Financial Considerations
Person writing in notebook and using calculator

Financial Considerations

In the midst of grieving the death of a loved one, it can be difficult to switch gears and think about financial arrangements to pay for the funeral. However, you and your funeral director can ensure there are no surprises by making finances a part of the discussion throughout the process.

A licensed funeral director will be open and transparent when discussing the costs related to planning a meaningful tribute for your loved one. This begins when you first meet with your funeral director. He or she will provide you with the funeral home’s General Price List and payment policy to fully disclose the costs of the goods and services related to planning a funeral.

Similarly, as you discuss options with your funeral director, it is very important that you are open and honest about your budget. Regardless of your family’s financial plan, you will be able to plan a meaningful tribute that beautifully memorializes the life of your loved one.

When selecting service and merchandise options, ask yourself two questions with regard to costs:

1) Does this help me meaningfully memorialize the life of my loved one?

2) Does this fit within my budget? If it does not, ask your funeral director to recommend similar items that are more budget-appropriate. You can likely achieve a similar result by spending a little less.

Remember, no one should feel pressured into purchasing anything that does not fit within a budget or that does not provide value to the service.

Many funeral homes have established a uniform payment policy to serve all families fairly and to prevent misunderstandings.  It is not uncommon for funeral homes to require partial or 100% of all expenses prior to your loved one’s service. It is also important to know that prices of funeral products and services vary depending upon where you live.

Average Costs

The national median cost of a funeral with viewing and ceremony followed by burial in 2021 was approximately $7,848.* Note: This cost average does not include cemetery, monument and marker costs or miscellaneous cash advance charges, such as for flowers or an obituary.

The median cost of a funeral with viewing following by cremation was $6,971* in 2021. Note: The median cost of a funeral with cremation does not take into account the cost of a cremation container; urn; miscellaneous cash advance charges; or cemetery costs for families that chose to bury or inter their loved one's cremated remains.

The primary role of funeral directors remains helping families understand the many options available to help them commemorate the life of their loved one in meaningful ways. Each funeral home offers a unique services and pricing structure and a wide variety of options to meet financial needs and wishes. Families should look for a funeral home that has a strong reputation with licensed funeral directors who understand their emotional needs and will be sensitive to their budget.

*Based on research and surveys conducted by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA).

Payment Options

Funeral homes may offer families the following payment options:

  • Verifiable and assignable insurance policy
  • Pre-arranged funeral plan
  • Cash
  • Check
  • Major credit cards
  • Finance terms through third-parties

Some funeral homes offer, through a third-party provider, simple and affordable financing terms with no interest on principle if paid in full within six months. One such program is offered through LendingUSA. The program offers a fast, online application with a decision in seconds and no interest on the principal if paid in full within six months. Plus, checking your rate won’t harm your credit score.

Speak with your funeral director about this program or use the Merchant Search tool on the Lending USA website to learn more.

Some expenses such as floral arrangements, officiant honorariums and published tributes, are considered cash advanced items. The funeral home, for your convenience, may advance cash on those selections.

Important Information for Victims of Crime

The Crime Victims Fund

The Crime Victims Fund, administered by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), supports a broad array of programs and services that focus on helping victims in the immediate aftermath of crime and continuing to support them as they rebuild their lives. Millions of dollars are invested annually in victim compensation and assistance in every U.S. state and territory, as well as for training, technical assistance, and other capacity-building programs designed to enhance service providers’ ability to support victims of crime in communities across the nation.

Help for Victims 

About the Fund

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