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FYI: Latest Data on Funeral Costs

When collecting information from your client regarding retirement planning, wealth transfer, and life insurance for premature death, final expenses are always a factor of the equation.   One component of that factor is the cost of the funeral.  Below are the latest estimates on the cost of an average funeral for an adult in the United States.

Item Price*
Non-declinable basic services fee $1,817
Removal/transfer of remains to funeral home $250
Embalming $628
Other preparation of the body $200
Use of facilities/staff for viewing $395
Use of facilities/staff for funeral ceremony $450
Use of a hearse $275
Use of a service car/van $125
Basic memorial printed package $125
Subtotal without Casket: $4,265
Metal Casket $2,295
Vault $1,195
Total Cost of a Funeral with Vault $7,755

Source: 2010 NFDA General Price List Survey. (Note: This survey is not conducted annually; 2009 is the most recent year for which NFDA has data, and does not include cemetery, monument/marker costs or miscellaneous cash advance charges such as for flowers or obituaries.  Actual osts may vary in specific locations in the US from the above national averages.)

It is important to remember that funerals can involve more than the above listed charges, depending on family values and expectations.  Many times catering and facility use for an after-ceremony event are part of the day’s activities.  For planning purposes, therefore, I recommend considering a range of costs rather than a single figure:  $6,000 to $15,000 would seem appropriate.

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