Last week I had a week home in Detroit to see family. Along with the relaxing and catching up we talked about funeral arrangements. This is still in the distant future for us of course. I was surprised that the funeral home is super up front with the price list. I thought shopping for a burial would be "everything is negotiable" and "how much would you like to spend". Instead, things were very standardized and clear. And the prices are so high that I can see why one should pre plan where the money will come from.
There is no really cheap way to go. Cremation is close to two thousand dollars and any kind of involvement by a funeral home involves an initial flat fee of many hundreds of dollars.
Here is the list of prices I got from my local funeral home in Rochester, Michigan. They are part of a small local chain with three locations.
Simple embalming: $625
Makeup and dressing for open casket: $300
Hearse from airport: $200
Local Hearse on day of funeral: $200
Hearse trip to University of Michigan for organ donation: $200
Cremation in cardboard box: $1400
Cremation in pine casket: $2100
Package deal, bare bones -- an immediate burial in a 'minimal container' with no ceremony or anything: $1975
Package deal, cremation and simple ceremony with urn: $3000
Package deal--classic funeral, as seen in movies: $9000
Social Security chips in a little bit towards this, about $200.
Short funeral FAQ from Southland Funeral Group.