How Much Does a Funeral Cost in Florida? Average Cost in FL

How Much Does a Funeral Cost in Florida? Average Cost in FL

What affects funeral and cremation costs?

Funeral or memorial services are deeply personal, which means there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how much they cost. For every unforgettable event, there’s a plan with unrelenting attention to detail, and funeral expenses vary depending on preferences and needs.

Some of the misinformation surrounding funeral costs can be explained by incomplete survey data. There is no single source for understanding the complexity of funeral costs in the U.S. and Canada.

And many of the reports consumers depend on to make informed decisions mix full-service providers with low-cost providers that have no public-facing facility and rely on third parties for things like transportation and the preparation of loved ones.

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Tips For Saving On Funeral Costs

As families can expect to pay over $15,000 in fees, it’s very important to understand funeral expenses and know what you’re buying.

Even basic services can lead to a lot of debt. Here are some simple steps to significantly reduce funeral expenses:

  1. Ask for the general price list — All funeral homes are required by law to show you a general price list upon request. Many funeral homes will verbally inflate their prices, hoping you agree to them. However, they are required to honor the rates shown on their general price list regardless of what they state verbally. Every price list will have a separate line entry for each item. It is your right only to purchase the services and goods that you want.
  2. Shop around — Call four to seven funeral homes to get estimates on the services you are interested in.
  3. Keep your budget a secret — Don’t tell the funeral homes how much money you have to spend. If they ask you what your budget is, simply say, “I’m not sure, but it won’t be much. What’s the best you can do?”
  4. Consider buying a casket/urn separately — You aren’t required to purchase a casket, urn, prayer cards, or flowers directly from the funeral home. All of those items are typically up-charged by the funeral home, and alternatives can be a great deal cheaper. For example, Costco actually sells caskets and urns.
  5. Don’t insist on a viewing — Embalming and body preparation are often not required unless the body is not buried within a specific time. Ask about refrigeration.
  6. Consider a direct cremation/burial — A direct cremation is a simple cremation without a funeral service of any kind. A direct burial is a burial service that does not include any sort of service or funeral ceremony. Either can cut thousands from the cost. Some of the cheapest funeral costs are for direct cremation. That could be followed by an at-home service. This can be a difficult choice, however, as many families may not want to host a full service themselves.

Organizations like the Funeral Consumers Alliance also offer tips and resources for minimizing the costs of funerals, burials, and cremations. See the FCA’s detailed overview of your legal rights after a loved one dies to get more savings tips.

The FCA’s four-step funeral planning guide also gives you an easy-to-follow game plan for funerals and burials that don’t break the bank.

When dealing with funeral homes, always ask for the general price list and double-check for changes. Know that a funeral home cannot force you to make unnecessary purchases, like caskets with “sealer” or gilded memorial prints.

Use the numbers in this article to help you create a baseline and budget, but remember that prices will vary a great deal depending on where you are. You can also print this official FTC checklist for funeral expenses and use it as you price shop or compare your options.

If a funeral home includes a fee not listed on the official FTC checklist, never be shy to ask what it is and why it’s there.

How Much Does the Average Funeral Cost with Burial Cost?

The National Funeral Directors Association estimates the median cost of a funeral and burial at about $9,420. This price does not include a burial plot or things like flowers or transportation. Depending on the funeral home and funeral items chosen, the cost could be substantially higher. That’s why price shopping is so important.

It’s understandable that people grieving a recent death would struggle to do a comprehensive search for funeral homes and various costs. “In many cases, people just haven’t thought about a funeral,” said Cheryl Reed, a spokeswoman for the review site Angie’s List, in a CNBC article on funeral pricing. “So, they’re dealing with their grief at the same time they’re dealing with these decisions. It’s hard to be a great shopper.”

With proper planning, you can actually reduce some of the stress and financial responsibilities on your family members when you die. An increasing number of people are making plans in advance to cover their funeral costs, not only to ease the burden on those left behind but also to ensure their final wishes will be taken care of.

National Median Funeral Costs

Here’s a look at what you might expect to pay if you’re planning a funeral.

Type of cost Median price Description
Casket $2,500 Cost for a metal casket; your cost will depend on the materials you choose.
Cremation casket $1,310 A fully combustible container, this can be a traditional casket or cardboard box, but it cannot have any metal parts.
Urn $295 Container to hold cremated parts.
Cremation fee $368 If the funeral home does not own a crematory and uses a third party.
Required basic services fee $2,300 Covers the funeral home’s time, storage of remains and overhead expenses.
Embalming $775 Not required by law, but a funeral home may require it if you hold a viewing.
Other preparations of the body $275 May include hairstyling, cosmetic reconstruction and dressing the deceased.
Use of facilities/staff for funeral ceremony $515 If you have the ceremony at the funeral home, you can expect to pay this fee.
Hearse $325 Transporting the remains from the funeral home to the burial site.
Service car/van $150 Transporting the family and guests from the funeral home to the burial site.
Printed materials $183 Memorial package and guest book.
Source: National Funeral Directors Association, 2021 median costs

How Can You Get Help Paying for a Funeral Service?

If you’re in a situation where you’re unsure how you’ll afford a funeral for a loved one, you have options. 

Religious groups

In many cases, the easiest way to access help is through a religious organization. If you’re a member of a specific church or place of worship, you can request to hold your funeral in the religious space for free or at a reduced cost. While a donation is usually recommended, there are always exceptions. Additionally, many church and religious groups provide community aid. 

Funeral fundraiser

Though it might feel uncomfortable to ask for money to help cover the cost of a funeral, this is common practice in today’s world. Many families create GoFundMe pages to help with funeral costs, and it might surprise you just how much help is out there for those in need. 

Social Security

If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, they might be eligible for a one-time death benefit of $255. Your funeral home can arrange this on your behalf through the Social Security Administration. These funds can be put towards the funeral. 

FEMA disaster relief

Though less common, if the death was a result of a natural disaster or event, FEMA often helps cover funeral costs. This was true for deaths that occurred due to the COVID19 pandemic. The COVID19 Funeral Relief Package provides families up to $9,000 in funds to pay for funeral costs. 

Life insurance

Lastly, talk to your loved ones about whether or not they currently have a life insurance policy. Life insurance can be used to cover the cost of a funeral. Having a good life insurance policy is a smart way to invest in your loved ones’ futures after you’re gone.

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How to prepare for funeral expenses

For many, death comes without warning, and while loved ones are mourning, they also must face the question of how to pay for such an enormous unexpected expense. That is why financial planning is so important before you die. There are a number of ways to prepare for funeral expenses.

Life insurance policy

A life insurance policy is an easy way for you to contribute to your funeral expenses while you are still alive. Though it sounds morbid, we all die. A life insurance policy can be a way to help your loved ones after you are gone by prepaying your funeral costs through your monthly premiums.

The benefit of a life insurance policy is that you will pay a monthly premium and your beneficiaries will receive a death benefit at the end. The benefit can help cover any debt you may have and also help to pay funeral expenses so that it can relieve them from the burden. Additionally, most beneficiaries will be able to access the benefit within one or two weeks after the insurance carrier reviews the claim and finds that everything is accurate.

There are different types of life insurance policies to help you plan for end-of-life expenses. Term life insurance provides coverage for a limited time period at a fixed premium rate. Whole life insurance guarantees insurance for your entire life given the fact that premiums are paid to the maturity date. It also offers additional savings components to beneficiaries. If you want lifelong coverage and a diverse portfolio, whole life insurance may be good for you. However, it can be pricey and a big commitment.

Final expense insurance

Final expense insurance can also be used to cover funeral expenses. Beneficiaries can also use the benefits for other costs as well such as medical and legal fees. Elderly individuals may find final expense insurance most attractive to offset the funeral expenses as this type of insurance costs much less than a traditional life insurance policy because you do not need much coverage. However, the benefit amount may not be as high.

Traditional savings account

You can use a traditional savings account for funeral costs. The advantage of a savings account is that the money will be kept safe and generally accessible. However, probate can cause delays, so whoever is paying for the funeral may have to pay for the funeral through another means until the deceased’s assets are evaluated.

Payable-on-death (POD) account

A payable-on-death (POD) account can be a better bet than a traditional savings account. This allows you to set up a special funeral savings account. You appoint the person you want to control the funds after you die, and that person can then access those funds simply by showing a valid death certificate. Funds can be accessed immediately as soon as the beneficiary shows the death certificate, and the account does not need to go through probate.

Military burial benefits

Military members are eligible for special burial benefits, while others may opt for a bank loan or prepaid plan through their chosen funeral home.

You can also look into military benefits such as the death gratuity program. This program up to $100,000, which is tax-free, for those who die on active duty or while service certain statuses on reserve.

There is also a burial allowance benefit for death that is not related to service which is $300 and $2,000 for a service-connected death.

Advanced arrangements

No one knows what will happen to them and death is not something that is foreseeable. However, you can make funeral arrangements in advance to help plan for the future.

A will is one way to prepare. The will can designate how your funeral should be conducted and information about how to pay for funeral services. The will can also designate certain assets that you may leave behind so your assets go to the right people.

Advanced funeral planning can make it easier to plan financially for you and your loved ones. For example, if you have a large number of assets, you can state in your will that you would like to have one of your assets sold by a specific person in your family to pay for your funeral expenses. You can also provide details about what you want your funeral to be like.

Memorial service 
costs

For families looking to avoid both the process and cost of a funeral service, a memorial service offers flexibility and is usually less expensive. A memorial involves a celebration of life, but may vary from a funeral according to the traditions, beliefs, and wishes of the family. Here’s an overview of the average funeral cost typically associated with memorials:

  • According to the National Funeral Directors Association, consumer preference is shifting from traditional burials to cremation. Cremation costs approximately $700.
  • The cost of a cremation urn can vary greatly depending on materials and more. Urns made of resin usually cost from $25 to $160, while urns made of glass or metal often cost from $250 to $700.
  • Green burials have become a popular option. According to National Geographic, your body can be buried in a land preservation site for as little as $1,950—a stark contrast to the general price list that funeral homes offer for burial in a cemetery or vault.

Funeral Vs. Burial

Currently, over 1500 individuals are taking a pulse on burial rituals.

In the past, conventional burial, that is, a casket set in the field in a graveyard was the most common thing to do for remains upon death in the U.S.

This alternative was proceeded by cremation and strongly outweighed by the number of conventional burials.

For starters, in 1960, just 4 percent of Americans were cremated, while almost all the remainder were usually buried.

Yet conditions have changed. After the 1960s, burial traditions have changed dramatically, so they still keep changing.

A funeral is a service that is linked to the cremation, burial, etc. of a deceased person’s body, as well as the burial (or similar) with the accompanying observances.

Funerary traditions are the array of values and activities that society utilizes to honor and value the deceased, from the internment itself to numerous statues, prayers, and ceremonies performed in their memory.

The term funeral derives from Latin, which had different interpretations like the body itself and the funerary rituals. Funerary art is art created in association with burials, including several styles of tombs, and artifacts crafted for a corpse explicitly for burial.

Burial or interment is the ceremonial act of placing a deceased human or animal below the grave, often with objects.

It is done by excavating and sealing a hole or grave, positioning the dead and items in it. Most will accept that humans buried their dead long after the species emerged.

Burial is frequently seen as expressing love for the deceased.

Breakdown and Estimation

$25,000Since the 1980s, funeral rates have gradually increased. Nevertheless, costing up to $25,000 or more is not unusual for the typical burial, based on whether the corpse is preserved or cremated.

Based on the type and material used, the caskets and urns will cost thousands of dollars individually.

There are three types of costs to remember when it comes to overall cost analysis for funerals: Baseline expenses, upgrade expenses, as well as miscellaneous expenses.

Baseline expenses are the expenditures for a simple death or cremation facility you would receive. Those involve expenses such as a casket or urn, charge for the service, fees for embalming, and transportation.

Upgrade expenses are charges connected with the form of urn or casket, style of service, and any potentially provided accessories for a funeral.

Miscellaneous expenses refer to items that are not specifically relevant to the mortuary but are sometimes viewed as an integral aspect of the burial, including services, a guest list, and a note of obituaries.

Understanding the expense of these things is half the fight to realize how much resources you’re going to have to put away.

Your relatives should be forced to concentrate on mourning your death away by pre-costs instead of thinking over whether they’ll compensate for your funeral.

Here is a breakdown and estimate as stated by the National Funeral Directors Association.

  • Professional Service Charge ($2,200): This cost includes the staff and supplies costs.
  • Embalming ($725): This is also needed for open-casket care or where an interstate transfer of the remains is to take place.
  • Transportation of Deceased to the Funeral Home ($325): That is the fee for the body’s move to the funeral parlor.
  • Miscellaneous Cosmetic Arrangements ($250): The expense of applying lipstick, shoes, and hairdressing is included by this charge.
  • Funeral Home Support Employees ($500): You can only be charged should you want to use the funeral home workers’ facilities to help in the funeral ceremony.
  • Facility Usage for Viewing ($425): When you choose to utilize the funeral home facilities for the viewing, this fee will apply.
  • Hearse ($325): It is the car used for moving the dead to the graveyard from the funeral home.
  • Service Car/Van ($150): This vehicle can hold family members or can be used instead of a hearse to move a person.
  • Printed Memorial Kit ($160): Mortuaries also print prayer cards and pamphlets to honor the departed and describe the service layout. Service Car / Van ($150): This vehicle can hold family members or can be used instead of a hearse to move a person.
  • Metal Casket ($2,500): Casket rates may be one of a funeral’s most expensive line pieces, based on what you are going for. The FTC reports that “an average casket costs slightly over $2,000” but “some caskets of bronze, mahogany, or copper retail for as much as $10,000.”
  • Cremation Casket ($1000): It is an entirely combustible jar where a corpse is put into the cremation chamber to be poured through.
  • Vault ($1,395): It is the structure in which the coffin lies to shield it from the earth’s weight and the massive construction machinery that runs over the grave.
  • Cremation Charge ($350): The body’s cremation is done for a minimal fee.
  • Urn ($275): The jar containing the deceased’s ashes may be very costly.

Other Costs:

  • Flowers ($160): Guests frequently submit floral, so a family will choose to buy a wreath or casket spray, which may range in value based on the flower styles.
  • Grave Markers and Headstones ($300-$6,000): Simple, flat grave markers typically cost a small fortune instead of thousands, whereas custom-made sculptures or upright monuments will cost over $10,000 based on the size of the project.
  • Funeral Plots ($2,100): Costs will vary from $1,000 to $4,000 for a community burial plot, regarding the location and the type of plot; private cemeteries appear to be more costly.

The U.S. Economy: 1960 versus 2012

If the average American family in the 1960s paid $708 for a funeral, what did they pay for a wedding? Online statistics say about $1000–in other words, a family would pay about 35% more for their daughter’s wedding than their grandmother’s funeral.  Other interesting facts about the cost of living in 1960 include: •    The median price of a new house was $12,700.00 •    The average income per year was $5,315.00 •    The average cost of new car was $2,600.00

 Compare those figures to the ones for 2012: •    The median price of a new house was $146,000 •    The average income per year was $51,000 •    The average cost of a new car was $30,000 With numbers like those it’s no wonder the cost of a funeral today feels out-of-reach for many families. But it doesn’t have to be. The members of the Wyoming Funeral Directors Association want you to know that they are committed to providing the highest quality services and products at costs you can afford.

 

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