And that number is steadily increasing, said Smith, owner of Smith Funeral & Cremation Care in
"Pre-paid funerals are absolutely a good thing," he said. "Each year, the cost of funerals and cremations increase by some means. Pre-paying, either in a lump sum or by one of the flexible payment plans we offer, ensures that your wishes are carried out to your specifications, and that the cost of the services and merchandise you selected in advance is guaranteed against inflation."
A funeral with all the extras, including a viewing, can cost
"In our time in business over the last four years, we have had a very steady increase in the percentage of families who return to us for pre-need arrangements, and also with new client families who come in to take care of pre-arrangements, or clients who have transferred their existing pre-arrangements to our care," said Smith, whose funeral home handles around 125 funerals a year.
Rising costs and safeguards
Like anything, the cost of funerals has increased and will continue to do so. In the 30 years between 1986 and 2017, funeral expenses rose 227%, Consumer Price Index numbers showed. The largest increase in that time was for a casket, which can cost as much as
While funeral expenses can vary depending on the area of the country you live in, the main funeral costs according to parting.com are:
These costs do not include additional items such as the cost for a minister or priest, flowers or a death notice in the local newspaper.
There are several ways to finance a funeral in
"Labor is my biggest expense," said
Funeral homes in
About one-third of all funerals are arranged for and paid ahead of time, the state said.
"We find that pre-paying for services are good because it helps the family know what type of services and merchandise they want and it also alleviates the financial expenses from the next of kin," said
That was the case for a
The woman, who did not want to be identified for privacy reasons, said she began thinking about a prepaid funeral for her mother around the time she had to place her in a personal care home.
"We did not know how long she would be there," said the woman, adding the personal care home cost
"I was relieved," she said. "It gave me peace and calmness. By doing it ahead of time, I was able to carry out her wishes. It was all very pleasant."
Cremation is now becoming an option for many, though it is not as popular in
"We are a rural area," he said.
"Our direct cremation rate is only 17%,"
The first crematorium in
Cremations typically cost 40% less than a traditional funeral with a burial. And like funerals, there are options. For example, a person might opt to have a viewing and a cremation, a rental casket is typically used. When the viewing is complete, the deceased and the casket are taken to the crematorium.
The body is removed from the rented container, cremated at a temperature between 1,400 and 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit in a process that takes up to two hours to complete for an adult. The bone fragments are then pulverized, placed in a plastic bag and returned to the family.
How the ashes -- cremains -- are disposed is up to the family. The
Also, federal law prohibits dropping anything from the air that might cause harm to property or individuals. Lastly, if the deceased wanted their remains thrown into the ocean, the federal Clean Water Act requires this be done at least three nautical miles from shore. For water burial at a lake, or river, the agency managing the body of water must grant permission.
If none of that works, then cremains have been turned into jewelry, used to make ink for tattoos, planted as part of a tree, made into an explosive or even turned into a vinyl record, according to the Mother Nature Network.
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