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Featured FAQ: How Much Do Funerals Cost?

September 1, 2016

No two funerals are exactly alike as they reflect the life of the individual being memorialized. Ultimately, the cost of a funeral depends on what services and merchandise are chosen in accord with the family’s needs and values.

49309639 - undertaker helping woman choose flowersFuneral costs cover a broad range based on many factors including the area in which you live; the type of services you prefer; whether you choose burial or cremation; and the types of merchandise selected or required, such as a casket, vault, or urn. It’s important to discuss the options with your funeral director so that he or she can help you design a meaningful funeral that is respectful of your budget.

“We strive to provide the highest level of service and facilities while helping our families to determine what best suits their needs in honoring their loved one,” said Joe Reardon, Vice President for Community Development and Advance Planning.

Factors to Consider

Funeral costs can be divided into several areas, and your personal choices within those areas will help determine total funeral costs. Becoming familiar with the areas involved in planning for a funeral will help you establish the costs involved:

  1. Funeral home services: Funeral home costs include the services and overhead for the funeral director and staff, including meeting with the family, coordinating the visitation and/or service, preparations of the obituary, transferring your loved one into our care, filing necessary documents and permits, as well as use of the funeral home facilities, vehicles and staff. Funeral homes are required to provide a list of prices for their services and merchandise, including any packages as well as itemized prices for each type of service or article.
  2. Merchandise: If a loved one will be buried, the choice of casket will vary in cost depending on the type of material used, such as the gauge of the metal or the species of wood. An outer vault, which may be required at some cemeteries, is often made of concrete, and varies in cost as well. In the case of cremation, there are many options for the dispensation of the ashes, including urns, urn vaults, incorporating the ashes into jewelry and other keepsakes or scattering the ashes in a meaningful place. As with caskets, urns come in a wide range of costs and styles.
  3. Additional services and merchandise: You may choose to incorporate additional items to add special touches to the funeral, such as tribute videos; register books; prayer cards; and thank you notes, among other things.
  4. Cemetery fees and other third party expenses: the total picture of funeral costs includes fees outside of the funeral home services, including burial plot or mausoleum, opening and closing of the gravesite, newspaper notices, flower arrangements, copies of the death certificate and catering for a reception or other gathering.

One important decision to keep in mind when considering funeral costs is pre-payment. The National Funeral Directors Association reports that the median cost of an adult funeral in the United States has increased 28.6 percent over the past decade. At Keohane, we offer a cost protection program that insulates families from future price increases.

To discuss funeral costs, pre-planning or our cost protection program with one of our knowledgeable funeral directors, please contact us at any of our locations or call our main office at 1-800-Keohane (800-536-4263).

Photo credit: auremar/123RF.com

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