When a person calls a funeral home and asks, “How much is it for a burial?” it’s very like calling an auto dealer and asking the person on the other end of the line, “How much is it for a vehicle?”
Much like a vehicle that has many options affecting the price, burials are not “one size fits all.” Many factors determine the final cost for a burial. Some clients believe not receiving an immediate answer means the funeral director is trying to upsell or tack things on, when they are likely trying to figure out what the family wants for their loved one.
Unlike cremation, there are so many variables to burial that it is difficult to provide simple pricing. Our pricing page can provide an estimate for what you can expect to pay, but some of the things that will impact your costs with a funeral home, in order of potential increased cost:
- Casket selection
- Services required (funeral, visitation, etc.)
- Preparation & Transportation (to/from cemetery, to/from church, embalming etc.)
In the case of Elemental, our side of the costs are almost always lower than that of the cemetery. At the cemetery, you can expect to have, at a minimum, the following charges.
- Space (grave, crypt, niche, etc.)
- Open & Close – the overhead of the cemetery, in the form of digging the grave (i.e., “opening the crypt”)
- Outer Burial Container (vault or liner)
- Headstone or marker
- Setting fees – fees to place the outer burial container and marker
Some cemeteries have records fees or service fees for tent and chairs as well.
Before you call funeral homes and cemeteries, brace yourself. You are not going to be able to accomplish a burial in the immediate Seattle area for less than $6,000, no matter how austere you make it or which cemetery you select. This is the reality of cemetery pricing and products in our costly urban area.
Before you contact a funeral home, knowing the following answers can help you narrow down the numbers to a clear quote:
- What is your casket budget? A reasonable expectation is between $1,500 and $3,000 for a nice middle of the road casket.
- Do you want to have a church service?
- Do you want a visitation?
- Do you want a graveside service?
Having answers to these questions will go a long way towards helping a funeral home provide the most accurate information possible.