When learning how much the average burial costs, many are shocked to discover the unexpected burial expenses throughout the interment process. On average, families pay over $10,000 for both a funeral and burial. Some families must limit funeral costs. While the cost of burial is lessened by choosing low cost funeral products and services, a concerted effort is required to achieve a cheap burial.
Burial Expenses and Price
Several burial expenses are unfamiliar or overlooked:
- The burial plot - Although many recognize the need for a place to bury their loved ones, few know the burial plot cost. Grave plots in certain areas of cemeteries, such as on hilltops or in exclusive areas, are more expensive - The cost of burial plots starts around $1,000, although more affordable burial plots may be found in areas with very low property costs.
- Opening and closing the grave. The cemetery hires workers to open and close a grave; the cost is usually more for weekends. The average price for this service is $500.
- Burial Container - A burial vault is often necessary to prevent collapse of the grave. Burial vault prices range from as little as $200 to upwards of $10,000.
- A grave marker - A grave marker is a separate, but significant, expense. The average gravestone cost is $1,500.
- Transportation is needed to move the body from the place of death, and to the gravesite. $625 is spent, on average, for funeral transportation.
- Upkeep of the gravesite - Grave upkeep fees are generally regulated by states, but may be imposed by cemeteries.
Average Burial Cost Reduced
With the average cost of burial at several thousand dollars, it is no wonder people look for ways to save money. The best way to achieve a low cost burial is to plan ahead. Pre-planning and pre-paying allows people to make personal choices on caskets, services, and grave plots and pay for them in advance at current market costs. Consider a less expensive casket or a smaller gravestone to reduce burial costs.
As always, the best way to manage costs is to shop around. Know your options. Instead of buying a burial plot, consider cremation, burial at sea, entombment in a mausoleum, and green burial. Opting for a graveside service instead of using a funeral home also helps cut the cost of burial.
Saying goodbye to a loved one must be done with dignity and respect. Practical steps can be taken to ensure a cost-effective burial that maintains dignity and provides meaning.