FAQ's - Click on question to see answer

How much does a funeral cost?

Funeral costs are divided into two categories- cemetery costs and funeral home costs. Cemetery costs can include- the cost of a grave (if not already owned), and the interment charges (opening and closing of the grave). Graves can cost anywhere from $800 to over $5,000 each. These costs vary from cemetery to cemetery and from location to location within a cemetery. The average interment charge is approximately $2500.

Funeral charges include the services, facilities, equipment, and personnel to arrange for the removal of the deceased from the place of death, hearse to the cemetery, refrigeration or embalming, dressing and casketing of the deceased, and the services of the funeral director for the arranging and supervision of the service. In addition is merchandise that is selected, such as the casket, burial vault (if required), grave marker or final inscription, flowers, and anything else the family may want. Finally, there are the “cash advance” items that are put on the funeral contract for the convenience of the family and are optional. Some usual “cash advance” items include newspaper notices, certified copies of the death certificate, clergy honorarium, and outside vendors, like out of town funeral directors and public transportation.

Funerals are labor intensive and this adds to the overall costs of funerals, as does the facilities and automotive equipment necessary to meet the needs of families.

 

Do I have to have a funeral?

The simple answer is no. Somehow, something has to be done with a deceased person. This can be accomplished with either a direct burial in which the minimal amount of service and merchandise is used to bury the deceased with no rites or ceremonies accompanying the burial. Or, a direct cremation is selected where there are no services accompanying the immediate disposition of the deceased, but the family needs to decide what is to be done with the cremated remains.

 

What is embalming?

Embalming is a chemical process where chemicals are injected into the deceased and bodily fluids are removed. The purpose of embalming is for disinfection and temporary preservation. This can often be accomplished with refrigeration which is less expensive than embalming.

Is embalming required?

Except under rare and specific conditions, there is no State law that requires embalming.

 

If I choose cremation, do I need to buy a casket?

If the deceased is not to be present for any type of service or memorial, then the answer is no. If you select a cremation that calls for the deceased to be present, then either a casket needs to be purchased or a “rental casket” used. The crematory can require the deceased to be encased in a container that is suitable for cremation. This can be accomplished by using what is known as an“alternative container.” These containers are usually made of heavy-duty cardboard. (Cremation pdf)

 

What if a death occurs out of town and how much does it cost to bring the person back to this area?

When a death occurs out of town, simply call Chesed v'Emet and we'll handle all the arrangements for repatriation. We will contact our representative who will file the necessary legal documents and arrange for the deceased to be flown to O'Hare, from where we take over the local arrangements. The average cost for bringing a person from out of state would add approximately $1500 to the funeral bill. This includes the costs of the out of town funeral director and the air transportation.

 

I don't belong to a congregation. Can I still get an officiant to handle the service?
Chesed v'Emet works with all the clergy and will arrange for someone to officiate at the funeral. We try to match the compatibility of the clergy with the family in terms of theology, flexibility and geography.

 

Can I pre-pay a funeral?
Yes. Chesed v'Emet offers pre-payment plans that are funded through an insurance plan. Please see the section on pre-arranged funerals for more information. (Pre-Ararnge pdf)

 

We are in an interfaith relationship. Can we be buried next to each other?
Yes and no. Some cemeteries restrict burial to members of a specific religion and some cemeteries have special sections that have been developed for interfaith families. Some cemeteries have no restrictions for interfaith families.

 

I travel a lot. Is there some plan available to cover the costs of returning me to Chicago if I die out of state?

Yes. Chesed v'Emet offers a travel protection policy that covers all the costs of repatriation. This stand-alone policy has a one-time fee that covers you in theevent a death occurs more than 100 miles from your legal residence. This policy can be purchased with or without purchasing a fully pre-planned funeral.