Another Reason to Plan–the Cost of Dying

If you have ever been in the unenviable position of being chosen to plan and organize a funeral and burial service for a deceased loved one, you probably already know how overwhelming and emotionally exhausting the process can be. You may also have some idea of just how costly it can be as well.  A Windsor Hills estate planning attorney at Collins Law Group gives you some idea of what to expect and explains how you can save your loved ones from going through the process of planning and paying for a funeral.

Funeral and Burial Prices for 2019

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average cost of a funeral has jumped from around $6,000 in 2013 to $10,000 by 2019. That’s an increase of over 50 percent in just six years. The cost of a funeral will depend, to a great extent, on the type of funeral. There are three basic options:

  • Traditional Funeral Services — usually include embalming, dressing of the body, funeral home rental, a viewing, body transportation (via a hearse) to the funeral site, casket cost, and a cemetery plot or crypt.
  • Direct Burial — a simpler version that would likely include a simple container, no viewing or visitation, and no embalming. A memorial service would still be held at the graveside if desired.
  • Cremation — the body is cremated after death without embalming and the remains are kept as the family desires.

The cost of a funeral will also depend on the specific services and “add-ons” you choose to include as well. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, some average costs include:

  • Basic services — consultations, preparation and filing of permits, coordinating arrangements and third parties, overhead expenses — $2,000
  • Casket — casket styles vary from simple cardboard all the way to metal and fine wood — $2,200
  • Burial vault — rectangular boxes made of concrete, composite plastic, or metal that may be required by a cemetery — $1,300
  • Body removal — pick up and transport costs for newly deceased body from a residence, hospital or other location to a funeral home — $125-$500
  • Embalming — draining a body of fluids and replacing them with chemicals to temporarily preserve the body. It is not legally required and is growing out of style — $225-$1,200
  • Dressing, hair, and makeup — preparing a body for viewing and visitation — $200
  • Storage and refrigeration — $35-$125 per day
  • Viewing — an opportunity for friends and loved ones to say their goodbyes, offer condolences, and see the body one last time — $150-$1,200
  • Funeral ceremony staff — coordination and supervising the funeral arrangements and assisting with the ceremony — $500-$800
  • Hearse or funeral coach — $300
  • Urn — $100-$2,000
  • Grave plot — $400 — $10,000
  • Grave opening and closing — $300 — $1,000
  • Graveside service — $200 — $1,700
  • Grave marker — $500 — $12,000
  • Flowers and music — $200 — $2,000

How Can Funeral Planning Help?

Understandably, you may prefer not to dwell on your own eventual death and the subsequent funeral service. The reality, however, is that dying is expensive and if you don’t plan ahead your loved ones will be forced to figure out how to pay for your funeral and burial while they are grieving your loss. Planning ahead by including a funeral planning component in your estate plan not only takes a considerable amount of stress and pressure off of your surviving loved ones, but it also ensures that your wishes will be honored.

One popular funeral planning option is an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust. An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) is a special type of trust that is funded by the proceeds of a life insurance policy. An ILIT ensures that there will be sufficient funds available to cover the cost of your funeral and allows you to use the terms of the trust to plan the details of your service.

Contact a Windsor Hills Estate Planning Attorney

For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE webinar. If you have additional questions about how to plan for the high cost of funeral and burial services, contact a Windsor Hills estate planning attorney. Contact the Collins Law Firm by calling (310) 677-9787 to register for one of our FREE estate planning workshops.

Caprice Collins
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