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Is Your Funeral A Factor In Your Finances?

Poll QuestionWe’ve seen a number of families forgoing traditional funeral services and burials for cremation and memorial services.

The reason behind this appears to be – what else? – money.

That’s right, finances are dictating death as much as they do life.

The average cost of a funeral was $7,045 in 2012, according to the National Funeral Directors Association.

That price includes the services you might expect, such as embalming, funeral home facilities for viewing and the service, a hearse and a metal casket. A vault, on average, is another $1,298.

But it doesn’t include grave plots, cemetery fees, headstones or even compensation to clergy members. Those all add up quickly, too, along with any hospitality post-service for mourners, like a luncheon.

In other words, funerals are expensive. It’s no wonder people are scaling back.

On the other hand, cremations have risen steadily.

In 2012, some 43.5% of deaths ended in cremation, according to the Cremation Association of North America. As recently as 1997, that number was a significantly lower 23.1%.

The 2006 Wirthlin Report, sponsored by the funeral industry, found that 30% of people chose cremation because it saves money.

CANA figures put the median cost of cremation, which includes a limited service and a basic urn, at $2,245.

That’s a significant savings from a traditional funeral and burial.

No matter your preference, just know funeral costs are increasing, and you should include this in your financial planning.

And, here’s the tougher part: Make sure you communicate your wishes with your family.

Death isn’t easy to talk about – for anyone. Children, regardless of their age, can be especially uncomfortable discussing anything regarding their parents’ death.

But you have to have the difficult conversations, especially when they concern important topics like these.





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