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What Is the Cost of An Unexpected Funeral?

Gierth-Eddy Law Offices, PLLC Oct. 1, 2020

Counting the dollars of a funeral after a wrongful death may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to the mental and emotional costs of suddenly losing a loved one. In the grips of grief, you may gloss over it as a necessary expense in order to get on with things.

But knowing the costs can help you navigate the difficult months ahead as you work through this difficult time while also securing any financial justice owed to you.

Funeral with Viewing and Burial

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the median cost of a funeral with viewing and burial in 2019 was $7,640. The service includes many factors. Some factors are non-negotiable like basic services, preparation of the body including dressing and grooming and the use of facilities. Other factors, like embalming, can be optional depending on the nature of your service and the funeral home you work with. Open-casket viewing tends to require embalming.

Other costs like a burial vault, which many cemeteries need, can increase this average to $9,135.

Funeral with Viewing and Cremation

Cremation removes the cemetery costs, but still includes much of the funeral services. Body preparation, ceremony costs and other fees bring the median cost of a funeral with viewing and cremation to around $5,150.

The NFDA does not account for costs like the cremation casket, rental casket or the cremation urn into this median.

These costs can strain any family even if you expect it. In a wrongful death case, there are hundreds of factors at play that lend more to your stress. The sudden nature of the loss and your financial situation should not affect how you remember your lost loved one.