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How to Pay for a Funeral

Shutterstock / Kameron Bond

A funeral is one of life’s major events. Learn more about funeral expenses and get tips on how to save money.

In the United States in 2018, the average cost of a funeral with viewing and burial is $8,755, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. (That’s about one-fifth the average cost of a wedding.)

For many families, eight thousand dollars is more than they’re likely to have on hand at any given time. That’s why thoughtful advance pre-planning is important to ensure funeral expenses can be covered smoothly, without adding extra financial burden at a time when the family is grieving.

Whatever your family’s budget, here are three quick starting points to give your loved one an affordable and meaningful send-off.

1. Plan ahead and learn about payment options. As with many types of purchases, a little advance research and planning can lead to cost savings. There are a number of different financial models available for funeral pre-planning.

2. Be a smart shopper and choose less expensive services. Compare funeral home costs and services. Some funeral options like cremation, green burial, and body donation can benefit the greater good and save you money.

3. Find out about funeral benefits that might be able to offset costs, from Social Security to employer benefits to crowdsourced fundraisers.

 

Five Ways to Cover Funeral Costs in Advance

Banks, insurance providers, and funeral homes all offer solutions for pre-planning funeral expenses.

How to Shop for a Funeral Home

Compare costs and services to figure out what makes the most sense for your family.

What Funeral Benefits Am I Eligible For?

Find out what financial help may be available to your family for funeral expenses.

Consider Pre-Planning a Funeral

Protect your loved ones from worry by preparing a reliable advance funeral plan.