Quick Guide to Funeral and Cremation Costs

Losing someone you love is difficult, but finding out how much the funeral will cost can add to the anguish. According to the National Funeral Directors Associations, the median cost for a funeral with a burial and viewing was $7,640 in 2019. Keep in mind this does not include all of the needed costs. 

For a funeral with cremation and viewing, the cost went down to $5,150. That’s because you can rent the casket for cremation rather than paying $2,000 to $10,000 to purchase one. If you are anxious about how your survivors will pay for your funeral, you may want to consider getting final expense insurance. 

The Basics: Average Funeral Costs

The average funeral costs in 2021 are $7,640( . That involves a viewing and burial, hearse, embalming, transfer of remains, service fee, and others. However, it does not include the cost of the vault, gravestone, or cemetery site. These additional costs bring the average to around $10,000.

By 2025, the NFDA expects 63% of funerals to be handled through cremation instead of the 31% expected for traditional burials due to the cost. 

There are different costs associated with funerals:

  • Basic service fee – The standard service fee associated with a funeral, which covers the cost of planning fees like permit and administrative fees. 
  • Service and merchandise fees – This covers transporting, prepping, and embalming the body. It also covers funeral home fees for viewing or memorial. You should pay for a burial container or casket or the needed services for interment or cremation.
  • Cash advances – These are other services that the funeral may handle for you, like organists, clergy, and flower funerals. You may pay an added service cost to account for the funeral home’s effort. Per the funeral rule, such extra costs should be disclosed in writing. 

The average casket price is about $2,000, while other quality caskets made of plastic, wood, fiberglass, and mahogany can cost as much as $10,000. 

Costs You May Incur for a Funeral

Below are some of the average costs you may sustain for a funeral, according to the NFDA:

  • Urn: $275
  • Vault: $1,395
  • Funeral home rental: $500
  • Funeral home staff: $500 
  • Funeral service fee: $2,100
  • Cosmetic services: $250 
  • Hearse: $325
  • Embalming: $725
  • Transportation: $325
  • Cremation casket: $1,000
  • Pamphlets and materials: $160
  • Transportation for the family: $150 


Q: What is the average cost for burial?

The average funeral cost of burial is around $10,000 some are less and some more, but that’s dependent on different factors that can affect the price. Funeral home staff, services, and fees can vary differently, depending on where you live. Always do your research before picking a funeral home or service. 

Q: What is the average cost for a cremation?

Cremations are less expensive compared to burials, averaging $350 only but that is not the end of what you will pay. There are other services you need, such as cleaning of the facilities and use of the facilities this can bring the cremation to around $2500 for a basic package. Other services are optional, such as adding funeral home service and staff fees and casket rental for the viewing these can bring costs up to $5,000 or more.

Q: What is the most affordable funeral option?

Most funeral homes mark up their services to account for their labor and time, accounting for a big chunk of funeral costs. However, you can prevent such unnecessary costs if you cut out the middleman. Do as much as you can yourself or appoint a team of family members or friends who can help.