The Financial Guide to Funerals

Planning a funeral is something many of us will have to go through in our lifetime.  With an average cost of $8,000 and rising, traditional funeral costs are becoming a cause for concern.  The earlier you create a plan, the more financially capable you’ll be to handle costs.  Consider this financial guide to funerals covering burial types, service fees, and alternatives.

Decide the Service

If your loved one has preplanned the service he or she wants, you may plan to fulfill their wishes as much as you can.  Fortunately, there are a variety of plans that you both can discuss that can fulfill their wishes as well as leave you in good financial standing.  The different services include:

  • Traditional Burial

The traditional burial is a staple of many religions and cultures.  For many people, a traditional burial is the only way to abide by their religions rules.  However, some religions have loosened their standing on burials to allow for more options.  Catholics, for example, now allow cremation. As previously mentioned, a traditional funeral costs about $8,000 today.  This includes embalming, the viewing, the flowers, the casket, the headstone, the actual burial, and the service itself.  These costs can add up quickly.  Thankfully, you are allowed to choose services as you please, and mortuaries must allow you to pick and choose from a list of services without adding unnecessary costs.

  • Cremation

Cremation is more cost-effective, with direct cremation costing a little over $1000.  However, this doesn’t include the cost of the urn or other rituals or services you or your loved one wish to include.  As for the urn, he or she may opt for a biodegradable version that can be buried in the ground.  They may also desire a version in which he or she is buried with the seed of a tree, thereby providing nutrients for the sprouting growth of a new tree. Unique options like this can quickly create additional cost.

  • Eco-Friendly Burial

If your loved one desires a traditional burial but has concerns about its effect on the ecosystem, they may desire an environmentally-friendly burial.  You can now purchase biodegradable caskets that are made of unvarnished woven wood. He or she may also choose to forgo embalming, in order to preserve the soil and water of the area.  There are now also cemeteries that are “natural preserves”, which are burial sites surrounded by natural woodland that does not disrupt the ecosystem. Green funerals can have positive benefits for the environment, but they can also cost a great deal.

  • Donation of Body to Science

If your loved one wants to contribute to the study of science and medicinal research, they may ask that their body be donated to science.  Universities are always in need of cadavers with which students can study to become doctors, and it is the cheapest option as it needs no cost at all.  Some organizations even offer to deliver the body back to you should you want to have a funeral.

Invest in Burial Insurance

Ideally, you and your loved one have discussed plans for their passing and now can plan the costs of the service.  No matter which path your loved one decides to take, he or she can help everyone involved by investing in burial insurance.  Insurance from a place like can cover the cost of funeral or cremation fees.  Unlike other insurance policies, burial insurance is used exclusively for the funeral process.  Research the different insurance methods to find which best suits the needs and wants of all involved.

Stick to a Budget

In the case of an unexpected death, your family or friends may be unprepared to handle the costs of a funeral in full.  Therefore it is critical that you state the limits of your budget as soon as possible.  If you can collaborate with your loved ones, then you will be able to budget in a way that fulfills everyone’s needs.

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