When a loved one dies, the last thing on a person’s mind is the cost of a funeral. However, because many people are stricken with grief and shopping around for funeral prices is the last thing on their mind, the price of a burial, headstone, and other fees can be quite expensive.
According to the National Funeral Director’s Association, the average funeral cost in the United States is $6,500, but many argue this figure is much higher once all the fees and burial expenses are factored into the final amount.
Because funerals are such a large (and often unexpected) expense, the cost of a funeral can be something families have a hard time paying. That’s why many people choose to plan their funeral ahead of time to relieve some of the cost and create less stress for their loved ones while their seeking solace.
Planning a funeral ahead of time can save a person thousands of dollars. Simply shopping around for headstones, cemeteries, and other costs for the wake can ensure that you’re getting the best deal at the lowest possible dollar.
When planning a funeral, you should first determine the location of the burial. Cemeteries have policies regarding the type of headstones they accept as well as how they handle burials. Some cemeteries may allow any kind of gravestone, while others may only accept bronze grave markers. In either case, make sure to question what additional charges may be excluded from the total amount (such as headstone installation).
After choosing the location of the burial and carefully reviewing the cemetery’s rules and regulations, you should then select a headstone and casket that fit within your budget. Shopping online and calling different funeral parlors for prices can also help you save money as well.
Don’t forget to plan out your funeral services and wake (including flowers or other items you wish to be present at your funeral), as these services tend to be extra costs that many people do not factor in.
On a final note, one of the most important things you should do when planning your funeral is to contact an attorney to ensure that all your wishes are carried out properly (and legally) after your death.