average funeral costs

Average Funeral Costs: Are you Prepared?

As we move through the stages of life, many people ensure they are financially prepared for significant life events such as college, marriage, and retirement. However, some find it difficult to consider the average funeral costs and ways to prepare for the financial aspect of how much it costs for a funeral. 

In reality, dying costs money, often a lot of it. We may not want to think about death and funeral costs, but having a financial plan in place for when you pass, can make things much easier on you and your family. 

Average Cost of a Funeral

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how much a funeral will cost. It depends on the type of service you want. Do you want a formal funeral service? Or rather a more intimate and informal service? You must also consider whether you wish to be buried or cremated. 

According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the following were the average costs in 2021:

  • Funeral with viewing and burial: $7,848
  • Funeral with viewing and cremation: $6,970
  • Funeral with cremation and no viewing: $4,898

Consider the costs of a casket. A typical casket costs around $2,500; however, some can go as high as $10,000. If you decide to be cremated, you can save money by not having a viewing and not embalming. According to the NFDA, the median cost of embalming a body in 2021 was $775. 

Funeral Price Breakdown

Here’s a breakdown of average funeral costs in 2021. Note that some prices listed below will only be relevant if you choose a burial or cremation.

  • Non-declinable basic service fees – $2,300
  • Removal/transfer of remains to funeral home – $350
  • Embalming – $775
  • Other preparation of the body – $275
  • Use of facilities/staff for viewing – $450
  • Use of facilities/staff for the funeral ceremony – $515
  • Hearse – $350
  • Service car/van – $150
  • Printed materials (basic memorial package) – $183
  • Metal burial casket – $2,500
  • Cremation fee (if the firm uses a third party) – $386
  • Cremation casket – $1,310
  • Urn – $295

Source: NFDA

Average Funeral Cost By State

Funeral costs can also vary depending on what state you live in. In 2021, the NFDA listed how much a funeral costs by location. Note: I’m highlighting the states where I’m a licensed insurance agent. 


$7,800 (cost of a funeral with burial) – $7,070 (cost of a funeral with cremation)


$7,800 (cost of a funeral with burial) – $7,070 (cost of a funeral with cremation) 

South Carolina: 

$7,800 (cost of a funeral with burial) – $7,070 (cost of a funeral with cremation) 

North Carolina: 

$7,800 (cost of a funeral with burial) – $7,070 (cost of a funeral with cremation) 


$7,271 (cost of a funeral with burial) – $6,314 (cost of a funeral with cremation) 


$8,093 (cost of a funeral with burial) – $7,463 (cost of a funeral with cremation) 

How to Prepare for your Funeral Costs 

Death is not fun to think about, but you must in order to protect how your loved ones will go on. Therefore, end-of-life planning, including planning for funeral costs, is essential.

Take Out A Life Insurance Policy

A life insurance policy can help financially support your loved ones when you pass. The money your beneficiary will receive can go towards funeral costs, paying off debts, or other bills. 

Set Up A Payable-On-Death (POD) Account

A POD account is someone (or several people) who will inherit or receive the funds from the account once you pass away.

If you have a bank, brokerage, or investment account, the beneficiary will get these funds after you pass. They can use these funds to help pay for funeral costs and other expenses. 

Opt for Final Expense Insurance

Final expense insurance is a type of permanent life insurance specifically used to pay for funeral expenses. Remember that these policies’ value is typically lower than other types of life insurance policies. One of the benefits is that you usually won’t be required to have a medical exam to be approved for this policy. You also can name the beneficiary who can use the money to pay for funeral expenses.

Have a Will 

Not only is a will necessary to determine your final wishes, but it will also help your loved ones understand where you want your assets to go and how you wish your funeral arrangements to be. 

Plan Now for your Funeral Costs: Contact Your Savannah Independent Insurance Agent  

I work with many clients who want to ensure their end-of-life and passing is as easy as possible for grieving loved ones. As we age, we must consider that the more we plan for our death, the more beneficial it will be in the long run. 

If you want to sit down and talk about funeral costs and ways to prepare for those costs, please get in touch with me. I know it’s a subject that many don’t like thinking about; however, it is just as important as preparing for retirement or college expenses for your children.