The Truth About Funeral Costs For All 50 States

Funeral Costs are consistantly on the rise!

Funerals are a rite of passage for all, and they can be costly. But what is the cost in your state? Are you prepared to pay $10,000 or more for funeral costs in your area?

If not, read on to find out how much funerals will cost across the U.S.

Also, find out where the most expensive place to die is and how these prices compare with other states around the country!

How Much Does it Cost to Have a Funeral

Above all, a funeral isn’t something you prepare for, but it’s good to know how much they cost in case of an emergency. The average funeral costs between $7,000 and $12,000. This includes viewing and burial, basic service fees…

Despite the staggering cost of funerals, they are still an essential part of our society and culture. Many people want to give their loved ones a proper memorial service that reflects who they were in life instead of just cremating them or throwing them away like garbage.

In addition, it is also important for family members to be able to grieve together while acknowledging someone’s death rather than having it swept under the rug as if nothing happened because no one wants such pain hanging over their head indefinitely without ever being addressed properly.

Wanting to pay for a funeral can be difficult if you don’t know what your budget is.

Furthermore, paying for one might seem like an impossible task, especially when the bill starts creeping up with each additional expense tacked on by the cemetery or crematory where it will take place.

If there was no plan in advance and someone else had to step up at this moment of need, things could get very expensive quickly – not only that but they would also have trouble keeping track of all their payments too because money adds up so fast!

When you plan a funeral, it is key to know the average cost of a burial and what each item costs because this way you can decide if certain items are must-haves or nice to have.

By price shopping, your funeral will be cheaper than expected!

Whats The Average Funeral Cost By State

Although it’s not a fun topic to plan for, financial planning ahead of time can help with affordability when the final costs arise.

If you’re interested in setting aside money specifically for funerals or if your loved one wished to be cremated instead of buried, there are additional fees associated with these wishes that need consideration as well.

The average funeral cost is between $7,000 and $9,000. In addition, families tend to overspend due to emotion or lack of time/experience. Research services & find what fits your budget!

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) introduced the “Funeral Rule” in 1984 which ensures that you have all of your rights as a consumer. This means that not only should you know and understand your own funeral preferences, but also be aware of any laws protecting consumers in this area.

Here are the funeral costs for all 50 states from the highest average funeral cost to the lowest:

StateFuneral CostEnd of Life CostTotal Cost 
New York$10,799$19,103$29,902
New Jersey$9,712$17,181$26,893
Rhode Island$9,269$16,398$25,667
New Hampshire$8,516$15,066$23,582
South Dakota$7,748$13,706$21,454
North Dakota$7,670$13,569$21,239
South Carolina$7,445$13,170$20,615
North Carolina$7,367$13,003$20,370
West Virginia$7,072$12,511$19,583
New Mexico$6,793$12,017$18,810

How Can I Save Money On A Funeral

There are multiple reasons why a family may emotionally overspend on funeral arrangements.

These include:

  • Emotional impact of losing someone,
  • Time constraints
  • Lack of prior experience with funerals
  • Pressure from some funeral homes
  • Cemeteries to prioritize profit over savings for families

Yet when it comes to our own deaths, most of us don’t take the time and effort needed to get a good deal.

We simply accept whatever kind of funeral is offered by our local mortuary or crematory—for about $10,000 on average in 2016.

Is that really what you want?

Do you think your family would be satisfied with an overpriced casket made from cheap materials inside which lies a body preserved with toxic chemicals?

Would they feel comfortable paying for expensive vault interment into concrete-filled burial vaults designed only as protection against grave robbers rather than providing any significant support for the caskets above them?

Can we not do better at burying loved ones more affordably without compromising their dignity?

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to save on funeral costs. Funeral expenses are expensive and can be more than some other big purchases we make in life.

But there is a way families can lower the cost of funerals: by shopping around for items they want!

Overall, most people don’t think about saving when purchasing the things needed after someone dies but knowing all your options before making any decisions will help you find what fits within your budget.

7 Tips to Save Money on Funeral Costs

With death comes grief, but also expense. If you’re the one left behind to handle your loved ones’ final arrangements, it can be difficult knowing where or how to start cutting costs without compromising their memory and dignity.

Here are 7 ways that will help ease some of both those burdens for you!

  1. Comparison shopping online offers free instant quotes online, and users can sign up to have funeral providers email them directly with the estimate. Funeral Consumers Alliance provides tips for consumers looking to save money on their arrangements in their area as well as a state-by-state directory of organizations that help people find low cost funerals nearby.

  2. Skip The Embalming Process

    Rather than pay $700 to have your loved one embalmed, you can save a lot of money by having them refrigerated for just 50$.

  3. Do Not Take The Gasketed Coffin/Casket

    When grieving, some people are drawn to products based on how comforting they sound: A “protective” casket, for instance. These special gaskets only cost the funeral home $8 but could raise the price of a casket by as much as 800$. And while these aren’t necessary since nothing is wrong with natural decay and decomposition after death anyway.

  4. If a Direct Cremation, Ask For The Wood

    If you choose a direct cremation, without a viewing or other ceremony where the body is present, there isn’t any law that requires you to purchase an expensive casket. You can choose between inexpensive unfinished wood boxes and alternative containers like pressboard cardboard canvas for your loved one’s final rest.

  5. Shop For A Coffin or Urn Somewhere Else or Online

    If you plan to buy a casket or urn, the law requires that it be purchased from an outside retailer. You can purchase one yourself without having to use your funeral home of choice and while saving money in doing so!

    If you are hunting for deals then warehouse clubs are great, with Costco Wholesale selling an 18-guage steel casket finished in “Neapolitan blue” with silver shading and the inside head panel inscribed “In God’s Care” online (shipping included) for $950. A similar looking metal casket was priced at more than twice as much from a funeral home in Niles, MI while also offering adult urns made of brass including velvet pouches that are sold on their website ($90 shipping included).

  6. Home Funeral? Yes It Is Done

    You can complete a death certificate, file it, care for the body at home and take it to its final resting place yourself. Most families did exactly that until funeral services became more widely available in the early 20th century.

  7. You Can Donate Your Body To A Medical School

    Although donation typically occurs directly after death, some medical schools coordinate memorial services for the families at a later date. Generally cremated remains are returned to the family when they complete their study which lasts one or two years.

If you are certain that a burial is your preferred choice, typical expenses include:

  • Gravesite cost/Burial Plot
  • Price of coffin
  • Coffin/Vault Container
  • Hidden Service Fee’s
  • Transportation fees

This can all add up quickly! Above all, call around to local funeral homes for a list of prices so you know who will be the best provider!

With planning ahead, start your own personal checklist as well as those from professionals – this allows one to have their preferences known now rather than later when it could potentially cause more stress in an already stressful situation.

If you have any questions on funeral insurance coverage, reach out to us.

What Are My Funeral Rights

The FTC introduced the Funeral Rule in 1984 to prevent funeral homes from pressuring people into buying goods and services they didn’t need or want.

In fact, it was also intended to help protect consumers from being overcharged for items that were wanted by them at the worst possible time.

You have the right to buy goods you want, be offered pricing information over the phone, receive an itemized statement of all services before making any payments for them.

You can also pick out your own casket or urn and refuse embalming prior to a funeral.

What Is The Cheapest Way To Be Cremated

According to a study by the National Funeral Directors Association, cremation services can range from $1,000 – 3,000 on the low end of the spectrum but costs as much as 6-8 thousand dollars depending what options you select.

The 2020 NFDA Cremation & Burial Report predicts that in five years more than half will opt for cremations and prices are expected to rise due in part because it’s becoming an increasingly popular choice.

How Much Does A Typical Funeral Cost

Burying a loved one is an emotionally-charged event, which makes it all the more important to be financially prepared.

If you’re not sure how much each service will cost or if they vary by region of your country, get in touch with several funeral homes and ask for quotes before making any decisions on what kind of services are right for you.

People grieving a recent death are struggling to plan their loved one’s funeral. They have so many decisions they need to make, and it is very hard for them because of how difficult the process can be at this time.

The most important aspect of planning a funeral is having the necessary information about your loved one’s final wishes in writing.

It will give you peace of mind to know that everything has been planned out and there are no surprises when they pass away. You can even save up for it so you have time, which gives family members less stress on their plate at once!

The median price of a funeral and burial is $9,135 according to the National Funeral Directors Association.

What Is The Breakdown Of Funeral Costs

According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), in 2019, a median funeral cost was $7,640 with or without vault.

A burial plot with headstone and flowers were not included but an obituary would be needed for this price; therefore making it more expensive at about $9,135 which does include vaults.

Funeral ItemCost Of Item
Funeral home’s basic service Cost$2,195
Transporting remains to funeral home$350
Preparing the body, such as makeup and hairstyling$255
Staff to manage a viewing$425
Facility to manage a funeral ceremony$500
Cost of Hearse$340
Cost of Service Car$150
Basic memorial printing$175
Traditional Metal casket$2,500
The median cost of a funeral and burial$7,640
Including a Vault
Cost of Vault$1,495
Overall Cost with Vault$9,135

When calculating funeral costs, you may have to include the cost of a grave box or burial vault in order to preserve remains from soil and insect activity.

How Much Will The Funeral Home Charge

A typical fee for basic services can be around $2,000-$2500. Optional items like caskets are not included in this price and must be purchased separately.

When choosing which funeral home to use, it’s important to understand all of your options. Contacting several funerals homes will provide you with a range of prices for the services available in your area.

Funerals are required by law give general pricing information over the phone for any service that interests you.

Is It Better To Get Buried Or Cremated (You Decide)

You can choose to be cremated for as little as $1,000. If you want a ceremony and embalming it will cost almost double that price at up to $8,000 depending on the state!

Depending on the smaller items chosen, burial can cost up to $9000 or more. Caskets are several thousand dollars but other options like headstones and grave liners will add thousands of dollars depending on material used.

Is Embalming Necessary

When deciding how much embalming will cost, several factors come into play. One is if you are cremated or buried and the amount of time between when death occurred and when a service began.

Embalming averages around $500-$700 depending on these circumstances, but it can be as low as $400-$450 without refrigeration for up to 10 days before burial happens. In fact, this will cost an additional $100 after that included in average price range mentioned above of course.

Should I Purchase Flowers Or A Funeral Wreath

Flowers are often an easy way for families to save on funeral costs. However, they can be costly when you add in additional fees from the florist or funeral home.

Flowers may also not fit with your family’s budget if it is only a few hundred dollars per person who wants flowers instead of several thousand people having them at once as part of package deals with the church and/or funeral home.

On average, flowers cost about $500-$700. This price doesn’t include any discounts available through local churches or florists which could lower total spending by almost half that amount depending where you live in relation to these businesses within your area.

Although this option does offer some savings, most families have found this route more expensive.

A decent-sized “across the casket wreath” will cost between $500-$700 depending on the florist, flowers used and size of the display.

Wreaths are usually displayed around the casket and typically cost about $100-$200 each. Casket wreaths are displayed across the caskets themselves vary in costs dependent upon how large it is as well as which Florists you choose.

What Is The Average Cost Of A Funeral Plot

The price of a cemetery plot can be expensive, costing anywhere from $350-$5,000. In addition to the grave itself being costly it also has an additional fee for opening and closing which is around $1-3k.

If you are a veteran, or have lost someone who is one, check with the Veteran’s Administration (VA) regarding burial allowances.

The VA reimburses the cost of transporting any living spouse/child/parent related to an honorably discharged veteran and also pays for their burial plot in a certified cemetery that may be much less than traditional plots.

You should note that families pay additional costs like flowers obituary notices while family members cover transportation expenses themselves.

When purchasing a gravesite, don’t forget to ask about the cemetery’s maintenance fee. This will help you plan your budget in advance for when it comes time to pay up!

How Much Should A Grave Marker Cost

Some headstones lie flat on the ground and cost around $1,000. Grave markers typically stand upright on top of a grave and cost around $2,500-$5,000 depending on design type.

Each material costs depends heavily upon which kind you buy with stone being cheaper than bronze for example.

The headstone or grave marker that you choose to buy may depend largely upon where in the cemetery your body is buried as most funeral homes can sell them but third party retailers are also an option potentially saving hundreds of dollars if needed

Are Coffins Cheaper Than Caskets

When it comes to traditional funerals, the casket is often the most expensive item on your list.

Caskets vary widely in style and design from their metal construction to more affordable woods that sell for as little as $5k or upwards of ten grand!

It’s important to remember you don’t have to buy any funeral items directly from the funeral home. Not only can buying outside of a funeral home help save thousands of dollars, but now more and more people are having caskets shipped directly from third-party retailers like Amazon or Walmart rather than purchasing them in stores within the actual funerals homes.

By law, these services must accept your provided coffin without charging additional fees for it; they cannot refuse service because it didn’t come through their store/warehouse.

How Much Do You Pay For Funeral Insurance

The average funeral expenses can cost about $9,100 according to the NFDA. Even cremation services can be costly depending on how they are performed..

Unfortunately, only individuals who qualify receive a lump-sum payment of just around $255 from the federal government for these costs.

If you’re concerned about your family experiencing a financial burden when you pass, consider getting final expense insurance. Final expense – commonly known as burial insurance or funeral insurance – is specifically designed to help with necessary costs and other end-of-life expenses like caskets.

What Type Of Insurance Covers Funeral Costs

Life insurance is one of the most efficient and trusted ways to cover final expenses. In particular, whole life insurance works well because it can help pay off any funeral costs associated with death.

People often turn to final expense insurance as a way of protecting loved ones from experiencing financial burden when they pass.

This is especially popular with seniors, and understands this better than anyone else in the industry because “Each family is unique” and has different concerns for their deceased loved one(s).

Should I Prepay My Funeral Expenses

With the cost of funerals continuing to rise, more and more people are making the choice to cover their own funeral expenses – both to make sure that they have final wishes followed upon death as well as for loved ones not having a financial burden. Pre-need is one way to go, however, we advise against it.

The best way to save up money for funeral and burial expenses is through a final expense insurance policy, sometimes referred to as burial insurance or funeral insurance.

The purpose of this policy is to pay out the death benefit – often between $10,000 and $25,000 – which would go towards covering end-of-life costs like funerals but could also be used on anything that family members might need it for such as travel fees or unpaid medical bills.

Burial Assistance For The Uninsured

Grieving families may be tempted to overspend on funerals – and can often regret it later.

But this doesn’t mean we should stop spending entirely; rather, there’s a way to cut costs without skimping out on respect for the deceased: having pre-arranged funeral packages is an affordable option that will ensure all needs are met while creating peace of mind for those left behind.

If you are someone who is looking to plan the funeral services of a loved one, it’s important that they have support throughout this process.

Organizations such as the Funeral Consumers Alliance and National Funeral Directors Association exist in order to provide help when necessary.

Don’t feel pressured into spending more than your budget allows – remember that family members don’t always know what kind of expenses can be incurred due to customs or traditions surrounding funerals!

In order to protect you from overspending on funeral costs or if you would like for your loved ones not be burdened with the cost of a burial, write down what details about funerals matter most to you ahead of time.

This includes whether they prefer cremation vs traditional viewing and where that service should take place (at a church or cemetery).

If I Can’t Afford a Funeral What Do I Do

The least expensive option for families is to have a direct burial without embalming the body or having visitation.

Direct cremation, which involves no post-mortem preparation and where the deceased’s remains are simply collected by an appointed agent of the funeral establishment (often within hours of death), costs several thousand dollars less than traditional funerals.

Are Military Funerals Free

Military veterans are eligible for a range of benefits if they have passed away. These include free burials in national cemeteries and grave markers, as well as burial plots and tombstones for the surviving family members.

It is important to call your local VA office before planning a military funeral. They can give you the full list of discounts and benefits, as well as available funeral plans for veterans.

What Questions Should I Ask The Funeral Director

When planning ahead, it is important to ask whether a funeral home is independent or part of a corporation.

A study from the Consumer Federation of America and Funeral Consumers Alliance found that median prices at funeral homes owned by SCI were 47 to 72 percent higher than those for independent businesses.

Other important questions to ask the funeral director:

  • Do you belong to associations or organizations?
  • Are services handled in-house or outsourced to vendors?
  • What kinds of funeral packages do you offer?
  • Do I have options as far as embalming, viewing, cremation and type of funeral or memorial service?
  • Are my options limited due to personal beliefs?
  • What are my payment options?
  • Can I customize the funeral service?
  • What are the basic costs, and what additional expenses should I expect?
  • Do you work with insurance companies?

What Funeral Expenses are Tax Deductible

While it may be comforting to know that you’re not the only one who is wondering “Are funeral expenses tax deductible?”, unfortunately according to IRS guidelines most individuals will not qualify for a deduction.

However, if your estate qualifies there might be some deductions available; but make sure and check with your accountant first!


Funerals can be one of the most expensive things a family has to plan for, and it’s hard to know what your total costs will end up being.

We wanted to help make that easier by compiling data from across all 50 states on how much you might expect to pay for a funeral service. That way, when someone asks “What is the average cost of a funeral?” You have an answer!

Let us know what questions we left unanswered at or fill out the quote box on the right.