• Monday, May 20, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Unexpected funeral expenses you should prepare for

businessday-icon

After having recently gone through a family funeral of my own, I find myself more sympathetic toward the character’s outrage. When it comes to funeral expenses, it can seem as though the prices for necessary services and products are out of proportion to any reasonable expectations. While funeral homes are required to give you an itemized list of prices for final expenses, it can still be very difficult to navigate the stress and financial worry of a funeral.

Here are some aspects of a funeral that cost more than you think:

• Use of the plot 

Purchasing a grave plot is not your only cemetery expense. While many people will make sure to plan ahead by purchasing a plot for themselves, they might not realize that their family will have to pay more in order to use that plot.

Opening the grave is another service which the family will have to pay for in order to hold the funeral, and the cost can be potentially more if you’re holding the funeral on a weekend.

•Obituaries 

Newspapers print obituaries at cost that may surprise you if you have never been a regular advertiser.. In order to have anything more than a brief death notice (which is still free), family members will need to spend between N400,000.00- N700, 000.00 for a full page colour advert.

•Vaults 

Some cemeteries require you to use a vault within the grave. These vaults help prevent the grave from sinking as future deterioration sets in. The addition of a vault to the burial can add to the cost of the funeral. While no state law requires that cemeteries use a vault, you’re probably not going to be in any shape to protest against it.

•Caskets 

Caskets can be extremely expensive. You can find a plain pine box for as little as N15, 000.00, but caskets can range up to N1 million or more for mahogany or other beautiful materials.

Even if you’re willing to go for the plain and simple casket, you might field a sales pitch for a sealed casket, which will protect the interior of the casket from water and insects. However, these seals are generally just rubber gaskets — and it doesn’t make a great deal of sense to protect a dead body.

• Flowers 

Flowers through the funeral home are going to cost you. The base price of a funeral doesn’t include the cost of flowers, and adding them will cost you much more than normal flower arrangements would. Expect to spend on this if you want.

The Bottom Line 

Burying a loved one is an upsetting and overwhelming experience, and it can be very difficult to make intelligent financial decisions in the midst of such turmoil. It’s a good idea to research funeral expenses before the time comes, and to always bring a friend or family member with you when meeting with the funeral parlor. That friend will be able to help you determine the best course of action.