According to the National Funeral Directors Association the median cost of funeral with a viewing and burial was $7,843.00 in 2021. That said, several factors will impact what an individual family will pay for a funeral service. Chief among them is personal choice.
Each component of a funeral comes with a cost. A visitation of just an hour or two held immediately before a service will usually be less expensive than a visitation held on a separate day or evening of longer duration. A pine casket will cost less than a mahogany casket. There is a wide variety of service and product options from which a family may choose. What a family wants or needs will determine the cost of the funeral.
The cost of a funeral is not unlike the cost of all other products and services. A complicated last will that takes hours to prepare will come at a higher cost than a simple will. Some shirts, pants, and shoes cost more than others. As with everything, the material and design as well as the work hours required to deliver a service affects the price.
In addition to personal choice, where you live may have an impact on the cost of your funeral. Cost of living impacts the cost of funerals. Average wage per hour in San Francisco is greater than say in Akron, Ohio therefore you will expect the cost of a funeral service to be higher in San Fran than in Akron. The median cost of a house in Boston is $682,000 in Nashville it is $298,000 it follows that pretty much everything in Boston will be more expensive than in Nashville.
Every funeral home is required by federal law to provide a general price list (itemized price list) to every customer who comes to the funeral home to discuss service options or who simply requests a price list. There are no surprises. During the arrangement conference at least one family member should be paying attention to the costs associated with the choices being made.
Finally, a word about budget. Before the family members responsible for making the decisions get together with the funeral director, they should establish an agreed upon budget. Planning a funeral is an emotional experience. A group of family members may not all have the same idea about what to do and on some occasions disagreements can erupt. No one wants a family to spend more than they can afford. Not the person who died and not the funeral director.