One of the biggest expenses that those left behind after the loss of a loved one will incur is the funeral expense. The Funeral Rule governs what funeral providers can charge in exchange for the funeral. The basic fee is only that, basic. This means that additional services and merchandise will incur an additional fee. Understanding some basic facts about these fees can help people who unexpectedly lost a loved one to prepare for the cost.

What should be included in the basic service fee for funerals?

The basic service fee should include permits, copies of the death certificate, sheltering the remains, preparing notices, planning the funeral and coordinating arrangements with other parties. This fee doesn’t include the fees imposed by other parties, but it does include the funeral home working to get things with the cemetery or crematory worked out.

What are some additional costs that might occur?

Other costs, such as cash advances used to pay for goods and services that are provided by other parties, transporting the remains, using the funeral home for the viewing and other services, embalming, a graveside service, the casket or other container for the remains and the interment are all additional costs that might occur. Other costs, such as limousine rental, clergy fees, flowers and other similar costs might also occur.

The actual costs of the funeral and related events can be considerable. You might choose to seek compensation for your loved one’s death in an effort to recoup some of the money that you had to spend to take care of the final expenses.

Source: Federal Trade Commission, “Funeral Costs and Pricing Checklist,” accessed July 20, 2016