This article describes the benefits and costs of choosing an immediate burial instead of a traditional funeral.

Advantages of an immediate burial

The most obvious benefit of choosing an immediate burial is its lower cost. An immediate burial often costs less than half what a typical traditional funeral costs.

An immediate burial is simpler and more expedient than conducting a full-scale funeral service. This lets you avoid pomp and unnecessary goods and services.

Choosing an immediate burial allows you to forgo many costs:
    •  embalming
    • additional transportation fees (hearse, flower car, utility vehicle, etc.)
    • extra funeral home staff and service charges
    • cosmetic and hair dressing charges
    • funeral chapel or church fees
    • viewing / visitation charges
    • more expensive casket just to “look good”

Disadvantages of an immediate burial

Before choosing an immediate burial, you should be aware of other considerations.

Even though an immediate burial can reduce the funeral home’s charges by a substantial amount, it usually has no impact on cemetery or headstone costs. You will still need to purchase a grave site and headstone and pay to have the grave site dug.

Some families find the pomp of a traditional funeral more soothing and therapeutic. They are comforted when others pay their respects to the deceased. Usually, an immediate burial does not give family and friends an opportunity to show support to the family.

Also, since there are no formal remembrance ceremonies at the funeral home, there is not much of an opportunity to celebrate the decedent's life the way the family wants.  However, the family is free to arrange some type of remembrance service at their church or home.

Cost considerations of an immediate burial

While actual costs vary based on the selected funeral home, the average cost of an immediate burial is approximately $5,500.  This compares favorably to the nearly $10,000 cost associated with a traditional funeral service.  Total costs includes various goods and services:

    • casket and the funeral home’s basic service fee: $2,700
    • miscellaneous (certificates, permits, obituary): $300
    • grave site (including fee to dig the hole): $1,250
    • headstone or grave marker: $1,250

Click here to learn more about an immediate burial

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