Obesity is a growing problem in the United States. More than a third of adults fall into this category. We have been told time and again about the potential complications of not losing weight. By now we all know that obesity increases our risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or having a stroke. However, there is one consequence that is not often talked about. Being obese can significantly raise the costs of your funeral.
The subject of death is considered taboo for a lot of people. However, it is a subject that should be talked about. Reeling from the loss of a loved one is no time to be surprised by an exorbitant bill. The added stress of wondering how you are going to come up with a large sum of money is the last thing anyone needs. Here are a few things of which to be aware.
The average size of a casket ranges from 24 to 27 inches. Anything larger is considered to be an over-sized casket. While many funeral homes are starting to carry them, it is important that you ask ahead of scheduling the body for pick up. You may need to custom order, and that’s going to cost more. On average, an over-sized casket is $2500 more than a standard.
Most burial plots are sized to fit a standard casket. You may be required by the cemetery to buy a second plot. This also means that you will need to look into purchasing a larger vault.
Another consideration is transportation. The average hearse is not capable of carrying the weight of most over-sized caskets. Nor is it able to accommodate the width. Which means that you maybe on the hook for arranging special transportation to the church and to the cemetery.
Not all venues are capable of accommodating the size of an over-sized casket. Before making a final decision, it is a good idea to make certain that the dimensions of the door are not too small to move the casket in and out. Also, if you will not be able to use pallbearers, then you will not to find out if lifting equipment will be available on site.
The average funeral (service, embalming, viewing, and casket) costs anywhere from $7,000 to $9,000. For the obese, this price can quickly escalate to $13,000 or more. For many, cremation is a cost effective alternative. However, even cremation comes with added costs.
A basic cremation package cost $895. For deceased the that way over 400-600 lbs, there is an additional surcharge. This is due to the fact that the total cremation time is extended by several hours, which drives up the cost . Six hundred pounds is the limit for most crematory machines. Cremation is still an option for larger individuals. There are special procedures that the funeral director will go over with the family.
While planning for the end of life is an uncomfortable prospect, prearranging can help to ease some of the tension of an emotionally exhausting time. Prearranging also gives you the opportunity to spread the cost of the funeral overtime, making payments more manageable. At the very least, knowing what you may run into will lower your risk of surprise costs.
Sources : http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
The Cremation Society of South Carolina