What Are Common Funeral Expenses?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
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  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2019
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The most common funeral expenses include costs related to burial or cremation as well as the service itself. Flowers are a particularly common funeral expense as many people who either attend the service or who can't be there in person buy an arrangement or wreath. Flowers are usually sent either to the family's residence or to the funeral home. Many common funeral expenses are associated with the director of the home, since he or she is in charge of properly preparing the body whether or not a service is going to be held.

The burial expense typically also includes the ground-preparing and the plot. The head stone or plaque may also be included in a package for funeral expenses or it may be priced separately. Plaques are often pieces of metal engraved with the deceased person's name, birthday and death date. They lay flat on the ground at burial plots, while head stones are raised and usually made of stone that may include metal. Head stones are often much more expensive than the plaques used to mark graves.


Caskets are a very common funeral expense. They range widely in cost depending on how fancy the materials and details are. For instance, a plain pine box-style casket is often the most inexpensive, while a polished walnut model with brass trim and satin lining is likely to be very high in price. Urns used for cremation often cost much less than burial caskets although there are typically many differently priced products. Embalming fees are other common funeral expenses.

Transportation of the body to the funeral home is a common, but sometimes overlooked, funeral cost. Another one of the most common transportation funeral costs is for the hearse or other vehicle that the deceased's family may ride in such as between the grave site and the service location. Many people choose to have a funeral service and this is another common cost. If the service is held in the funeral home, there may be a single fee to cover numerous costs such as a reception room with food and a service area with a microphone for attendees to speak to the other mourners if they wish.

Flower arrangements of different sizes are common at funerals and vary in cost. Large floral sprays are typically quite costly floral funeral expenses, but also very dramatic and beautiful. Smaller baskets or vases of flowers may be placed in the center of tables at a funeral home reception luncheon. Many grave sites have containers or holders in which mourners can place bouquets of flowers.


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Post 3

@AnswerMan- I wish I had cremation as an option when my time comes. I have a lot of family members who would be very upset if they didn't have a body to view and a formal funeral service to attend. They would probably help with funeral expenses just to make sure a proper funeral was held.

I am seriously considering getting funeral expense insurance added to my policy, since funeral costs are so high these days. I'd only consider a prepaid funeral expenses plan if I were diagnosed with a terminal illness and knew I didn't have much time to live. I wouldn't want my family being put in financial straits at a time like that.

Post 2

One thing I've decided to do for my own funeral is have my body cremated. Caskets and burial plots are a significant part of funeral expenses, so I won't be burdening my family with those things. I also plan on having a memorial service at my home church instead of a formal service at a funeral home. I can't see paying those kinds of prices for something that a church can provide just as well.

Post 1

When my mother passed away, it was the first time I was actually a part of the funeral. I was shocked to learn about all of the funeral costs when I visited the funeral home director. We didn't have funeral expense insurance, but my dad's employer did offer to help with funeral expenses. Even with that assistance, the final bill was several thousand dollars.

One thing I did was volunteer my services as an organist for the visiting hours and the service itself. The funeral home usually keeps accompanists on staff to perform for services, but families can request their own prerecorded music or other musicians. The staff accompanist's salary is usually buried in the final bill somewhere.

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