The Final Talk - Funeral Costs
Hi, I’m Kevin Gray, President of Star of David Chapels. Today I’d like to talk about funeral costs. Funerals are expensive, there’s no question about it. A funeral home provides a very important service at a very difficult time, and it provides a level of comfort if done correctly for a family. However, it has to be kept in mind that a funeral home is still a business.
Typically, a funeral service operates out of a very expensive building like the one we’re sitting in. It’s extremely costly to maintain between fixed costs like staff, insurance, vehicles, building maintenance, and taxes, being available to respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The only way for a funeral home to survive is to build these fixed costs into every service that we provide, combined with the cost associated with the funeral that are not even the funeral home’s fees. For example, the cost to open a grave at the cemetery or even to acquire a grave and open it. The cost for clergy, what might appear to be a small and basic service can quickly add up, costing over $10,000 or more.
Keeping things simple, perhaps choosing the least expensive casket can help defray the total cost, but you still need to be prepared that even doing this will still result in probably more than you were expecting to pay. Just as an example, a simple graveside service using a plain pine box, adding in the cost for the cemetery, etc. can easily run over $10,000 and will be significantly more if you decide that you need a casket that’s a lot more expensive, or limousines, placing a notice in a newspaper, not to mention at some point a headstone or footstone and perhaps perpetual care of the grave must be considered. This is why we recommend prearrangements, so you have time to prepare both emotionally and financially.