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Funeral Planning & Costs

Funeral Planning & Costs*


When a loved one dies there are many issues to be addressed. One of the most pressing is that of the funeral. Here we provide some things to consider in your planning.

One thing to keep in mind is that costs can vary significantly between funeral homes and casket sources. The Funeral Consumers Alliance of Central Texas publishes an annual cost-comparison guide based on their survey of Austin-area funeral homes. You can view the lastest survey here.

Download PDF Version

Planning Considerations

Burial Arrangements
  • Decide which funeral home will house the body
  • Decide on the source of the casket and place the order quickly to ensure delivery on time. Collier’s Affordable Caskets can help with this
  • Decide on the burial location and purchase the plot
  • Decide on the date(s) and location(s) of funeral service(s), burial/cremation, or memorial service(s)
  • Arrangements for police escort, if needed
  • Services of clergy, musicians/singers
Notification of friends and family
  • Those in address books
  • Social Media–Most people are on Facebook. If you don’t have their password try going to on their personal computer as their login information may be stored in memory and allow you in. If not, you can log in through your account and post a message on their timeline. If they allow anyone to post without their own approval then their friends will see it
  • Notify clubs and organizations of which they were members
  • An obituary
  • If donations to charity or other accounts are requested in lieu of flowers, establishment of such accounts (if any) and notification to friends/family
Funeral Services
  • Decide whether the funeral home director or someone else with coordinate the funeral
  • Decide if or where you will have a service(s)
  • Decide who will speak at the funeral service(s) and direct events
  • Determine family transportation. Using funeral home vehicles can become very expensive
  • If flowers will be moved to the burial site, determine who will move them and set them up
  • Removal of flowers from the graveside, and location to where they will be taken

Cost Considerations

Normal Costs

Funeral costs can vary widely and do not include the casket which is an additional cost. Listed are several cost items. Many items are optional, although most people think they are required and funeral homes will not necessarily inform you of the optional items.

  • Funeral director and staff costs (called the Non-Declinable Fee)
  • Transportation of the body from place of death to the funeral home
  • Refrigeration of the body
  • Body preparation
    • embalming
    • dressing the body
    • placing in the casket
    • makeup
    • hair preparation
  • Public viewing at the funeral home
  • Conduct of service at the funeral home, graveside, and/or other locations
  • Transportation of the body to other viewing/service locations
  • Visitors book at the viewing(s)/service(s)
  • Thank you cards
  • Programs for the service(s)
  • Transportation of the body to the location of internment
  • Flower transportation
  • Family transportation
Additional Costs

These costs are normally in addition to the funeral charges of a funeral home. They can run between $4000 to $8000 IN ADDITION to the cost of the funeral.

  • The casket. This can make up much of the additional cost if purchased from a funeral home. Let us help you reduce this cost
  • Burial plot
  • Opening and closing the grave
  • Grave liners during the graveside service
  • Cost of an obituary
  • Flowers
  • Services of clergy or other speakers, musicians
  • Cost of police escorts
  • Other costs not specifically included by the funeral home in their pricing

Post-Burial Considerations

There can be innumerable things to consider following a person’s death, not the least of which is settling the will and giving keepsakes to family members and others who were important to them. Beyond that, here are some addtional items to consider.

  • Notification of deceased’s attorney and CPA
  • Notification of the Social Security Administration
  • Notification of the military and/or Veterans Administration, if a recipient of such benefits
  • Notification of insurance companies
    • life
    • health
    • automobile
    • home/renters/other
    • business
  • Notification of banks and credit card companies (including store charge cards)
  • Notification of sources of real estate, vehicle, and other loans
  • Notification of investment companies holding retirement/investment accounts
  • Notification of organizations to which the deceased pays dues or has a membership
  • Notification of state/federal offices if deceased owned a business
  • Notification of county tax office if a property owner

Additional Resources and Information

Funeral Consumers Alliance of Central Texas (FCA~CTX, formerly AMBIS) The FCACTX (Funeral Consumer Alliance of Central Texas) is a non-profit organization that has been serving central Texas for many decades. They offer a wealth of timely information that is priceless in making plans for future needs. Membership is very economical and good for a lifetime. Take the time to view their information.

Funeral Consumers Alliance (national organization)

*Neither Protean7 Interactive nor Collier’s Affordable Caskets assume any responsibility for accuracy of any information herein.
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