Average Funeral Costs For 2021

By: Alterna Cremation
Friday, October 8, 2021

When someone you love passes away, you realize how much paperwork it takes to arrange end-of-life services. Not only do you have a lot of decisions to make, but you don’t have a lot of time to do so. 

On top of that, you’re dealing with the loss of someone dear to you. It’s a difficult time, to say the least.

If you lose someone suddenly, they may not have had time to plan their final arrangements; it could fall to you to make these difficult decisions. In that case, you’re probably wondering how much funeral, cremation, or burial services will cost. 

You want to plan a service that celebrates and commemorates the life of someone you love. But you don’t want to go over your budget in the process. To plan a service that’s affordable and memorable for your loved one, you’ll want to learn more about your options.

We’re going to outline the average funeral expenses for 2021. We hope that this article will help you anticipate and account for these costs.


Average Cost of a Traditional Funeral

The cost of a funeral seems to increase each year. In Canada, the average expense of a traditional funeral hovers around $9000. Prices vary depending on the province you live in and the funeral home that you work with. You’ll typically end up paying more if you choose burial services over cremation. 


Average Cost of a Direct Cremation

In general, cremation services cost less than burials. At Alterna, we offer a direct cremation package that includes:

  • Transfer from the place of death to the crematorium
  • Cremation services
  • Up to 6 Funeral Director Statements of Death
  • A basic cremation container for ashes
  • Obituary writing assistance 

No one should deal with debt from funeral and cremation expenses. We aim to make our services affordable so that they’re accessible to everyone. Our direct cremation package is available for $1395 + GST. 


Funeral vs. Cremation

You know the difference in the cost between funerals and direct cremations. But how do these services differ from one another? Understanding what each service entails can help you make the right decision for your family. We’re going to provide a brief overview of both to give you a clearer idea:

A funeral is a memorial service where friends and family members gather to mourn, honour, and say their goodbyes to the deceased. Some funerals involve a viewing of the body, which can provide a sense of closure to friends and family. The funeral may conclude with a burial service at a cemetery. If the deceased was religious, the funeral might take place at a church, chapel, or other religious grounds. 

On the other hand, cremation involves an incineration process that turns the body into ashes. This service has become more popular across Canada in recent years. With cremation services, you can schedule a funeral after the body has been cremated. However, you might choose to have a simple and intimate gathering with loved ones rather than a funeral service.

Many families choose to host a celebration of life or memorial service with close friends and relatives. Another option is a scattering service, where the ashes are distributed in a place that was special to your loved one. 


Other Costs to Consider

Funeral add-ons can add up quickly. After you cover the cost of the cremation or burial itself, you may need to copay for other expenses, such as:


Publishing an obituary

Even having a short obituary published in a local newspaper can cost hundreds of dollars. You may choose to publish your loved one’s obituary online instead and send it digitally to friends and family.


Urn or casket

In general, caskets cost more than urns. However, prices vary depending on the style, size, and type of material you choose. A casket made of metal or solid wood may cost thousands of dollars. Cremation urns, due to their smaller size, are more affordable. 



When a death occurs, the body will need to be transferred from that location (the hospital, hospice, or residence) to the funeral home. A casket will need to be transported in a larger vehicle, such as a hearse or van, and you’ll need to pay a rental fee for the vehicle. 


Burial plot & headstone

If you choose a traditional burial, you’ll need to pay for space at the cemetery. You will also need to purchase a headstone to mark the spot and cover burial costs. Depending on the location you choose, this may cost thousands of dollars.


Food & Flowers

Enjoying a meal with those close to you allows you to share fond memories. Are you planning to host a memorial service or a celebration of life? For that, you’ll need to cover catering costs. Instead, consider asking attendees to bring home-cooked dishes to save on food costs.

You may also want to purchase flowers to celebrate and commemorate the life of someone who passed. 


Keepsake jewellery

If you choose to have your loved one cremated, you can purchase keepsake jewellery that contains a small portion of their ashes. You can order keepsake jewellery pieces for the entire family so all of your loved ones will have something to remember the deceased by.


Memorial service venue

You may want to gather all the friends and family members who knew your loved one. However, the cost to rent a venue (like a dining hall or church service) is just another expense. You might consider having a memorial service at a private residence to save on this cost.


How to Prepare for Funeral Costs

Now that you know how costly a funeral can be, you may be wondering how to budget for it ahead of time. We’ve put together a few tips for you:


Write a will

After a death occurs, we deal with a range of difficult emotions, from shock to grief. It can be challenging to make financial decisions during this time, which leads to many families overspending on funerals.

Relieve the burden from your loved ones by writing a will before you pass away. Your friends and family can take comfort in knowing that your end-of-life arrangements will be carried out as you intended them to be.

By planning your own funeral, you can save your loved ones from bearing the cost of your final arrangements. Consider paying for funeral expenses years in advance to avoid the cost of inflation. 


Purchase life insurance

Many life insurance companies offer packages that cover end-of-life arrangements. When you pass away, your insurance company will provide your family with funding for your funeral costs, including cremation services. When you’re searching for a life insurance company, ask about their policy payouts for funeral expenses.


Choose cremation services 

One way to save money on funeral costs is to choose cremation services over a burial. While this is a deeply personal decision, it may free up a bigger budget for other expenses associated with the funeral. 


Why Prices Vary So Much Between Funeral Homes

Not all funeral homes offer an equitable quality of service. As with most things in life, the least expensive option isn’t always the best option. 

When you’re looking for a funeral home to handle the death of your loved one, we recommend shopping around. Then, you can compare prices and the quality of service that each business offers.

Once you’ve identified a few local businesses, you can ask them a series of questions to learn more about the quality of service that they provide. Here are a few reasons why one funeral home may offer lower prices than the rest:


  • Limited services. What services are included in the cost of the package? Be sure to ask about what funeral services are included; they could be lacking something important to you, such as obituary writing assistance. 


  • Fewer hours of availability. Unfortunately, a death can occur at any time or place, and we can’t always plan for it. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to work with a funeral home that offers 24/7 service in case a death happens unexpectedly. 


  • Questionable online reviews. Losing a loved one is a delicate time. You want to work with a funeral director who’s compassionate, honest, and considerate—not one who tries to upsell you on services. Spend time researching the funeral homes near you and see what others are saying online about them.



You want to send your loved one off with a dignified and personal end-of-life service, but you don’t want to put your family in debt in the process.

At Alterna Cremation, we offer direct cremation, urns, floral arrangements, and obituary writing services. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions that you may have. Contact us today.


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