TEL. (215) 298 9070

KEVIN D. WHITING, FD. TeL. (215) 298 9070. kdwfdcpa2@comcast.net

Why Do Funerals Cost So Much ?



Cemetery cost include cost of the grave (starting at approx. $800) opening and closing cost (starting at approx. $1,200) and cremation fees (starting at approx. $275). Most cemeteries also charge  additional fee for Saturday funerals (approx. $300 plus an overtime fee if you arrive after a certain time (late)). The State of Pennsylvania does not require a grave liner or vault for burial, however each cemetery has their own policy regarding grave liners or vault  (starting at approx. $850).  Grave liners and vaults are sold by funeral homes and cemetery.  As you can see by the above estimates, the total cost of a cemetery can start around  $2,850



Repass cost are often forgotten when budgeting for a funeral. If you are expecting 50 to 60 guest, you will need to consider the cost of food, the facility, servers and clean up.  If the facility cost $ 300 and you budget $10 per person, the repass can cost you over $ 900

Church Fees are another expense that are often overlooked when budgeting for a funeral.  Although your loved one may have been a member of their church for decades, overhead and staffing cost have continued to escalate over the years. Today, many churches are experiencing a decline in membership and a decline in average contribution per member.  As a result, most church are reluctant to do so, but are economically forced to charge for services that were once free: such as Pastor's fee to conduct the service , organist, soloist, use of church for services and or repass.  These fees can range from free to $1,000 ( Church $500 + $500 (Pastor, organist, soloist, etc))  Be sure to check with your place of worship to obtain current fees and policy. 

As you can see by the above estimates, the cost of a church service and repass can start as low as $ 1,900 




As you can see by the above estimates, the average family is walking into the funeral home with a financial burden of $ 4,750 (cemetery ( $ 2,850) , repass ($ 900) and church services ( $ 1,000) and they have not made any decisions regarding: embalming, casket selection, flowers, funeral programs etc. Depending on the funeral home you select, funeral home prices can range from $4,000 to $6,000 or higher.  Please note, all funeral home are required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to provide and explain their General Price List, Casket Price List and Outer Burial Price List.  

How Much Should I Spend


In today's age of technology and smart phones, consumers are very intelligent and  resourceful. Consumers are very comfortable with researching things that are unfamiliar and seeking clarification from their Funeral Director. We at WFH welcome and encourage any and all questions.


What you should spend depends on your priorities and what you choose to focus upon.  If your focus is strictly cost, you might expect a quick turnaround around and less attention to details.  (i.e: Fly By Night Tax Preparer vs Certified Public Accountant) 


While the cost of funeral services are  significant, a thought might be to spend that which is commensurate with the decedents status in life.  However do not spend beyond that which you can afford. You have to live beyond the funeral and or memorial service.  


If your focus is time, you may be willing to accept less quality at a lower price. (i.e.: fast food)


If your focus is quality, additional time is welcomed and additional cost are understood. ( Five Star Restaurant)   


If your focus is cost, less time and less quality can be an expectation.

What Are My Financial Options

Pre Arrangements


We do not have a say in how you come into this world, but we do have a say in how you wish to leave.  Making your loved one's or your final arrangements in advance allows you to influence all elements of your services including the songs you wish to have sung, the person you would like to sing the songs, the content of your obituary, the scriptures for your Order of Service, the location of your funeral or memorial service and the location of your burial. When you prearrange your funeral and cemetery services, you'll alleviate your family's financial burden of locating appropriate documents such as: insurance policies, confirming validity and value of life insurance polices, locating military documents (DD214) for military honors, locating old cemetery documents.  These step are extremely helpful if one has been divorced  or separated.  



If cremation is your choice or the choice of your loved one, you have many service options when you make arrangements with Whiting Funeral Home. We will be honored to help you plan a memorial service that will celebrate the life of your loved one and provide lasting memories for years to come. It is also important to plan for the "permanent placement" or "final disposition" of cremated remains once the urn is returned to you.  Permanent placement of cremains may include placing the urn in a cremation niche (usually within a designated building such as a church or cemetery), burial of urn in a cemetery or keeping the urn with relatives for future generations. 



When considering final arrangements for yourself or loved one, one of the first decisions you might want to make is whether you prefer burial or cremation. The decision often influences other considerations such as burial at a local cemetery or burial at a National Veteran's Cemetery.  If your loved one has served in the military and received and honorable discharged, they and their spouse are entitled to a grave, opening and closing of the grave, vault and grave marker all at no cost to the family which can save you approx. $4,000 in cemetery cost for each person who is buried for a total of $8,000.



Placing your loved one in an above ground final resting place provides a place of elegance for future generations to visit. 

Scattering of Cremains


In accordance with local laws, cremains can be scattered at various locations and setting.

Science or Gift of Life


Donating ones body to science or donating vital organs to help others is is a possibility

So Many Options, Take Your Time & Do Your Research