Understanding Funeral Costs

When you decided on a funeral service to help you pay your last respects to a loved one, understanding funeral costs should be among the first tasks you accomplish. Although you will rely on the funeral service in assisting you with legal documents, paperwork, ceremonies, procession, burial or cremation and other tasks, the most important job is for you to find the funeral service that provides with a realistic funeral costs and explains each item being billed. The basic funeral costs should only include location rental, staff compensation, funeral director's fee and other fees estimated upon contract signing. Any additional fees, which have not been discussed before contract signing, should be reported to local legislators.

Embalming and Preparation Fees

If the total funeral costs include embalming fees of up to $700, be aware that this process if not required by law, except for deaths with disease or remains shipped across state lines. Each item used in for embalming has a corresponding fee. For instance, embalming fluids are priced at $2 to $10 per pint. When you consult with a funeral director, he may suggest a combination of preparation and embalming for your deceased loved one. The funeral costs, however, can be either billed separately or combined on the total funeral cost.

Other services associated with cleaning the remains can be an option or bundled with a package. These include disinfecting remains ($40 to over $100), dressing, applying cosmetics and casketing ($30 to over $200), hair care ($20 to over $200), face or body restoration ($30 to $100 per hour), refrigeration of remains ($40 to over $80 per day) and post autopsy care ($20 to over $50 per hour). With all these additional funeral options, your funeral costs could reach a total of over $1,500 for embalming alone. How about the other fees, you may ask. Well, most of the funeral costs should be explained to you before you sign a contract.

For instance, if a funeral home receives remains from another establishment, they are still going to charge you with various fees like embalming, preparation and other additional fees. By simply changing locations, the funeral cost will range from $700 to $1,600, without the rental fees for their facilities.

While losing a loved one can be an emotional and spiritual burden, thinking about funeral finances will only aggravate the situation. Because of the unexpected fees that may incur, it is important that you understand all funeral costs before signing a contract so as not to be overwhelmed by the large amount billed to you and your family.