We buried FIL this past weekend. It cost $3,000 to have the grave opened. I know it would have cost less if he'd been buried on a weekday but not sure how much less. My in laws had funds set aside for final expenses but I can imagine a family being caught off guard by the various expenses.
Somebody once told me that people sometimes include money in sympathy cards, knowing that expenses can accumulate quickly and life insurance, if there is any, can take a while to come through. Has anyone else ever heard of this?
It is very common around here to include money in with the sympathy card. My Father died in September and people gave the family about $1200 to donate to the scholarship in his name. They could have just donated to the scholarship fund, but chose to give us the money to donate instead of them donating themselves.
As I wrote in another post...around here you take your cues from the obituary. If there is no request for donations to causes the deceased supported, no request for donations to causes that the mourner would choose themselves and a request for no flowers, that means that the money is needed for funeral expenses.
My Father had pre-paid his funeral with the cheapest possible options. He was cremated with no viewing or embalming. The funeral plot and stone were already purchased after my Mother died and even with many expenses already paid for, the memorial service and burial cost the family an extra $4,000.
It cost $500 for the (required by law) metal vault for the ashes. $900 to dig the hole for the vault and ashes to be buried. Another $250 to put the date of death on the grave marker. And the cost of the basic cremation had increased by $2,000 dollars in the three years since my Dad had pre-paid.
My sister and I catered the memorial service luncheon ourselves (over 300 people came) and the local history center gave us a discount on using one of their rooms since Dad was a long-time member.
Funerals are expensive and there is very little in our small town that you can do to decrease the expenses. The funeral home my Dad chose was the cheapest one in town, but they all seem to charge about the same and it isn't like we have any other choices than three funeral homes located here.
And I still have steam coming out of my ears when I think about how manipulative the funeral director was in trying to get us to spend more and more and more money. Fortunately, I don't think he knew how angry he was making my sister and I.
Ehell training came in very useful in the multitudes of ways I had to say no to him.