Price of Eternal Rest

The high costs of funerals could scare a person half to death. Here’s how some of the Chicago funeral expenses stack up.

 

The high costs of funerals could scare a person half to death. Here’s how some of the Chicago funeral expenses stack up.

 

Economy
$4,629

= Basic services of funeral home staff (includes paperwork and obituary)
$3,130
+ Casket: The Mother Casket from Costco in 18 gauge steel
$924
+ Plot: Basic flat plot at Concordia Cemetery (7900 Madison St., Forest Park)
$575

 

Traditional
$11,310

= Basic services of funeral home staff (includes paperwork and obituary)
$3,130
+ Casket: Tribute Traditional cherry casket with velvet interior
$2,790
+ Plot: Midrange lot at St. Boniface (4901 N. Clark St.)
$2,550
+ Embalming
$930
+ One-day visitation (includes staff)
$300
+ Funeral service at funeral home
$300
+ Miscellaneous preparation / transportation
$525
+ Hearse
$845
+ Memorial cards
$195
+ Family limousine
$675

 

 

The Whole Nine Yards
$51,310

= Basic services of funeral home staff (includes paperwork and obituary)
$3,130
+ Casket: Batesville “Promethean Bronze” casket with adjustable bed and mattress (available with custom embroidery on the interior)
$18,250
+ Plot: Lakeside plot for you and a friend at Graceland
$25,000
+ Embalming
$930
+ Two-day visitation (includes staff)
$600
+ Funeral service at funeral home
$300
+ Miscellaneous preparation / transportation
$525
+ Hearse
$845
+ Memorial cards
$195
+ Family limousine
$675
+ Video memorial
$150
+ Flower car
$675
+ Pallbearer gloves (six pair)
$35

Prices of funeral options vary, even in the categories we’ve selected; the average cost of cemetery burials in Illinois is $2,000.

*According to the Federated Funeral Directors of America, the cost of memorial services in Illinois-not including caskets or burials-averages $6,035, which may explain why less expensive alternatives like cremations are on the rise. Now performed in nearly one in three deaths, cremations typically cost around $1,000. Pet memorials, now the fastest-growing segment in the death industry, cost $50 to $300.

Cemetery Real Estate
Graceland Cemetery
(4001 N. Clark St.)
Rosehill Cemetery
(5800 N. Ravenswood Ave.)
Memorial Park Cemetery
(9900 Gross Point Rd., Skokie)
Basic
plot with flat marker
$2,600 $3,600 $2,000
Average
$3,500 $7,000 $2,800 to $3,300
Top of the Line
Spots near the lake for two, four, and eight burial spaces (with possibility for a family monument) $25,000 to $100,000 Gated estate for up to eight family members (near the lake) $150,000; gravesites with benches for up to four family members $80,000 Private family estates priced by square footage: $200/sq. ft. on the perimeter; $250 to $350/sq. ft. in the interior; a 450 sq. ft. plot would run $90,000 on the perimeter and up to $157,500 for better spots

You Should Know
The Chicago real-estate market may be cooling off, but the prices for burial plots are holding strong. Whatever the price, however, the real-estate chestnut also applies to cemetery property: location, location, location. Most cemeteries are priced by section, much like traditional housing subdivisions. The fancier sections abut amenities like ponds or lakes, while plain flat plots tend to be near the outskirts, closer to roadways. “There are premium grave locations,” says Matt Olejniczak of Davenport Family Funeral Home in Barrington. “It’s more expensive to be near the lake, for instance. And if the cemetery is right on the Eisenhower, the graves closest to the expressway would be less expensive.” Supply and demand has its effect, too. In some older cemeteries where space is less available, the plot prices go up.

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