An average traditional funeral these days costs about $7,000-$10,000. A simple cremation can begin at around $650 but averages around $1100. Regardless of the type of services you choose, costs vary widely depending upon location and organization, so shop around.
When honoring your loved one by gathering with friends and family, fond memories, tears, and hugs are among the most important things about memorialization. Elaborate services, expensive caskets and a lot of memorial products won’t help to heal your heart like being with those you love during your time of grief.
We’ve collected several ideas below to help you be a sharp consumer and help pay for funeral costs:
Check the decedent’s important papers to see if he/she had any of these arrangements:
Try local or creative fund raising such as:
Online crowd funding sites such as:
Tip: Remember to use social media to promote your fundraising efforts for more reach.
Indigent burial programs at a county or state level:
Social Security Administration:
Medicare: Medical Savings Account may have funds that can be used for final arrangements
Medicaid: If the decedent was covered under Medicaid call to ask if he/she put away any funds for final arrangements
The Bureau of Indian Affairs offers some allowances, call for more information - 202.208.5166
The Railroad Retirement Board, call for more information - 877.772.5772
If the decedent was an honorably discharged or currently serving veteran, there are some death benefits through the Veteran’s Administration. Tip: Combine this with a no-cost whole body donor program which includes free cremation and all of the arrangements will be at no cost to the family. Find resources here.
Organize a DIY gathering yourself with the resources at hand (examples below):
Body donation to a local university medical school to support education: Call to verify donor acceptance criteria and associated costs.
Body donation to a private organization for the advancement of medical research and education:
Direct cremation, (also known as simple cremation) low cost, no frills:
Interestingly, most states still allow burial on family property, but check with your local county or town clerk for zoning laws and other health regulations that must be followed.
If you would like more information regarding funeral planning, please visit our resources page. If you would like to discuss the no cost option of body donation, please give us a call at 800 417 3747. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.