Most people want to plan own funeral — and would rather be ‘buried in cardboard box’ to save money

NEW YORK — Seven in 10 Americans would “rather be buried in a cardboard box” than have their family overspend on a funeral. That’s according to a new study of 2,000 Americans, 81 percent of whom reported giving at least “some thought” to what their memorial service will one day be like. 

Millennials (ages 26–40), in fact, are 61 percent more likely than baby boomers (57–75) to have given “moderate thought” to what their own memorial service would be like. Regardless of age, one in four respondents have already given their own funeral a “great deal of thought” (25%).  

Would you plan your own funeral?

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Titan Casket, the survey also indicates that more Americans have helped to plan funerals (77%) than weddings (60%), baby showers (61%) or sweet sixteens (45%). 

Perhaps that’s why 59 percent of all respondents want to actively participate in planning their own funeral service – and 11 percent have already started.

Mourner touching casket at funeral
(© Syda Productions –

And they want a lot of people to be there – somewhere between 50 to 100 attendees on average, with almost twice as many preferring a “massive” ceremony to an “intimate” one.

How much do funerals cost?

But although 41 percent consider themselves “very knowledgeable” about the funeral industry, there’s one area that most respondents underestimated: the price point. 

Overall, respondents guessed that the average funeral costs around $5,810, and that the average casket costs $2,710 – almost half the full amount for the service.

According to Scott Ginsberg, CEO and founder of Titan Casket, however, the actual costs usually fall between $7,000 and $12,000.  “When planning a funeral, most American families simply go to their local funeral home,” says Ginsberg, in a statement. “Unlike other major purchases in their lives, they don’t shop around. As a result, they don’t know what everything should cost, make decisions under duress, and end up overpaying,” 

But it doesn’t have to be this way, Ginsberg also notes. “The FTC passed a federal law called the ‘Funeral Rule,’ which gives families the right to get a full price list upfront, and also purchase the casket outside of the funeral home. The funeral home has to accept delivery and cannot charge any fees.”

After learning the true cost of funerals, one in three (31%) said they’d want their funeral to be as “cheap as possible.” 

Another three in four (73%) said they’d consider pre-paying for and reserving a casket ahead of time to save money.

“You can buy a casket now and lock in today’s price,” says Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer of Titan Casket, Liz Siegel. “In 10 minutes, you will save thousands by buying outside of the funeral home, ensure that your wishes are respected, and remove this financial burden from your loved ones.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,001 general population Americans was commissioned by Titan Casket between Nov. 21–22, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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Sophia Naughton

Meet StudyFinds’ Associate Editor, Sophia Naughton. Sophia graduated Magna Cum Laude from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication directly focused in journalism and advertising. She is also a freelance writer for Baltimore Magazine. Outside of writing, her best buddy is her spotted Pit Bull, Terrance.

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  1. Seems barbaric to drain someone’s body, then fill them with preservative, stick them in a box….display them, stick them in a concrete box around the other box, and bury them. To what end?
    Cremate me and dump my ashes at the beach on a windy day.

  2. I’ve arranged to have my body donated to a local medical school, who will do whatever they do, then cremate it when they are done

    I won’t be there – it’s just an inconvenient shell and if they get some good out of it and it saves my kids money, it’s all good.

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