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How Much Does a Funeral Cost?

(BPT) – When a death occurs, it’s normal to wonder – and even worry – about the expense of memorializing a loved one, even though we are grieving. The costs of goods and services are making headlines every day recently. But, like planning a wedding or building a house, funeral costs include many variables, and the options for memorialization are endless, so it’s difficult to determine an exact price until you meet with a funeral professional.

According to a 2021 report by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the national median cost of a traditional funeral with a viewing is $7,848, not including cemetery or burial charges, while the national median cost of an adult cremation funeral with a visitation is $5,365. Some of these costs include:

  • Recovery of the loved one from home, hospital, or hospice and into the funeral home’s care at any time, on any day
  • Transportation of the loved one to the funeral home
  • Metal casket
  • Urn
  • Funeral director and staff’s time
  • Access to the funeral home’s amenities, including chapels, visitation rooms, reception areas, and more

A funeral requires a great deal of effort to organize, but in a very short timeframe. Few would attempt to plan a wedding in less than a week, yet the very things that go into wedding planning are all part of funerals: flowers, catering, music, transportation, venues, speeches, videos, and event planning – not to mention completing paperwork for death certificates and obtaining permits for transportation, burial or cremation.

Funeral planning professionals are experts in helping you navigate your many choices. Will you want a traditional service, with a few meaningful hymns and a message from clergy, or do you want to honor your loved one with a celebration of life over a catered meal? Are there special touches that reflect your loved one’s unique life that you would like to incorporate into their memorial? These decisions will all impact the cost of the funeral, but you can download a free funeral pricing guide to get started.

Of course, the best way to manage funeral or cremation costs is to pre-plan and pre-arrange your own final arrangements. Not only does this alleviate a financial burden for your loved ones during a time when they are grieving, it also locks in today’s pricing and ensures that your exact wishes are met.

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The law office of elder law attorney Scott C. Painter, P.C., is located in Wyomissing (outside of Reading, PA, in Berks County,) and offers trusted legal services in the areas of elder law, including nursing home planning, trust and estate services, and veterans benefits. Scott C. Painter is a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA®), and he is also a member of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). 

If you have an issue or question, we encourage you to call us. With legal matters, time is of the essence. Call us for a consultation at 610-378-5140. The $300 consultation fee is waived if Attorney Painter is retained to perform services.