Funerals are full of hidden fees, and the most unnecessary and expensive practice is embalming.
An FKD Feature exclusive


Rising funeral costs

Funeral costs aren’t something we typically think about, but with sums racking up to $27,000, it's crucial to make smart and affordable future plans.

Posted by Gen FKD on Sunday, June 24, 2018

Can you believe that you might be too poor to die? The American funeral market is taking advantage of families’ grief. An average funeral in the U.S. costs $11,000, which is a ridiculous price to charge a family after they have lost someone. And, yes, death is scary to think about. However, the funeral market is profiting off of a loss.

A history of expenses  

Embalming is the practice of preserving the look of a body once the person is deceased with chemical solutions. It’s most popular for open-casket services, so everyone can look at Grandpa and be pleased with how good he looks. Embalming was invented 2,000 years ago by the Egyptians as part of their mummification practice. It was popularized in the U.S. during the Civil War for a very grim reason. Due to the sheer amount of death in the war, bodies of fallen soldiers would sometimes be embalmed and sent back to their family. President Abraham Lincoln also had his young son Willie preserved when he passed away.

However, the embalmers noticed they could make a profit. The most famous embalmer who perfected his technique was Thomas Holmes.  He would charge $100 a corpse to embalm the body for burial. That fee was about $2,000 in today’s money. It gets a little dark here. During the remainder of the war, embalmers would camp out and offer soldiers deals to prepay for their embalming. However, the processes of embalming are entirely cosmetic and 100 percent not necessary.

All the other expenses

Other than embalming, there are other funeral costs. Caskets range from $150 to more than $10,000. Flowers can cost anywhere from $100 to $10,000. That’s just the beginning of the costs — you also have to pay for a venue, hearse, burial or cremation and the gravestone. The list goes on! It’s a delicate subject because, of course, you want to honor those who have passed. But it’s also important to realize how much of a money pit a funeral can become.

Like most life events, it’s important to plan for death. Consider what you want to be done. Look at more cost-effective options like natural burial or cremation. Of course, respect your religion and values, and stay within their guidelines. But we should be just as mindful about the cost of funerals as we are about any other expense.


Death literally happens to everyone. So financial opportunists saw a way of making a profit off of funerals. Examine what’s essential with a funeral. Would you rather go into debt over that insanely priced flower wreath or share stories about the good times with your loved one? Take power back from funeral industries and plan how you wish to not how you’re being told to by corporations who are, unfortunately, making money off of your death.


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Posted 07.10.2018 - 01:00 pm EST