Just when you think you are leaving your loved ones behind without a debt or expense, along comes the funeral expenses. If you do not pre-plan your funeral costs or pay for things in advance, these expenses fall to your loved ones, who have to make some tough choices in the midst of their grief. If you do pay ahead on these expenses, then your family can grieve unencumbered. Yet, how much do all of these end-of-life expenses cost? When should you get started on these purchases? Here is the information to get you started.
The Coffin or Casket
At a minimum, you can expect to pay several hundred to a couple thousand dollars for your coffin or casket if you are to be buried or interred. The really nice, super-posh caskets will run about three to ten thousand dollars, quite a hefty price for a box that will sit underground and corrode, rust and/or rot. If you choose cremation rather than a burial or interment, you will still have to pay about one hundred dollars for the cardboard or unfinished wood box in which your body will lay as it rolls into the crematorium.
The Burial, Interment, or Cremation
Cremation is the cheapest of these three options, with a price tag of about fifteen hundred to four thousand dollars, depending on whether you pre-pay a crematory directly or you pay a funeral home for this service. Keep in mind that you will not need much in the way of a casket or coffin because you will not be buried or interred. That means that, even on the more expensive end of a cremation, you may still pay less than someone who has to buy a coffin and a headstone.
A burial will cost an additional one to three thousand dollars, and that does not include the cost of your graveyard plot. The cost is high because of the equipment needed to dig your plot, line it with a burial vault or liner, and the set up and take down of the coffin lift equipment to keep your coffin intact as it is lowered into the grave. Between the cost of your coffin/casket, and your burial, these are the two most expensive aspects to this type of funeral.
An interment in a mausoleum or family crypt is the most expensive of all. The crypt or mausoleum has to regularly tend to the deceased's bodies and air everything out so it does not smell. The cost of the interment is several thousand above that of a burial because of the special procedures and care given to your body above ground.
Headstones, Plaques, and Other Expenses
After the most expensive aspects of your passing are covered, there is still the cost of embalming, preservation, death certificates, headstones or plaques to mark your site, and religious services. All told, you could be looking at a price tag of about seven or eight thousand dollars, with cremation being slightly less expensive than the other two options. If you start a payment plan for your end-of-life expenses, you could make a monthly payment and have your funeral expenses paid off in a few years to under a decade.
For more information on pre-planning your funeral, talk to a professional at Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel.