2014-04-02 “Funeral Home Charges (Part 1)”

So, why are funerals so expensive? 

When arranging a funeral there are three main expenses; the first being that Funeral Homes have a service charge.  This service charge compensates for the use of the facilities, for the amount of staff time that may be required, for use of the vehicles and for the preparation of the deceased.  Second, there is a charge for a casket or container.  And finally there is a charge for the disbursements that we pay on your behalf like newspaper notices, honorariums, luncheons, hall rentals, flowers, coroners fees, registration fees, cremation fees and in some cases, cemetery fees.   

Funeral Homes generally have high fixed-costs.   Like any business we need to make a profit in order to exist as a business.  We have a high and unpredictable need for our staff, cars and facilities which are sometimes idle.  It’s difficult to determine how much a Funeral Home will be used over the course of the year but we still need to pay utilities, taxes, insurance and staff. 

In Ontario, every Funeral Home is required to have a price list available to the public.  A price list will outline what that Funeral Home’s service charges include.  Funerals can be as simple or as elaborate as you choose and the cost of a Funeral Service will reflect those choices.  A price list will group some of the costs into different packages such as a “Traditional Service” which may include embalming, visitation at the Funeral Home, and a Funeral Service either at the Funeral Home or a Church.  It will also include a package such as “Direct Service” which may include only minimal services provided by the Funeral Home when someone passes away in that we will make the removal from the place of death and arrange for an immediate cremation or burial.  When you compare these two ends of the spectrum there should be a considerable price difference.