Category Archives: Funeral Expenses

Funeral costs, including caskets or cremation services.

Is planning your own funeral a good idea?

You may not know when you’re going to die, but you know for sure it will happen.

A little advance planning of your own funeral — or that of a loved one — can make that traumatic time when you die a little easier on your loved ones.

Pre-planning funerals is getting more common as many people prefer to decide on the details of the last celebration of their life themselves. If you decide to do this, talk to your parent or spouse or other family and friends about your funeral wishes at an appropriate time, probably not during an argument or over a holiday dinner. Tell your adult children what you’re thinking about.

Here are some things to consider:

1. Are you thinking about a standard viewing and funeral?
2. Do you have a cemetery plot?
3. Would you prefer cremation?
4. Do you have enough money to pay for big event?
5. Do you want your death notice to read like a biography or will you be satisfied with a published statement of your dates of birth and death?
6. Do you want a video or slide show to be shown during visitation hours? Or do you want a photo board to help mourners remember earlier times?
7. Do you want masses of flowers or would prefer that money be donated to a charity instead?
8. Is there something special you want at your funeral – like your grand piano or motorcycle?

All of the above comes at a cost. A funeral varies depending on the services provided. Cremations generally cost about $4,000. A burial the day after a viewing can be as much as $10,000. The cost of cemetery plots today begins at about $900, but can be several thousand dollars in a major metropolitan area. And you can spend $8,000 or more on a casket.

If you decide on cremation, your ashes can be placed in an urn and then in a mausoleum, or stored or disposed of however you wish.

Whatever you decide to do, if you preplan and let your loved ones know your wishes, you know that your last celebration of life will be the way you want it to be.

For more information about funeral planning, go to

Maybe you can’t buy a casket online – in Georgia!

Costco has been selling caskets over the internet for the last five years. But, because of regulations that make a sale in that state unattractive, they are not selling them in Georgia.

As soon as Walmart recently announced that they are also going to be selling caskets online, they received a letter from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. That letter told them that they are required to register with the state if they want to sell funeral merchandise and, until that process has been completed, they cannot sell caskets in Georgia.

So if you live in Georgia and want to buy a casket, at least for now you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way – buy it from a casket store or a funeral parlor. You won’t be able to buy it from Costco or Walmart online.