How much do funerals really cost?
Funeral costs are determined by the services and merchandise requested by the consumer. Costs may range from below $3,000 for immediate disposition services to several thousand dollars depending on the type of services and merchandise selected.
Traditional Funeral costs have increased no faster than the consumer price index for other consumer items. The typical traditional service cost at Lucey-VanVoorhis Funeral Home including, staff and facility fees for visitation and the funeral service, automotive equipment, a casket, and grave liner or vault is between $8,000 and $10,000.
When compared to other major life-cycle events, like births and weddings, funerals are not expensive. A wedding costs at least three times as much; but, because it is a happy event, wedding costs are rarely criticized.
A funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business, with extensive facilities (viewing rooms, chapels, limousines, hearses, etc.). These expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral. Moreover, the cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets, but the services of a funeral director in making arrangements; filing appropriate forms; dealing with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all the necessary details.
According to NFDA, nationwide, family owned funeral homes generate an 11.3% before tax profit.
What about Casket Stores and Internet Funeral Products?
Is it better to purchase merchandise through a retail funeral product store, a cemetery, the Internet, or a funeral director?
Consumers can opt to purchase funeral merchandise through retail outlets, cemeteries, and even the Internet. Over exaggerated claims about the savings one can achieve are prevalent, especially on the Internet.
A consumer should always get price quotes and make informed comparisons before purchasing any merchandise. Cemeteries and funeral retail outlets often maintain inferior quality products marked up higher than a funeral home simply because they need to recoup their operating costs from just the sale of those products.
Before purchasing from a third party provider, always get a written quote describing in detail the merchandise, materials, and warranties included. The terms and conditions of delivery should be included. Compare these prices and items to that of your local funeral director.
At Lucey-VanVoorhis Funeral Home, we offer an extensive variety of caskets and alternative containers from under $300 to over $5,000 produced from wood, metal, and alternative materials.
What happens when there are no funds available?
Other than the family, there are veteran, union, and other organizational benefits to pay for funerals including, in certain instances, a lump-sum death payment from Social Security. In most states, some form of public aid allowances are available from either the state, county, city or a combination.
Most funeral directors are aware of the various benefits and know how to obtain them for the indigent. However, funeral directors often absorb costs above and beyond what is provided by agencies to insure the deceased a respectable burial.
How do I shop around for the best value and services?
Most funeral directors encourage the public to visit their funeral homes. Getting to know the person you will be dealing with at a very stressful time is very important and ideally should happen before the death of a loved one occurs.
After meeting with several funeral directors, you will most likely find one with whom you are comfortable - a person you experience to be patient and understanding, a good listener, an open-minded person you believe and trust, one who offers you choices consistent with your personal needs.
How do your costs compare to other funeral firms in our area?
We believe our professional services fees fall "somewhere in the middle" when compared with other firms in our area. However, what we feel is more important to our community is value. When choosing a funeral home, it is important to consider reputation, staff, services and facilities.
What are your payment options, both pre-need and at need?
Our pre-need payment options are explained in our Pre-Need Planning section. Our at need payment options are explained in our Funeral Arrangement Options section.