How Much Does a Funeral Really Cost?
The cost of a funeral in Canada can range from $1,000 to $15,000, while the price of a wedding can be well over $20,000. Both involve many of the same details: a ceremony, a reception, food, flowers, and legal documents.
Like a wedding, a funeral involves a lot of decision making. What makes planning a funeral different than a wedding is the emotional toll families experience. That’s why having someone experienced and trustworthy to guide you through the process is the best way to understand the costs involved.
David Henseleit, Kelowna funeral home director and co-owner of Springfield Funeral Home, has sat down with families from all walks of life to help them navigate the funeral planning process. Here he discusses what is involved when figuring out funeral costs, and you’ll be pleased to learn that not all parts of a funeral require money.
Funeral costs can be broken down into three parts:
When sitting down with a family, a funeral director will ask questions to get a better picture of the family’s vision for the funeral service. This includes deciding whether a viewing is needed, if they want a cremation or burial, or if a reception is required.
“Like a wedding, a death in the family includes several decisions. We act as a guide, painting a picture of what is available and what it will cost so that they can make the most informed decision,” David says.
For example, a viewing before burial or cremation includes the bathing, grooming, dressing, and embalming of the body. While a cost is involved, David says it’s something that families may want to consider.
“The viewing is the first step in saying goodbye to the physical presence of your loved one and processing their life into memory,” David says. “The viewing and costs involved also have flexibility. Some considerations that can affect cost include if there is an embalming and what type of casket or presentation of the body is requested.”
2. Other Expenses
These are the fees that go beyond the actual funeral service, and that may involve third parties. Disbursements can include newspaper obituaries, musician fees, floral arrangements, food at the reception, cemetery fees, and celebrant honorariums. Springfield Funeral Home is proud to offer support when it comes to every element of a service and can take care of all the details.
3. Burial & ceremonial items
This includes items such as caskets, cremation urns, memorial cards, and keepsakes.
Keeping it in-house
One way to keep funeral costs down is to look for in-house services and options, where costs can be better controlled. This not only includes the viewing, but also the ceremony, memorial cards, food at the reception, etc.
“You can keep costs down by dealing with a funeral home that can offer you all the ancillary services and look after every detail for you all under one roof,” says David, citing how Springfield Funeral Home offers everything from flowers to photo tributes to personalized cards and stationary.
Some of the other in-house services that Springfield Funeral Home offers include:
• On-site crematorium services
• A fully-serviced banquet room with catering
• Multi-media services, including live-streaming capabilities
• Online obituaries
• A wide selection of caskets or urns for cremated remains
“You can also keep things simple, whether it’s a graveside gathering or a small memorial after the cremation, or you can go all out. It really is about customizing to what the family wants,” David says.
Those looking to take the stress of decision making off of their families and wanting to lock in the costs of today’s prices can also opt to pre-plan their own funeral service. However, David suggests that some flexibility be in order.
“People sometimes slip into that mode where they don’t want a fuss made about them after they’re gone. However, we have to remind them that a funeral is not for them, it’s for the living,” he says. “If you pre-plan, you can alleviate some of the financial burdens and give your family an outline or some guidelines of what you would like done, but don’t over plan. Allow room for their needs as well.”
Beyond the Funeral
Once the funeral happens, there is often the question of, “What now?”
Aftercare is a big part of what our Memorial Care Assistants at Springfield Funeral Home do to help families, and there is often not a price tag beside it, says David.
Some of the complementary services Springfield provides include After Care, where an advisor helps families navigate all the end-of-life paperwork from death benefit applications to pension forms, and more. Springfield also offers Grief Care with several resources, including:
• Grief Share (group meetings for those experiencing a loss)
• One-on-one grief counselling (referrals)
• Twice-yearly grief symposium seminars
• Candlelight Christmas Memorial Service
• Tree of Memories
• Community Grief Support Information
Are you preparing to navigate the planning of a loved one’s funeral and want to sit down and discuss options? We’re here to guide you and help you make informed decisions that meet your wishes. For more information on our funeral and cremation services in Kelowna or to book an appointment, contact Springfield Funeral Home at 250-860-7077.