Average Cost of a Funeral: What is the Average Cost of a Funeral?

    April 19, 2012 2 Comments

Funeral Costs

Looking for information about the average cost of a funeral service? eFuneral can help!

The average cost of a funeral in 2012 was more than $8,500 for a burial service and $3,700 for a cremation service

No one likes to think about death or dying, but we all want to make sure our loved ones get the care they deserve when the time comes. And while funeral planning is never easy, our goal at eFuneral is to simplify the process by putting you – the funeral planner – in control of the process.

To start, we want to help you get a rough sense of the cost of a funeral service – both a burial service and a cremation service. The information below was collected and compiled by eFuneral and is based on over 1,000 surveys to funeral homes across the nation in 2012.

The average cost of a funeral service – burial:

Non-declinable basic services fee $2,205
Embalming $722
Other preparation of the body $241
Use of facilities/staff for viewing $474
Use of facilities/staff for funeral ceremony $544
Hearse $325
Limousine $312
Metal casket (average charge for the most frequently purchased item) $2,295
Vault (average charge for the most frequently purchased item) $1,195
Total average cost of a funeral  $8,565


The average cost of a funeral service – cremation:

Non-declinable basic services fee $2,205
Professional Care $252
Use of facilities/staff for viewing $474
Use of facilities/staff for funeral ceremony $544
Urn (average charge for the most frequently purchased item) $250
Total average cost of a funeral  $3,725


This information on average funeral costs is meant to give you an idea of what you might pay for specific funeral services – on average, across the nation. eFuneral also conducted surveys and compiled reports of funeral costs specific to eleven major metro areas. Keep in mind, the average cost of a funeral as calculated by us does not include the costs associated with the purchase of a cemetery plot, a monument or headstone, flowers, obituaries, or other cash advance items.

If these prices look high, remember that there are many, many ways you can save money. For instance, consider a family-directed funeral service or home funeral, a green burial, or a direct cremation. For more tips on keeping a funeral service within your budget, read our article on saving money on the cost of a funeral service.

A couple of other tips: When making funeral arrangements with a funeral director, ask to see their general price list so you can look over their itemized prices. If you are opting for a casket, make sure to look over all your options. And if you’re opting for a cremation, be sure to ask about a crematory fee. And finally, you may also want to inquire about additional costs that may be associated with the transport of the body or use of the funeral home’s facilities – many times, funeral homes charge additional fees when you surpass a certain number of miles or minutes.

With these statistics in mind, you may begin planning an immediate-need funeral service or even pre-planning a funeral service armed with the knowledge of the average costs of funeral services.

If you would like to compare the prices, ratings, and reviews of funeral homes in your area, please visit eFuneral.com.

Leah Yomtovian Roush is the Senior Manager of Strategic Development for Cleveland, Ohio-based eFuneral, a comprehensive and free online resource that enables those thinking about end-of-life to research, plan, and arrange a wide variety of funeral-related services. Leah is the editor of eFuneral's Online Resource Center, and she manages the company's marketing efforts and develops strategies for company growth. Leah also serves on the Boards of multiple non-profit organizations, helping them expand their reaches and increase their impacts.

  • MarkTwain

    I would have loved to pay only $8000 for my mom’s funeral. We used a small town family owned funeral home, and they socked it to us to the tune of nearly $13,000. This was with our very conservative choices, too. Cleaned out the bank account. I don’t know how poor people ever pay off the bill when someone dies!

    • Guest

      Life insurance usually is a big factor to help pay.

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