When compared to other major life cycle events, like births and weddings, funerals are not expensive. A wedding costs at least three times as much; but because it is a happy event, wedding costs are rarely criticized.
A funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business, with extensive facilities including viewing rooms, chapels, limousines, hearses, etc. These expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral. Moreover, the cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets, but the services of a funeral director in making arrangements; filing appropriate forms; dealing with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all the necessary details.
Contrary to popular belief, funeral homes are largely family-owned with a modest profit margin. The 1995 NFDA Survey of Funeral Home Operations showed that approximately 85% of funeral homes are family-owned and have been in business an average of 63 years. They get an average of 167 calls each year, and have a before-tax profit of 11.3%