Funeral costs continue to rise and prepaying guards against inflation

Forty percent of Jason Smith’s business comes from pre-paid funerals.
And that number is steadily increasing, said Smith, owner of Smith Funeral & Cremation Care in Westover.

“Pre-paid funerals are absolutely a good thing,” he said. “Each year, the cost of funerals and cremations increase by some means. Pre-paying, either in a lump sum or by one of the flexible payment plans we offer, ensures that your wishes are carried out to your specifications, and that the cost of the services and merchandise you selected in advance is guaranteed against inflation.”

A funeral with all the extras, including a viewing, can cost $7,000 or higher in West Virginia. Nationally, that figure can be anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000, according to parting.com, a website that tracks funeral and cremation costs nationwide. That does not include a burial site or cemetery plot.

“In our time in business over the last four years, we have had a very steady increase in the percentage of families who return to us for pre-need arrangements, and also with new client families who come in to take care of pre-arrangements, or clients who have transferred their existing pre-arrangements to our care,” said Smith, whose funeral home handles around 125 funerals a year.

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