For several years the Funeral Consumers Alliance of the Finger Lakes (FCAFL) has surveyed funeral prices in its service area at 2-year intervals. The service area, centered on Tompkins County, includes parts of eight surrounding counties in the southern Finger Lakes region and adjacent Southern Tier. A survey of the entire area is an intense project, given the time and energy expended to obtain General Price Lists (GPLs), and the level of detailed data extraction required to make the survey useful. The amount of work involved depends directly on the number of funeral homes included in the survey. For the 2017 survey, GPLs for 36 funeral businesses were obtained and analyzed. The 2017 report is still available so you can see the data for the 36 businesses.
After careful consideration of resources and priorities, the Board of Directors of FCAFL decided to limit the 2019 survey to eight funeral homes, all in Tompkins County. We trust that these results will prove useful for individuals investigating prices at funeral homes located outside Tompkins County as well. Prices for 14 types of services and two categories of merchandise were extracted from each price list. In addition, an index related to the price of a full-service funeral was compiled for each funeral home. This Full-service funeral price index (last column in each table) provides the reader with a quick comparison of pricing levels at the various funeral homes.
Regardless of the county you live in, a funeral home is required to furnish a GPL upon request. A phone call, or perhaps a personal visit to the funeral home, is all that is required to obtain a GPL. By comparing the prices in a GPL obtained in any locality with the data given in our tables, an individual can extend the survey reported here to any funeral home of interest, thereby obtaining a meaningful evaluation of the level of pricing offered by a local funeral home.
The data are presented in two tables. The reported prices were in effect when price lists were submitted. The effective dates on these lists ranged from March 2014 to February 2019. However, a funeral business can change its prices at any time. Therefore, if you need to know current prices at any funeral home, call or visit that business.
Table 1 lists prices for the set of four limited services that each include a funeral home’s “Basic Arrangements” charge. These four services are direct cremation, direct or immediate burial, forwarding of remains from one funeral home to another, and receiving of remains by one funeral home from another. This table also shows prices of the cheapest casket and/or alternative container and the cheapest cemetery burial vault, as well as our full-service funeral price index for each funeral home. Footnotes are listed at the end of the table.
Table 2 shows the Basic Arrangements charge at each funeral home, followed by the prices of some components of full-service funerals and our full-service funeral price index. Footnotes are listed at the end of the table.
Please do not ignore the footnotes following the tables! They are intended to clarify situations that cannot be fully understood by simply listing dollar values.
For important additional information see:
Additional Information About Funeral Home General Prices Lists