As unfortunate as it may be, death is a part of life. Despite your best efforts, you won't avoid it.
For this reason, instead of fearing it, you should be planning for it. By properly planning for your death, you will save your surviving loved ones a great deal of stress, time, money, and grief.
There is a great deal involved in planning for your death, but one of the most important aspects is deciding on whether you'll be buried or cremated. Looking to go with the cheapest option available? If so, this blog post should be of some use to you.
Below, we're going to compare the cost of cremation vs burial. Let's get into the specifics, shall we?
Costs Associated with BurialWhen paying for burial, you are not just paying for the burial itself. There are a number of expenses associated with burial that can substantially drive up its overall cost. We are going to cover these expenses in detail below.
Burial PlotOne of the big costs associated with burial is the cost of the burial site or burial plot. Depending on the cemeteries in which they exist and depending on their locations within these cemeteries, these plots can run anywhere from $200 to $25,000.
However, in general, you can expect to pay between $2,000 and $5,000 for a single burial plot.
Burial VaultIn addition to the burial plot, you must also pay for the burial vault. This is the container which is placed underground and which encases the casket. Burial vaults can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000.
However, you also have the option to use a grave liner. These are cheaper, typically running between $500 and $1,000.
HeadstoneThe vast majority of graves have headstones. While you're not required to use a headstone, you should at least consider it.
Headstones come in all different sizes and are made out of a range of materials. Because of this, they have a wide price margin. While you could buy a cheap one for $25, a solid and sturdy one is going to cost you at least $1,000. At a maximum, you'll pay $3,000.
CasketThe law does not require you to be buried in a casket. However, most individuals choose to do so.
If you plan on using a casket for your burial, you should expect to pay at least $1,000. However, depending on the material that it's made from, a casket can run as high as $10,000. On average, individuals spend approximately $2,000 on a casket.
The Opening and Closing of the Grave In addition to purchasing a burial plot, you must also pay for someone to open and close your grave. This can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,200, however, a reasonable average is around $500.
Funeral ServiceMost of those who choose to be buried also choose to have funerals. Funerals are costly and include a number of different expenses. Whereas general funeral fees tend to hove around $2,000, funeral staff fees tend to run between $900 and $2,000.
Body TransportationAnother burial expense to consider is body transportation. When choosing burial, you're also choosing to pay a variety of different transportation fees.
Whereas transportation of the body to the funeral home will generally cost around $300, transportation of the body from the funeral home to the burial site (with the use of a hearse) will generally cost around $500.
Body PreparationIf you're having a funeral, you will also need to pay body preparation fees. These include fees for both embalming and body dressing. While embalming fees generally run around $700, body dressing fees typically run around $300.
Costs Associated with Ceremonial CremationIf you wish, you can have a funeral before your cremation. Doing so will include not only the funeral costs discussed above but all of the expenses associated with cremation as well. Those costs are as follows.
Body TransportAfter the funeral has ended, the body will need to be transported from the funeral site to the crematorium. This will generally cost around $300, however, it can run anywhere from $150 to $750.
The CremationDepending on your location, cremation costs can range anywhere from $500 to $10,000. Whereas a cremation in a city such as New York City can cost anywhere from $550 to $10,000, a cremation in a city such as Providence, Rhode Island generally falls between $1,400 and $4,000.
On average, you can expect to pay around $1,500 for cremation services. Learn more about cremation now.
UrnWhile it's not necessary, most families choose to save the remains of their loved ones in urns. There are all types of urns on the market today, some of which are available for under $50 and some of which are available for as much as $250. Regardless of the one you of your family chooses, you'll need to keep its expense in mind.
Direct Cremation CostsIf you're looking for the cheapest option available, you should go with a direct cremation. A direct cremation is a simple cremation which involves no funeral service or viewing.
Because it foregoes the use of a casket, funeral services, and body preparation services, it generally only costs between $500 and $2,500 total. However, depending on your location, it could cost as much as $10,000.
If your loved one plans on keeping your ashes, you're going to have to buy an urn as well. This will cost an additional $50 to $250.
Cost of Cremation vs Burial: Which Is More Affordable?
As you can see, when you compare the cost of cremation vs burial, the difference is staggering. Overall, cremation is substantially cheaper than burial. In fact, when everything is added up, cremation is approximately 1/3 the price of burial.
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