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How are funerals priced?

Funeral prices encompass three areas of expense: Service Costs, Merchandise Costs and Cash Advance Items.

Service Costs include: professional services of staff, removal of body from place of death, use of facilities, embalming, care of deceased and motor equipment.

Merchandise Costs include: Casket or urn, Vault or urn vault, and printed materials.

Cash Advance Items include: cemetery costs, grave opening and closing, final dates on monuments, vault delivery charges, honorariums for clergy and musicians, luncheon expense, flowers, obituary notices, certified copies of death certificate, crematory fee, medical examiner's fee and sales tax.

How do funeral homes determine what to charge for their service costs?

Funeral homes generally determine the amount they charge for service costs on the amount of overhead expense the funeral home incurs throughout the year. Such items as mortgage payments, utilities, insurance, property taxes, staff salaries and profit margin are expenses that the funeral home takes into account when determining what they charge for service costs. So in essence, the higher the overhead expenses incurred by the funeral home, the higher the service costs will be.

Why is there such a difference in what funeral homes charge for merchandise?

Burial merchandise such as caskets, vaults and urns are purchased by the funeral home from the manufacturer and then provided to the consumer with a markup in price. Each funeral home on its own accord determines the markup on the merchandise in accordance with its overhead costs and its profit margin. The funeral home’s merchandising philosophy will determine the number of lower cost merchandise available versus higher cost merchandise.

Why do you call items, cash advance?

Cash advance items are expenses that the funeral home will pay on behalf of the family. The funeral home will often pay for such items as grave opening costs, obituary costs, honorariums and other funeral related expenses, as a convenience to the family. This is so the families don’t have to write out all the individual checks that it takes to cover these expenses. The funeral home may charge for this service but they need to divulge that they charge for that service.

What is your philosophy concerning funeral costs?

My philosophy at O'Leary Funeral & Cremation Services - Celebration of Life Center is to provide the most professional, compassionate and caring service possible at an affordable cost. I am happy to share with you our general price lists. You will discover that our service costs and merchandise costs are some of the most competitive in the area.

In the event a family demonstrates and proves financial hardship it is our funeral home policy to provide a meaningful and limited funeral at whatever price is affordable to them.

Our General Price List will be available soon on this website.  If you have any questions in the meantime please feel welcome to call us at (515) 981-0700 and ask to speak to a funeral director.

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