How Much Does a Funeral Cost in 2021?

January 28, 2021

While funerals are an important celebration of a loved one’s life, they can also be a significant financial burden for the people left behind. The best way to protect your loved ones (or yourself) from unexpected financial hardship is to understand the costs of a funeral ahead of time and put an end-of-life plan in place before a funeral is necessary. 

In this post, we’ll discuss the average cost of a funeral in the U.S, what you can expect to pay for a traditional funeral including the cost of burial services, cremation, and other elements like preparation and a custom headstone, and how you and your loved ones can prepare for funeral costs no matter where you live.

How Much Does a Funeral Cost in the U.S.?

In 2021, the average cost of a funeral in the U.S. is between $8,000-$10,000. And that number can quickly escalate into the tens of thousands.

Did you know that there are about 2.4 million funerals each year in the U.S.? That's over $24 billion dollars a year.

The Cost of Funerals in 2021

Funerals get more expensive with each passing year. According to the Consumer Price Index, funeral costs have increased 227.1% in the last three decades. And they're only likely to get more expensive. While there are many expenses associated with a traditional funeral home, the most expensive elements of a funeral tend to be the casket, body preparation, and ceremony itself. 

Here’s a general breakdown of how much the various expenses associated with funerals cost:

  • Traditional funeral service: $2,500-$3,000
  • Casket: $2,000-$2,500
  • Cremation: $1,300-$2,300
  • Funeral director’s fees: $1,000-$1,500
  • Body preparation: $500-$750
  • Funeral ceremony: $900-$1,000
  • Transportation: $500

While this seems like a comprehensive list, it doesn’t include end-of-life expenses such as final medical bills and things like hospice care. Funeral and traditional burial costs can skyrocket when you add common funeral arrangement elements like:

  • A grave liner
  • A premium headstone or grave marker
  • Hand-picked burial plot
  • Burial vault
  • and other costly additions to traditional funeral services offered by a cemetery or funeral home

If you want any of these costly extras, set aside funds in a will or better yet a dedicated trust to cover the rising cost of a traditional funeral and burial.

Learn more about the biggest differences between a will and a trust

Average Cost of Funeral By State

How much does a funeral cost in each state? Here’s a state-by-state breakdown to the average cost of funeral arrangements across the U.S. in order from least to most expensive:

  1. Mississippi: $18,307 ($6,568 for average funeral expenses, $11,739 for end of life medical expenses) 
  2. Oklahoma: $18,739 ($6,722 for average funeral expenses, $12,016 for end-of-life and final expense)
  3. Arkansas: $18,954 ($6,800 for average funeral expenses, $12,154 for end-of-life and final expense)
  4. Kansas: $18,976 ($6,808 for median cost of funeral expenses, $12,168 for average end-of-life expenses)
  5. Missouri: $19,192 ($6,885 for median cost of funeral expenses, $12,307 for average end-of-life medical costs)
  6. Alabama: $19,197 ($6924 for average funeral expenses, $12,376 for end-of-life costs and final expense)
  7. Georgia: $19,300 ($6,924 for median cost of funeral expenses, $12,376 for average end-of-life costs and final expense)
  8. New Mexico: $19,343 ($6,939 for average funeral expenses, $12,4040 for average end-of-life medical costs and final expense)
  9. Tennessee: $19,473 ($6,986 for average funeral expenses, $12, 487 for end-of-life costs)
  10. Indiana: $19,516 ($7,001 for average funeral expenses, $12,514 for end-of-life costs)
  11. Michigan: $19,624 ($7,040 for average funeral expenses, $12,584 for end-of-fief costs)
  12. Iowa: $19,883 ($7,133 for average funeral expenses, $12,750 for end-of-life costs)
  13. West Virginia: $19,883 ($7,133 for average funeral expenses, $12,750 for end-of-life costs)
  14. Texas: $19,926 ($7,148 for average funeral expenses, $12,777 for average end-of-life costs)
  15. Nebraska: $19,991 ($7,172 for average funeral expenses, $12,819 for end-of-life costs)
  16. Ohio: $20,055 ($7,195 for average funeral expenses, $12,861 for end-of-life expenses)
  17. Louisiana: $20,163 ($7,234 for funeral expenses, $12,930 for end-of-life costs)
  18. Kentucky: $20,250 ($7,265 for funeral expenses, $12,985 for end-of-life costs)
  19. Idaho: $20,314 ($7,288 for average funeral expenses, $13,027 for end-of-life costs)
  20. Wyoming: $20,595 ($7,389 for average funeral expenses, $13,207 for average end-of-life medical costs)
  21. North Carolina: $20,638 ($7,404 for average funeral expenses, $13,234 for average end-of-life medical costs)
  22. Illinois: $20,681 ($7,419 for average funeral expenses, $13,262 for end-of-life costs)
  23. South Carolina: $20,681 ($7,419 for average funeral expenses, $13,262 for average end-of-life costs)
  24. Wisconsin: $20,789 ($7,458 for funeral costs, $13,331 for average end-of-life expenses)
  25. North Dakota: $29,941 ($7,512 for average funeral expenses, $13,428 for end-of-life costs)
  26. South Dakota: $29,941 ($7,512 for average funeral expenses, $13,428 for end-of-life costs)
  27. Utah: $21,005 ($7,536 for average funeral expenses, $13,470 for end-of-life costs)
  28. Montana: $21,329 ($7,652 for average funeral expenses, $13,677 end-of-life costs)
  29. Florida: $21,372 ($7,667 for funeral expenses, $13,705 for average end-of-life costs)
  30. Minnesota: $21,847 ($7,838 for average funeral expenses, $14,010 for end-of-life costs)
  31. Arizona: $21,869 ($7,845 for average funeral expenses, $14,023 for end-of-life costs)
  32. Virginia: $21,934 ($7,869 for average funeral expenses, $14,605 for average end-of-life and final expense costs)
  33. Pennsylvania: $21,998 ($7,892 for average funeral expenses, $14,106 for end of life and final expense costs)
  34. Colorado: $22,668 ($8,132 for the average funeral cost, $14,536 for average end-of-life and cemetery costs)
  35.  Delaware: $23,294 ($8,357 for average funeral expenses, $14,937 for end-of-life expenses and cemetery costs)
  36. New Hampshire: $23,358 ($8,380 for average funeral expenses, $14,979 for end-of-life costs and cemetery costs)
  37. Nevada: $23,509 ($8,434 for average funeral expenses, $15,075 for end-of-life costs)
  38. Washington: $24,028 ($8,620 for average funeral expenses, $15,408 for end-of-life costs)
  39. Vermont: $25,042 ($8,984 for average funeral expenses, $16,058 for average end-of-life costs)
  40. Maine: $25,085 ($8,999 for average funeral expenses, $16,086 for average end-of-life costs)
  41. New Jersey: $25,517 ($9,154 for average funeral expenses, $16,363 for end-of-life cots)
  42. Rhode Island: $25,776 ($9,247 for average funeral expenses, $16,529 for end-of-life cots)
  43. Connecticut: $27,007 ($9,689 for average funeral expenses, $17,318 for end-of-life costs)
  44. Alaska: $27,633 ($9,913 for average funeral expenses, $17,720 for end-of-life costs)
  45. Maryland: $27,654 ($9,921 for average funeral expenses, $17,733 for end-of-life costs)
  46. Massachusetts: $28,626 ($10,270 for average funeral expenses, $18,356 for end-of-life costs)
  47. New York: $28,863 ($10,355 for average funeral expenses, $18,509 for end-of-life costs)
  48. Oregon: $29,058 ($10,424 for funeral expenses, $18,633 for end-of-life costs)
  49. California: $29,900 ($10,727 for funeral expenses, $19,173 for end-of-life costs)
  50. Hawaii : $42,378 ($15,203 for funeral expenses, $27,175 for end-of-life costs)

How to Plan for Funeral Expenses

Funeral costs can be devastatingly high, and many families find themselves ill-prepared. To protect yourself and your loved ones, here are five tips for planning ahead:

  1. Set aside a funeral fund. If you have the financial means, establish a funeral fund to pay for your burial and other funeral arrangements. And make sure to specify your wishes. The cost of a burial is different than the cost of cremation. This will alleviate the burden for your family and loved ones.
  2. Consider the extra cost of your custom funeral arrangement. A green burial is doesn't require expensive steps like embalming or a burial vault. You can even set aside an amount for a specific burial plot if that's something that you care about.
  3. Purchase funeral insurance. Pre-planning for your funeral with funeral insurance can help cover the cost of a memorial service and other end-of-life expenses so your loved ones don’t have to pay out of pocket.
  4. Create a will. If you haven’t already, create a will to clarify your end-of-life plans. This will help avoid confusion and ensure your final wishes are honored. 

Pillar is Here to Help

While end-of-life planning can be difficult to talk about, it’s an essential step to protecting your family and loved ones.At Pillar, our goal is to help you protect what matters. Start your free 14-day trial and you can scan, store, save, and share your most important documents for when you and your family need them the most.

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