No one is ever ready to lose a loved one even if an illness has been protracted. Grief can be overwhelming in a time of loss, and day-to-day functions can be burdensome. Many loved ones are shocked at the amount of planning and cost that it takes to properly lay someone to rest. That is why planning for your funeral and its costs can ease the weight on your loved ones. In addition, you will put your own mind at ease if you begin understanding the costs involved with planning a funeral.

    The basic costs

    Establishing a dedicated amount for a funeral is up to an individual of course, but it is estimated to cost upwards of $8000. The typical funeral starts with engaging a funeral home, which provides services such as body pick-up and preparation for burial, casket, funeral services, and some of the documentation you will need.

    The funeral home costs for these items is approximately $6000, but there are a wide variety of options – and costs – available. Caskets in particular can vary greatly in cost, with prices around $2000 for metal or fiberboard, and $10,000 for bronze or mahogany. Another variable cost can be the funeral music. If you want to hire musicians outside the standard organist offered, you’ll need to budget about $150 per musician.

    After the funeral home costs, you will have to pay for cemetery services for a burial, which include digging a grave and the grave space itself. This runs around $2000. A headstone or grave marker is optional, but if you choose to have one, its cost will depend on materials used. Look to spend $1000-$2000.

    Lowering funeral costs

    It is possible to significantly lower these costs. For example, by having a simple burial, with no service, you can keep the cost to under $2000. You can also buy funeral insurance to cover costs, or pre-pay your costs to avoid higher prices later. Cremation services are usually less expensive than funerals, and can still include a service. Expect to spend $1000-$4000 depending on the disposal of the ashes and any memorial to be put in place.

    Whether you choose casket burial or cremation services, by planning, you can substantially cut costs by choosing a reputable funeral services company. Funeral homes are in the business of making money, but there are companies that respect your budget needs, and will assist you in making the most appropriate plans.

    Though it may seem odd, you should approach choosing a funeral home like any other consumer choice you make. Spend some time getting to know the local providers in your area. Talk to friends and loved ones who have used funeral services. This will ensure your wishes are followed exactly.

    Being prepared for your funeral is important for you and for your family. Preparing a budget and getting reputable assistance in preparing all the details will definitely give you peace of mind, and make your passing easier for everyone you love.