary tremendously in cost depending on material used, style, quality, appearance, and construction.


Average cost of a casket = $1,000 - $15,000

Burial Vault = $1,500

Public Cemetery Plot = $400 - $2,000

Private Cemetery Plot = $2,000 - $4,000.


The range is significant but varies depending on what state you’re in, cemetery location, and available facilities. Along with the burial plot, the last additional expense might include the cost of a headstone or grave marker. Some facilities will incorporate this into the cost of the burial plot. However, they can cost $400+ to purchase and engrave.


Planning Ahead and Financing a Funeral

Funerals can easily cost a family a hearty sum upon losing a loved one. Sometimes, these fees can be lessened with the assistance of insurance or government assistance in the case of a crime victim. It is always beneficial to plan and set aside funds to assist with funerary costs after dying.

Regardless of your financial situation, it’s helpful to have a general idea of the kind of budget needed to lay a loved one to rest. Sit down with family and take the time to evaluate what your budget is and what the realistic costs are going to be to help make the process more manageable.

GetUrns + Klarna

We understand that experiencing the death of a loved one is the most difficult time, especially when coupled with making funerary arrangements while grieving. It can be emotionally, spiritually, physically, and financially exhausting to go through the motions of arranging the final resting place for your lost loved one. Here at GetUrns, we strongly believe that purchasing a cremation urn or urn accessory should never be a financial burden. GetUrns has partnered with Klarna - making funerary history as the first cremation urn retailer that offers financing options. Laying your loved ones remains to rest has now become accessible and possible even if you may be experiencing financial hardship.

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