Chatting about death can be a tough discussion. Usually, we don’t consider things such as end of life, direct cremations or any funeral arrangements until the time has come - and by then, we’re not in the headspace to make the best decisions, especially during a time when we should be grieving the loss of a loved one.
If we don’t take the time to prepare our end of life arrangements, how will we be ready when the time comes? It’s important that we know what arrangements need to be made, the cost, and how we would like to make them (i.e. a direct cremation or a burial). It’s better to plan out the costs and the decisions that need to be dealt with sooner than later.
As hard as it can be, take a moment to push out the worry, anxiety and fear and start planning. You do it once, and you don’t have to worry about it again, right? We’re here to help you through the process and give you and your family the peace of mind that you deserve.
What to plan for end-of-life costs
Truly, there is never going to be a one-size-fits-all solution that meets your unique cremation or burial needs. There are a myriad of things that need to be accounted for when you are making end-of-life decisions and the costs will definitely vary depending on your needs, wants and choices.
Generally, after-death costs can amount to as little as $2,500 but can go up as high as $20,000+. Now those are the two ends of the spectrums, and on average the overall cost can amount to around $8,500, which includes funeral home mark-ups, and memorial service add-ons. While cost does vary depending on what you individually desire, the truth is, end of life arrangements are costly and usually are more than many of us budget for.
Depending on what you’re looking for for your post-death decisions, here is our list of some of the more common end-of-life arrangements that you will have to decide and plan for. Many of these prices are approximate and will change depending on your location and preferences.
- Professional Fees: $200-1000+
Let’s say that this includes the guidance, planning, logistics and paperwork (death certificates) from a funeral director. This number can drastically range. Some companies will increase this price and reduce the markups on other products.
Any death must be legally registered, which allows for death certificates to be dispensed. These aid in applying for benefits, bereavement time, claiming for insurance and ultimately are needed to begin settling yours or your loved one’s estate. Costs for these two depend on your location and the number of certificates needed.
The average funeral home tends to include 5-10 death certificates. To get a registered death certificate, you need to order one through your city.
- Transfer service fees: $100+.
While this fee definitely varies (based on the municipality you live in, how many transfers you need and the distance involved for each transfer. For each time the body must be moved (i.e. from the morgue to the crematorium).
- Storage fees: $300
- Preparation of the Deceased: from $125-550.
Preparation of the body for funerals and viewings can cost more than you expect. This service consists of cleaning and bathing the body and adding necessary adjustments to help the deceased look more presentable. Also included, but not always necessary or required is embalming (a way to preserve the body in between death and visitations). Note that embalming is not legally required to prepare your loved one, and likely not necessary if your viewing is within a week of death
- Caskets and urns: between $0-$3,500.
Depending on whether you want an urn following a cremation or a casket for burial, in an ornate, plain or traditional style, your costs will vary. Some cemeteries may allow a body to be interred with a shroud instead of a costly casket, which can help reduce costs. In the same vein, some direct cremation services will give you a temporary container so that you are free to buy your own casket without the mark ups.
- Traditional or formal ceremonies: from $3,000 upwards depending on what you choose.
A service that includes visitation, a memorial and the funeral including funeral home staffing and food and refreshments can add a substantial amount to your costs. If you wish to avoid a cost like this, purchasing a direct cremation with a service such as Eirene can help you save $15,000+ on funeral costs by simply paying for cremation and planning your own intimate and private service at home.
- Cremation ($500-600) or burial services: $2,000+
Both cremations and funeral services come with high costs. Not to mention the burial plots or niches that you will need to buy if you opt for the interring method for end of life arrangements. This can cost around $5,000 with a full service and transfers.
On the other hand, direct cremations are the simplest and most cost-efficient way to manage these arrangements, and an increasing amount of people are opting for this route to save time and resources. A simple, respectful cremation will cost $500-600. Buyer beware! When going to a funeral home to plan your arrangements, make sure that the cremation cost has been built into the total cost of your funeral package. Sometimes the cost of a cremation does not include the actual cremation.
Another route that people go is to cremate their loved ones and bury the remains in a plot. The cost to inter ashes can include not only the cremation but the plot, the monument (if you choose to purchase this), landscape and a myriad of other costs. To bury your loved one’s remains in a private cemetery with all the bells and whistles will cost you up to $2,500.
While all of these costs, laid out like this can be a bit daunting, one thing remains true: you can make the choice to choose something that can save you time, effort and headache by choosing direct cremation.
Solutions like Eirene cost only $2,500 and include everything you need to give yourself or your loved one the end of life arrangements they deserve.
Contact us today to learn more.