When a loved one passes away, family members often turn to a funeral home to help them make final arrangements. Individual preferences for funeral plans and interment vary widely, so funeral directors work closely with families to plan a customized religious service, memorial, wake or other tribute to honor the deceased. These arrangements also provide an opportunity for surviving family and friends to gather to pay their respects, reminisce and grieve.
In addition to arranging the funeral itself, providers also sell burial and cremation goods, complete and file a great deal of paperwork, and tend to other aspects of the process. Funeral directors typically strive to personalize arrangements so that they are in accordance with the decedent’s wishes and those of their family. If a funeral home does not directly provide certain requested services, the director should be able to coordinate them with another provider or give you a referral.
The list below details the various services that funeral homes typically provide.
End-of-life arrangements can get pricy very quickly, depending on the goods and services that a family selects. These things are out-of-pocket expenses that are paid by the decedent or their surviving family members, but some financial assistance may be available for eligible veterans and/or individuals who had low income. The list below provides a few different ways of funding funeral arrangements as well as programs that can help defray costs.
Costs vary according to the type of memorial service and interment desired, any products selected or required for burial or cremation, and the geographic location where services and interment take place.
According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the average cost of a funeral and burial for an adult was $7,181 in 2014. This total includes a basic services fee, transfer of remains, embalming, casketing, cosmetology, dressing, grooming, a metal casket, use of facilities and staff for viewing and a funeral ceremony, use of a hearse, use of a service car/van, and a basic memorial package of memorial cards, register book, etc. With the addition of a vault, which most cemeteries require, the average cost increases to $8,508. Keep in mind that this number does not account for things like cemetery fees, the cost for a monument or marker, flowers or an obituary.
When selecting a funeral home to preplan your final arrangements or arrange services for a loved one who has passed, there are a few important things to keep in mind. You and your family should feel as comfortable as possible when making these difficult decisions. Below are some tips to use when making a selection.
Learn more about making final arrangements in these articles written by elder care experts and experienced caregivers.