2023 Average Funeral Cost For All 50 States

Average Funeral Costs Across All 50 States

September 27, 202321 min read

What are the average funeral costs across different states? Is opting for the least expensive funeral always the best choice?

In many cases, individuals seek out the most economical funeral options available, mindful of the rising expenses associated with funerals and the choice between cremation and burial.

What does a burial typically cost? Let's delve into the average funeral expenditures across various states.

Moreover, it's essential to have both life and burial insurance, but is prioritizing the least costly funeral always advisable?

Funerals can impose significant financial burdens and represent a significant milestone in life. But what are the financial implications based on your location? Are you prepared to allocate upwards of $10,000 for a funeral in your vicinity?

Now, more than ever, obtaining funeral insurance is paramount.

If not, read on to discover the disparities in typical funeral expenses across states. This guide caters to adult children pondering the cost of insurance for their parents.

Additionally, it sheds light on the most expensive state to have a funeral and how these costs compare with those in other states nationwide.

Understanding the necessary final expense insurance varies depending on your residency.

Before proceeding, remember that life insurance encompasses funeral, burial, and final expense insurance, albeit under different marketing strategies of specific life insurance companies.

In essence, these often translate to whole life insurance policies with simplified terms.

Understanding the Cost of a Burial

While funerals may not be on your list of planned expenses, being aware of their potential cost in an unforeseen circumstance is wise. Typically, funeral expenses fall within the range of $7,000 to $12,000, covering burial arrangements, viewing, service fees, and related expenses. Thankfully, these financial burdens are typically alleviated by life insurance coverage.

Funerals bear a significant financial weight, yet they hold profound cultural and societal importance. Many prefer to honor their loved ones with a dignified memorial service, valuing the celebration of their life over alternatives like cremation or disregarding proper arrangements.

Considering purchasing burial life insurance for your parents can provide peace of mind in such matters.

Moreover, it's crucial for families to openly communicate their grief and come to terms with the loss rather than sidestepping the painful reality. Adequate mourning facilitated by life insurance can greatly ease this transition, emphasizing its overarching significance.

The Quest for the Most Economical Funeral

Navigating funeral expenses without a clear budget can pose challenges, particularly for senior parents. In such cases, senior burial insurance presents a practical solution, addressing potential financial strains effectively.

The unpredictability of additional charges from cemeteries or crematories underscores the importance of burial life insurance, mitigating potential financial hurdles.

In scenarios where preparation is lacking, expenses can escalate rapidly, making it challenging to manage payments. Here, life insurance coverage acts as a safeguard against unexpected financial burdens.

Understanding the average burial costs and the breakdown of individual expenses empowers informed decision-making during funeral planning. Burial life insurance further streamlines this process.

By exploring various options, you may find that your funeral expenses are less burdensome than anticipated, with the added benefit of life insurance coverage.

Average Funeral Cost By State

Average Funeral Costs Across States

What's the Price Tag on Funerals Across Different States? Is Investing in Funeral Insurance a Smart Move?

Though discussing final expenses may not be pleasant, proactive financial planning can significantly alleviate the burden when the need arises.

Comparing the average funeral costs in California versus Florida or cremation expenses in New York versus Texas reveals noticeable discrepancies.

Irrespective of geographical location, burial life insurance emerges as the optimal solution.

Whether opting for cremation over traditional burial or simply seeking to mitigate funeral expenses, additional costs inevitably arise, underscoring the necessity of funeral insurance coverage.

With typical funeral expenses ranging from $7,000 to $9,000, families often find themselves overspending due to stress or lack of familiarity with available services. It's crucial to explore options within your budgetary constraints.

Thankfully, with a burial life insurance policy in place, financial worries are considerably alleviated.

Since its establishment in 1984, the Federal Trade Commission's "Funeral Rule" safeguards consumers' legal rights, ensuring transparency and protection in funeral arrangements.

Understanding not only your funeral preferences but also relevant legislation is imperative for informed decision-making.

Below, listed from highest to lowest average final expense costs, are the funeral expenses for each of the 50 states.

StatesAverage Funeral Cost By State

Understanding Funeral Costs

Primarily, it's evident that your location significantly influences funeral expenses, as seen in the variations between California, Texas, and Mississippi, with Mississippi boasting the lowest average funeral cost.

Recognizing that final expense insurance coverage extends its protection regardless of your residence is key. It's worth considering factors like home health care in this context.

If you're uncertain about determining the appropriate life insurance coverage, you can utilize the provided pricing as a guide, effectively serving as a final expense coverage calculator.

When seeking burial insurance for family members residing in distant states, it's essential to factor in their location to ensure adequate burial life insurance coverage.

Furthermore, utilize the compiled list of funeral costs as a comprehensive resource in your quest for burial life insurance.

Tips for Cost-Effective Funerals

Understanding Emotional Overspending on Funerals

Families may find themselves overspending on funeral arrangements due to a variety of emotional and practical factors, including:

  • The profound emotional impact of losing a loved one.

  • Constraints on time, leading to rushed decisions.

  • Limited prior experience with funeral planning.

  • Pressure exerted by certain funeral homes.

  • Profit-driven priorities of cemeteries, sometimes overlooking cost-saving options for families.

In reality, many individuals fail to dedicate the necessary time and effort to negotiate favorable arrangements for their own end-of-life needs. This underscores the importance of discussing life insurance options within the family to ensure adequate coverage for final expenses.

Often, individuals simply accept the standard burial or cremation offerings provided by local establishments, despite the significant expense involved—an average of $10,000 in 2016.

Understanding Funeral Costs: A Critical Breakdown

Do you believe that investing in an expensive casket crafted from subpar materials, accompanied by the preservation of the body using harmful chemicals, truly honors your loved one's memory?

Would it bring solace to pay for elaborate vault interment, knowing that these structures, laden with concrete, were not primarily designed to support the caskets above but rather to shield them from potential grave robbers?

Shouldn't we strive to affordably lay our loved ones to rest without compromising their dignity? Securing life insurance to fulfill their final wishes is a dignified approach embraced by many families.

Delving into the Detailed Costs of Funerals

Regrettably, reducing burial expenses poses a significant challenge. Funeral costs often surpass those of other major purchases we encounter in life.

To spare your family the burden of shouldering these costs, investing in funeral insurance is imperative.

Yet, there are avenues for families to economize on funeral expenses, including comparison shopping for desired goods and securing burial life insurance.

In essence, while many individuals may not prioritize cost-saving measures when navigating the arrangements following a loved one's passing, being well-informed about available options beforehand can lead to more financially prudent decisions.

It's worth noting that opting for a cost-effective life insurance policy alleviates the need for financial sacrifices, allowing you to focus on cherishing the cherished memories of your departed family member.

7 Tips for Trimming Funeral Costs
The grieving process intertwines with the practicalities of funeral expenses, which can be considerable.

For those left behind to navigate funeral arrangements, striking a balance between honoring the memory and dignity of their loved one while managing costs can prove daunting.

Hence, safeguarding against financial strain by securing burial life insurance is paramount. Consider this option for yourself or your parents.

Here are seven strategies to alleviate some of these pressures.

Saving Tips for Funeral Costs Breakdown

Utilize Online Comparison Shopping

  1. Explore platforms like FuneralDecisions.com, where users can promptly receive free quotes from funeral homes via email. The Funeral Consumers Alliance provides guidance for individuals seeking to trim expenses on local funeral arrangements and maintains a state-by-state database of organizations aiding in finding affordable funerals nearby. While local options are considered, it's also advisable to review the funeral home's general price list. For assistance with life insurance coverage, feel free to reach out to us.

    Forego Embalming Services

    1. Opting to have your loved one chilled for a nominal fee of $50 instead of embalming, which can cost up to $700, can yield substantial savings, all of which can be covered by a life insurance policy.

    Consider Gasketed Coffins

    1. While the allure of a "protected" coffin may seem appealing during moments of grief, it's worth noting that the addition of special gaskets, which cost the funeral home around $8, can inflate the cost of a coffin by up to $800. Given that natural decay occurs after death, such embellishments are not essential. Ensure to verify all costs with the funeral home and rely on a straightforward life insurance policy to cover these expenses.

    Opt for Direct Cremation with a Simple Container

    1. If opting for direct cremation without a viewing or ceremony involving the body, there is no legal obligation to purchase an expensive coffin. Less costly alternatives, such as pressboard cardboard or unfinished wood boxes, can be chosen for the cremation process, all of which can be covered by life insurance.

    Purchase Coffins or Urns Online or Offline

    1. You can save significantly by purchasing coffins or urns from external vendors, rather than exclusively through the funeral home. Warehouse clubs like Costco offer affordable options, such as an 18-gauge steel casket priced at $950, including shipping. Similarly, adult brass urns with velvet pouches can be obtained online for reasonable prices, all expenses of which can be managed through a life insurance policy.

    Consider Home Funerals

    1. Embrace the tradition of home funerals by managing the process independently, from completing death certificates to handling the body at home and arranging transportation to the final resting place. This practice was commonplace prior to the early 20th century and can offer significant savings. Remember to submit necessary documentation for life insurance claims.

    Consider Body Donation to Medical Institutions

    1. Explore the option of donating the body to medical institutions, where it can contribute to educational purposes. While this option is limited and typically involves immediate donation, some medical schools organize memorial events for families afterward. Cremated remains are often returned to the family upon completion of studies. Given the restricted availability of this option, securing a funeral insurance policy is advisable.

Understanding the Components of Average Funeral Costs

For those certain about opting for a burial, the typical expenses encompass:

  • Gravesite cost or Burial Plot

  • Price of the coffin

  • Coffin or Vault Container

  • Concealed Service Fees

  • Transportation fees (be sure to review the mortuary transport price list)

These costs accumulate swiftly! It's prudent to reach out to several nearby funeral homes to compare expenses and select the most economical option.

Moreover, planning ahead with a sensible funeral insurance policy alleviates stress during challenging circumstances.

Initiate your personal checklist alongside professional checklists as you undertake planning. Doing so enables you to articulate your preferences now, mitigating potential stress later, especially during an already challenging period.

Feel free to reach out to us with any inquiries regarding funeral insurance coverage.

Understanding Your Funeral Rights

The FTC's Funeral Rule, enacted in 1984, serves to protect consumers from undue pressure to purchase unnecessary goods and services from funeral homes.

Furthermore, it aims to prevent consumers from overpaying for essential items during times of distress.

Key rights under this rule include the freedom to select desired items, receive a detailed breakdown of all services, and obtain pricing information via phone before committing to any payments.

You also have the option to choose your own casket or urn and forego embalming before burial, should you wish.

Consider these points: drafting a will and outlining your final wishes within it, coupled with purchasing funeral insurance, can spare your family undue stress during difficult times.

Additionally, exercise caution against misleading advertisements claiming affiliation with state-regulated funeral programs, as they may lead to deceptive practices.

Exploring Affordable Cremation Options

According to a survey by the National Funeral Directors Association, cremation services can range from $1,000 to $3,000 on the lower end, but may escalate to $6,000 or $8,000 depending on your selections. Funeral insurance can help cover these costs.

With cremation becoming increasingly popular—projected to be chosen by over half of individuals within five years—costs may rise accordingly, as indicated by the 2020 NFDA Cremation & Burial Report.

Understanding the Typical Cost of a Funeral

Financial preparedness is paramount when facing the emotionally charged event of laying a loved one to rest.

Hence, one of the most significant steps you can take for your family's peace of mind is to secure a life insurance policy to cover funeral expenses.

If you're uncertain about the costs associated with various services or if they vary by region, it's advisable to reach out to multiple funeral homes for quotations before making any decisions on the type of services best suited for your needs.

Arranging a funeral is an arduous task for those grieving the loss of a loved one. The multitude of decisions to be made can prove daunting, particularly during such a challenging time.

By specifying a funeral home as the beneficiary of your funeral insurance coverage in your will, you can streamline the process and ensure that everything is handled according to your wishes.

Having clear documentation of your loved one's final wishes, whether through a will or a life insurance policy, is integral to effective funeral planning and can provide invaluable peace of mind, knowing that everything is organized and there will be no surprises upon their passing.

Understanding the Cost of Burials

Even better than relying solely on insurance is to proactively save for burial expenses in advance, alleviating the burden on your family members during an already challenging time.

Alternatively, consider purchasing coverage specifically tailored to cover your parents' burial expenses. Open communication with your parents about this matter is essential.

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the median cost of a funeral and burial stands at $9,135.

Average Funeral Cost By State

Understanding Funeral Costs Breakdown

According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the median cost of a funeral in 2019 stood at $7,640, whether or not a vault was included.

When a burial plot, monument, and flowers were not provided, costs escalated to approximately $9,135, factoring in vault expenses.

Securing a reasonably priced funeral insurance policy can help alleviate the monthly payment burden.

It's important to consider the cost of a grave box or burial vault when estimating burial expenses, as these serve to safeguard the remains from soil and insect activity. Such expenses are typically covered within your standard final expense package.

Furthermore, it's crucial to recognize that cremation costs may differ between regions, such as Mississippi and Las Vegas. However, a life insurance policy can offer protection regardless of location, providing peace of mind across various countries and states.

Average Funeral Cost By State

Understanding Funeral Home Charges

Typically, basic procedures at a funeral home range between $2,000 and $2,500. It's important to note that additional items like caskets are optional extras and are not included in this pricing.

When selecting a funeral home, it's essential to explore your options. Contacting multiple funeral homes allows you to obtain a range of rates for services offered in your area.

By law, funeral homes are required to provide general pricing information over the phone for any service you inquire about. Therefore, it's crucial to be prepared when making inquiries.

A burial life insurance policy can provide coverage for all funeral home expenses. Most policies offer life insurance coverage ranging from $2,000 to $50,000, making them an ideal option, especially when securing insurance for your parents.

Deciding Between Burial and Cremation

Cremation can be as affordable as $1,000, but costs may rise to $8,000 if additional services like a ceremony and embalming are desired, depending on the state.

Burial expenses may reach up to $9,000, depending on various factors including selected minor items.

While caskets can cost several thousand dollars, additional expenses like headstones and grave liners can add thousands more to the total cost. However, these costs can be covered by life insurance.

Understanding the Cost and Necessity of Embalming

When estimating the cost of embalming, several factors come into play, including whether you opt for burial or cremation, as well as the duration between passing and the commencement of services.

On average, embalming costs between $500 and $700. However, if the body remains unrefrigerated for up to 10 days before burial, the cost may be reduced to $400–$450. This would incur an additional $100 on top of the previously mentioned average price range.

Considering Flowers or Funeral Wreaths

Flowers are often seen as a simple means for families to minimize funeral expenses. However, when factoring in additional costs from florists or funeral homes, the total expense can escalate. Securing burial insurance can help cover these costs.

While purchasing flowers individually for each attendee can result in spending only a few hundred dollars per person, opting for package arrangements with the church and funeral home may exceed your family's budget.

Typically, flowers range between $500 and $700, excluding any discounts from local florists or churches, which could potentially halve overall expenses depending on proximity.

Despite potential savings, many families find this option to be more costly. However, life insurance can cover these expenses.

A sizable "over the casket wreath" usually costs between $500 and $700, varying based on the florist, type of flowers used, and size of the display.

Casket wreaths, positioned directly on the casket, range from $100 to $200 each, contingent on size and florist selection.

Obtaining life insurance quotes for your parents can mitigate future hassles. It's important to discuss this matter with them for proper planning.

Understanding the Average Cost of a Funeral Plot

The range of costs for cemetery plots spans from $350 to $5,000. While the grave itself accounts for a significant portion of expenses, an additional $1,000 to $3,000 is typically required for opening and closing it.

For veterans or those who have lost a veteran, inquiring with the Veteran's Administration (VA) about burial allowances can yield substantial savings, potentially up to $3,000 for a burial in a national cemetery. Consequently, purchasing life insurance to cover final expenses becomes more economical.

Families of veterans with an honorable discharge are entitled to reimbursement for transportation expenses, along with coverage for the burial plot in a licensed cemetery, often at a considerably lower cost than traditional plots.

It's important to note that while families are responsible for their own transportation costs, additional fees such as floral arrangements and obituary notices may apply.

When purchasing a gravesite, don't overlook inquiring about cemetery maintenance costs. This information can assist in budgeting for future payments.

A life insurance policy can cover all these funeral home expenses, providing financial relief during difficult times.

Determining the Cost of a Grave Marker

Headstones, typically level on the ground, can cost around $1,000, while cemetery markers, standing upright atop a grave, generally range between $2,500 and $5,000.

The price of each material varies significantly based on the type chosen; for instance, stone tends to be less expensive than bronze.

The decision on which headstone or burial marker to purchase may also be influenced by the cemetery's policies, as most funeral establishments offer them.

However, exploring independent merchants can offer potential savings of hundreds of dollars.

Comparing Coffins and Caskets

The casket often tops the list as the most expensive item for traditional funerals.

Caskets come in a wide array of styles and materials, ranging from metals to more affordable woods priced anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000!

It's important to note that funeral accessories don't have to be purchased exclusively from the funeral home.

An increasing number of consumers are opting to purchase caskets directly from third-party retailers such as Amazon or Walmart instead of buying them from storefronts within traditional funeral establishments. This approach can potentially save thousands of dollars.

These retailers cannot refuse your chosen casket just because it didn't pass through their store or warehouse; they are legally obligated to accept it without additional charges.

Determining Funeral Insurance Costs

According to NFDA estimates, the average funeral can cost up to $9,100. Cremation services, depending on their specifics, can also incur significant expenses.

Unfortunately, the federal government provides only a one-time payment of about $255 to those who meet certain criteria to assist with these expenses.

If you're concerned that your passing may financially burden your family, consider purchasing final expense insurance.

Final expense insurance, also known as burial or funeral insurance, is specifically designed to help cover costs associated with funeral homes and other post-mortem expenses, including caskets.

Exploring Insurance Options for Funeral Costs

Life insurance stands out as one of the most dependable methods to cover final expenses. Particularly, whole life insurance proves beneficial in offsetting funeral costs.

Final expense insurance emerges as a preferred option for those aiming to shield their loved ones from potential financial hardships posthumously.

Recognizing that each family has unique needs and concerns regarding their departed loved one, BestBurialPolicy.com stands as a leader in understanding this aspect, especially catering to seniors.

Considering Prepayment of Funeral Expenses

With the continual rise in funeral costs, many individuals are choosing to prepay their funeral expenses. This not only ensures the fulfillment of their last wishes but also alleviates the financial burden on their loved ones.

While planning ahead is a viable strategy, we strongly advise against it.

Instead, opting for a final expense insurance policy, commonly known as burial or funeral insurance, proves to be the optimal approach for accumulating funds to cover funeral and burial costs.

This policy typically offers a death benefit ranging from $10,000 to $25,000, intended to cover funeral expenses, end-of-life costs, and other incidental expenses that family members may encounter, such as travel or medical bills

Assistance for Uninsured Burials

Families grappling with grief may feel inclined to overspend on funerals, a decision often regretted later.

However, it's essential not to compromise entirely on expenses; there are ways to manage costs while maintaining dignity for the departed. Pre-arranged funeral packages offer a cost-effective solution, ensuring all needs are met while providing solace to the bereaved.

During the planning phase, having support is crucial if you're tasked with arranging funeral services for a loved one. Organizations like the National Funeral Directors Association and the Funeral Consumers Alliance offer assistance when needed.

Feeling pressured to exceed your budget is unnecessary; remember, family members may not always grasp the full scope of funeral expenses due to customary practices or traditions.

To avoid overspending on burial insurance or to spare loved ones from financial strain, jot down your funeral preferences in advance. Consider aspects such as the venue for the service and preferences regarding cremation versus traditional viewing.

Navigating Financial Constraints for Funerals

When facing financial constraints, a direct burial emerges as the most economical option for families. This involves no preservation of the body or visitation.

In contrast, traditional funerals incur costs several thousand dollars higher than direct cremation, which entails no post-mortem preparation and involves the deceased's remains being collected by a designated representative of the funeral home, usually within hours of death.


Are Military Funerals Free?

Veterans of the Armed Forces are entitled to several benefits posthumously. These include complimentary grave markers, burial plots, and tombstones for surviving family members, along with free interment at national cemeteries.

Before arranging a funeral for a service member, it's crucial to reach out to your local VA office. They can furnish you with a comprehensive list of the discounts, benefits, and funeral arrangements available to veterans.

What Inquiries Should I Make of the Funeral Director?

When making arrangements, it's essential to ascertain whether a funeral home operates independently or is part of a larger organization.

According to research by the Consumer Federation of America and the Funeral Consumers Alliance, SCI-owned funeral facilities had median costs ranging from 47 to 72 percent higher than those of independent establishments.

  • Other important questions to pose to the funeral director include:

  • Do you participate in any groups or associations?

  • Are services provided in-house or through external vendors?

  • What funeral packages do you offer?

  • Do I have options regarding the type of funeral or memorial service, viewing, cremation, or embalming?

  • Are my choices restricted by my personal beliefs?

  • What payment options do I have?

  • Can the funeral service be customized?

  • What are the essential costs, and what additional expenses should I anticipate?

  • Do you collaborate with insurance providers?

Are Funeral Expenses Tax Deductible?

It's understandable to wonder if funeral expenses are tax deductible, offering some solace in knowing you're not alone in this inquiry. Unfortunately, according to IRS regulations, most individuals won't qualify for a deduction.

However, there may be some deductions available if your estate meets certain criteria; consult with your accountant beforehand!


Funerals often rank among the most significant expenses families have to plan for, and estimating final costs can be challenging.

Be cautious with Colonial Penn and State Farm products, as they tend to be costly.

To simplify this process, we've compiled information on funeral service costs from all 50 states.

By doing so, we aim to provide clarity to the question, "What is the average cost of a funeral?" Now, you have the answer!

Feel free to reach out to us at BestBurialPolicy.com or utilize the quote form on the right to inform us of any details we may have overlooked.

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