Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, March 28, 2014

Saving Funeral Costs


Funerals can cost over $27,000 these days.  Even the least expensive funerals, costing around $2,000, can be too much for some families.  Here are six ways you can save on funeral expenses: 

  1. Compare online.  Websites like FuneralDecisions.com offer free instant quotes to help consumers find low-cost funeral services in their area.
  2. Forgo embalming.  State law doesn’t require embalming, which has a median cost of $700.  Ask the funeral home if refrigeration is an option, which can be as low as $50 a day.
  3. Decline the “protective” casket.  Some caskets are equipped with a rubber gasket meant to protect the body from the elements.  This “protective” addition could raise the price of the casket by $800 and doesn’t actually preserve the body.
  4. Buy elsewhere.  Most states don’t require you to purchase your casket or urn from a funeral home, and funeral homes aren’t allowed to charge you a handling fee if you’ve purchased from somewhere else, such as a warehouse club.
  5. Have a home funeral.  It’s legal in most states to care for the body at home and take it yourself to its final resting place.
  6. Donate.  Donating your body to a medical school normally incurs no costs for the family.  Cremated remains are returned within two years. 

See Kaitlyn Wells, 7 Ways to Save on Funeral Costs, MarketWatch, March 27, 2014.


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