Funeral costs are one thing you can recoup in a wrongful death lawsuit. It may surprise you to learn about the various expenses involved in a funeral service.
While the actual costs can vary greatly from area to area, depending on the extras you choose and the funeral you use, there are some basics that every funeral will include. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the basic costs are for funeral services and merchandise that you purchase allowed under the law.
Under the law, the funeral home must provide you with an itemized statement of all expenses. If you ask, the funeral home also must provide you with an estimate of costs before providing services.
The funeral home you use will charge you a fee for the services it provides. This fee covers the planning process, death certificate, notices, cemetery or crematory coordination, holding the remains and permits.
The fee may also include optional services and merchandise, such as use of the funeral home for services, transporting the remains, use of a hearse, casket and container expenses, body preparation and graveside service charges. It may also include a charge for cash advances where the funeral pays for items, such as flowers, on your behalf. It usually will include a markup.
There are some things that a funeral home will try to sell you that are optional. You should be aware of optional items as they will increase your costs. For example, embalming is usually not a legal requirement, but funeral homes may require it. You might be able to discuss this with the director and work out a way to avoid the expense.