Funeral Planning

Overview

Talking with family members about what you want at your funeral is important.

Think about the things you want for your funeral. For example:

  • Do you prefer burial to cremation?
  • If you choose burial, do you wish to have a viewing with an open casket? Or do you prefer a closed casket and no viewing?
  • What special requirements, if any, does your religion require?
  • Do you want flowers at your funeral or memorial service? Or do you prefer that donations be made to a favorite charity?
  • What music do you want at the service?
  • Who do you want to speak at the service?

Funeral costs

How much a funeral costs depends on where you live and the types of services you want.

You may avoid extra costs by talking about your wishes with your family ahead of time. You may want to meet with your family and a funeral planner to go over details. This could help your family save money and time.

Funeral home burial charges usually include:

  • Bringing the deceased person to the funeral home and cemetery.
  • Preparing the body. This may include embalming, cosmetology, hairstyling, and dressing.
  • Viewing at the funeral home.
  • Services at the funeral home, graveside, or church.
  • Limousine service for bringing the family to the cemetery.
  • A casket.
  • Acknowledgment cards.
  • Professional services.

The cemetery usually charges for the liner (vault) to prevent the ground from settling, opening and closing the grave, and grave markers or monuments.

Cremation or donating your body to science is an alternative to burial. These usually cost less.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: June 16, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Jean S. Kutner MD, MSPH - Geriatric Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine

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This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.