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Funeral Costs Skyrocket, Not All California Funeral Homes Comply With Pricing Law

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - The average funeral in the United States now costs between $7,000 and $12,000, with the median for a funeral and burial estimated at $8,500, according to the National Funeral Directors Association.

For those being cremated, the cost drops to between $6,000 and $7,000, with the median estimated at $6,260.

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The NDFA conducted a survey in 2017 and found the median cost for each aspect:

  • Metal Casket: $2,400
  • Funeral home basic service fee (covers obtaining a death certificate, securing permits, coordinating arrangements): $2,100
  • Vault: $1,395
  • Cremation casket: $1,000
  • Embalming: $725
  • Facilities/staff for a funeral: $500
  • Facilities/staff for a viewing: $425
  • Cremation fee: $350
  • Transporting remains to the funeral home: $325
  • Hearse: $325
  • Urn: $275
  • Body preparation (makeup/hairstyling): $250
  • Basic memorial printed package: $160
  • Service Car: $150

Additional costs include flowers, wreaths, a funeral plot, headstones, and a grave marker.

In California, a state law that took effect in 2013 requires funeral homes to disclose their prices online, whether as a "General Price" list or a list of 16 services and merchandise available. The Funeral Consumers Alliance and Consumer Federation of America looked at 203 websites in six California locations and found only 44% prominently disclosed prices.

  • Los Angeles- 73%
  • Sacramento- 52%
  • Orange County- 47%
  • San Francisco- 38%
  • San Diego- 31%
  • Alameda County- 27%

In those locations, 25% of the websites posted the price list but not in a prominent place, an additional 25% concealed the prices, and 3% appeared to be in violation of state law.

In the City of Sacramento, the survey looked at 21 funeral homes.

Prominent (52%)
ABC Cremation Society
Affordable Cremation and Funeral Center
All Faith Cremation
East Lawn East Sacramento Mortuary
Evergreen Memorial of Sacramento
George L. Klumpp Chapel of Flowers
Lowest Cost Cremation and Burial
North Sacramento Funeral Home
Ramsey Wallace Funeral Home and Chapel
Sacramento Memorial Lawn
Sharer-Nightingale Funeral Chapel

Visible (29%)
All Seasons Burial and Cremation
Nautilus Society
St. Mary Cemetery and Funeral Center
Sunset Lawn Chapel of the Chimes
Thompson River Chapel
W.F. Gormley and Sons

Hidden (19%)
Harry A. Nauman and Son (SCI/Dignity)
Lombard Funeral Home (SCI/Dignity)
Neptune Society of Northern California-Sacramento (SCI/Dignity)
Nicoletti, Culjis, and Herberger Funeral Home (SCI/Dignity)

California has 1,086 funeral homes licensed through the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau.

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