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The Cost of Death

Talking about death can be a difficult subject, but a bit of planning now can save your loved ones a lot of extra grief in the event that something happens to you.  Dying is not without financial burden, and in the United States the average price of a funeral exceeds $8000! While planning for the financial future of your loved ones, it is prudent to consider the cost of your death.

If you plan to be buried, there are a variety of factors to consider. You will need a casket, among other things. The average price of a casket was about $2000 in 2012. A quick internet search brings up astonishing prices, including the “Mahogany Masterpiece” costs more than $17,000!

The funeral home typically has a lump-sum package that starts around $500. This price includes mortuary care, labor costs, and transportation costs. Things like weekend services, multi-day wakes, and open caskets cost extra. Memorial services in general can cost up to $4000, and cost more when they occur in churches since the minister and the church can require hourly payment and rent. It’s also important not to forget fees such as the organist and tips.

Depending upon your religious preferences, embalming is an additional cost, usually around $200 – $700. This does not include washing, dressing, and cosmetically preparing the body and placing it into the casket.  This can cost an additional $95 – $400.

There are also costs associated with the burial itself. You will need a burial plot, which averages between $200 and $900. Premium spots in some areas can even rise as high as $2000. These figures were for public cemeteries, however, and private plots are even pricier with averages around $2000 – $3000. Don’t forget accessories: a lawn crypt is another $2000 – $12,000, and a grave marker starts at $250 – $600 for a flat one or $1000 – $3000 for an upright marker.

Beyond the direct costs of a funeral and burial, there are also other smaller costs to consider. Many people opt to choose floral arrangements, and a variety of online florists claiming to offer the best deals. You also will need to notify frienda and loved ones of the proceedings. Some newspapers charge flat fees and some charge by the line for obituaries. There are also thank you cards, announcements, booklets, and other things you may not have even considered.

Of course, if you choose to go with cremation, it can cost as little as $800, minus the price of an urn. Urns can be brass, wood, or marble, and come in a variety of styles and prices. For example, the Colonial Clock Cherry Urn will run you $399.95 with free shipping.

As you choose the amount of life insurance that is right for you and your family, please consider the fees associated with your death. Relying on social security will not get you very far. They pay a one-time lump-sum death payment of $255, which will probably not even cover the cost of flowers.

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Liran Hirschkorn

Liran Hirschkorn is the founder of Chooseterm.com. His mission is to help individuals across the country in finding the best rates on life insurance as well as helping individuals with high risk life insurance.

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