How much does a funeral cost?

Funerals can be surprisingly expensive. The financial burden may add to the emotional pressure that can overwhelm almost any person. It is difficult to concentrate on financial matters when grieving over someone who just died.

Funerals do not happen that frequently. This is the reason that many are not aware of the expenses involved. There are many things that make up the cost of a traditional funeral with a casket burial, which include:

  • Cemetery Costs: Burial Plot, Headstone, and Maintenance.
  • Funeral Home Costs: Body Pickup, Funeral Director and Staff, Embalming, Casket, Viewing, and Transportation.
  • Church or Memorial Services: Religious Leader and Flowers.
  • Reception

Cemetery Costs

The funeral director may serve as the intermediary and help make the arrangements with the cemetery or the arrangements can be made directly. If a funeral director handles all the arrangements, there is a commission added to the cost. The average cost of a burial plot is $3,000 to $5,000 depending on where it is located in a cemetery. The cost to open or close a grave by digging is around $1,000 more.

A grave marker costs around $1,000. A more elaborate headstone costs about $2,000. Additional fees may include a maintenance plan (billed monthly, quarterly, or annually). This is to pay for the grounds-keeping over a long period.

Funeral Home Costs

After a death certificate has been prepared and signed by the appropriate authority, the body of the deceased is picked up from either the home, hospital, or mortuary. This transportation usually costs around $250 to $350. The funeral director and staff cost around $1,500. The embalming costs are around $600 to $1,000.

A decent casket that is made from wood costs about $2,000. Steel caskets cost more than wooden ones do. Waterproof, airtight, steel caskets are some of the most expensive kinds. Viewing services typically cost about $1,000. Transportation of the casket, in a hearse, to the funeral services and then to the gravesite costs around $500. Additional limousines to take family members and friends to the cemetery cost about $200 each.

Church or Memorial Service

These expenses include the cost of renting out the meeting space and the fee for a religious leader to preside over the services. The average cost for the funeral ceremony is around $1,000. Flowers are usually used at these services and may also be used at the gravesite. These may cost $300 to $500.


After the funeral, the guests normally go to a reception. This may be held in a home or in a public space, or at the funeral home. If the reception is held at a space that is not a home, there is the cost of the space that can be around $300 to $500. Then, there is the cost of the food and drinks to serve to the people who attended. This may be another $500 or so.

Total Funeral Costs

The average no-frills funeral and burial costs are about $11,000. The reception can add another $1,000. These expenses may be twice that amount when extras are added.