Are you worried about how to afford a funeral? With more families financially struggling today, the sudden responsibility of a funeral, and the associated funeral costs in New Orleans, can be overwhelming.
A funeral can be one of the biggest expenses we have in our lifetime, and if a family are unprepared for it, it can be an overwhelming experience and cost.
That is why we have put together this brief guide to help you find a low cost alternative to an expensive funeral.
What are funeral costs in New Orleans?
This is the question in the forefront of many families’ minds today. How much is this funeral going to cost me? The problem is that funeral costs do vary so much between different providers, and for different types of funeral services, that it is difficult to quote a general cost.
According to the National Association of Funeral Directors  the average cost of a funeral is around $9,000, and this does NOT include any cemetery costs. This puts the overall average cost for a funeral at around $10,000 – $12,000. Now, of course, a funeral can be arranged for less than this but this means that you do need to shop around for funeral prices to ensure you get the best value funeral package to save on funeral costs in New Orleans.
All funeral homes in New Orleans have a General Price List (GPL) that discloses all their prices for services and funeral merchandise. Legally they should provide you with prices when you inquire, whether it is in person or by phone.
How much does a cremation cost in New Orleans?
A complete basic cremation can be arranged in New Orleans for $1,595. This is an exceptional cremation price for the New Orleans area. Generally cremation costs are nearer to $2,500 in New Orleans, and in fact the average cost of a cremation is $3,725. This is the average cost of a cremation with a funeral service, including a standard cremation urn.
Direct cremation in New Orleans
A direct cremation is the industry term for an immediate cremation. It is a basic cremation with no services. A direct cremation is the cheapest cremation option, it is also the most minimal of funeral services provided by a funeral home or crematory. The funeral home collect the deceased, make the preparations for the cremation, complete all the necessary paperwork and then return the cremated remains in a temporary urn. Arranging a direct cremation will significantly reduce your funeral costs in New Orleans.
Call DFS Memorials now on (504) 215-8264 to arrange a direct cremation for just $1,595
How can I save Money on a Funeral?
We are all more cost-conscious these days, and a funeral is no different. There are many ways you can save money arranging a funeral. Firstly, and most significantly, a cremation will be far cheaper than arranging a burial. No casket is required, no embalming, and no cemetery fees. This saves thousands of dollars. A cremation also can take away the immediate need to coordinate funeral arrangements, as a cremation can be conducted and then a memorial service held at a later date, with the cremation urn present.
It is also possible to save costs on funeral costs in New Orleans by making other arrangements for a casket. A wooden casket can work out less expensive than a steel casket. Or conducting your own memorial services [which your church may assist with], and making your own memorial tributes.
Conducting your own memorial services
Once a cremation is performed you can arrange a memorial service, with or without the ashes present. You can employ the services of your church or minister to lead a memorial service, or the family can hold their own service.
Preplanning a funeral service in New Orleans
Preplanning a funeral is a great way to save your surviving family the burden of making decisions. You can preplan without prepaying, or you can take out a prepaid funeral contract. You are able to make rational decisions if you preplan your own end of life requirements, and save your family making emotional decisions which might end up costing them more.
All funds prepaid for a funeral or cremation go into a trust until such times as the funds are required. A funeral plan can also be funded by an insurance policy. Another way to preplan is to document your wishes and set up a POD Payable on Death account with the required funds deposited. The funds can be withdrawn by your named beneficiaries when the time comes, and any interest accrued is added to your account.
Personalize and make your own memorial tributes
‘Personalization’ is a large part of the memorialization process today. Making your own memorial tributes can save you on the costs a funeral home may charge for tributes. Guest books, prayer cards and memory boards can all be quite easily crafted with little expertise. Read more about making your own memorial tributes.
A funeral does not have to cost a fortune. There are more affordable funeral options available in New Orleans now.
The deceased had no life insurance: what help is there to pay for a funeral in Orleans Parish?
Sadly this is happening more frequently today, where a family member passes with no life insurance or funeral plan and the next of kin are left to make the funeral arrangements, and pay the funeral bill. There is limited financial assistance for families to help with funeral costs, and this all depends upon your personal circumstances and the Parish in which you live. You need to inquire at your Parish Human Services or Social Services department to find out about public aid for a funeral. In some cases a fixed sum is available, but also only certain funeral homes may handle HRA funerals.
There is a $255 lump sum death benefit payment from Social Security if you qualify, and veterans are entitled to some benefits. You may also wish to contact local charity, church and union groups who may assist you with fund-raising for a funeral.
What happens if the deceased is taken to the Coroner’s Office?
If there were circumstances surrounding the death that led to the deceased being taken to the Coroner’s office, you will need to employ the services of a funeral director as soon as possible to liaise with the Coroner to have the body released into their care. Only a licensed funeral director can collect a body from Orleans Parish coroner’s morgue.
New Orleans Medical Examiner: 517 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70112 Phone (504) 658-9660
Serving families in Orleans Parish, St. Tammany Parish, St. Bernard Parish, Jefferson Parish and Plaquemines Parish and throughout East bank, French Quarter, Garden District, Carrollton, Lakeview, Gentilly, Bywater, Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans East, West bank and English Turn.