Silver Lining Project

Silver Lining Project

Easing the Financial Burden

Our financial aid program is our Silver Lining Project. Our goals as a start-up are modest. Luckily so are our overhead costs. As we grow, we will be adding more families to the fold to do more good and to build a network for them. 

Our goal for 2019 is to gift one family per month. Scaling up the Project is easy, as we can invite more families into the community and hope to ease their pain, as well. Most of the families are not financially equipped to take on the sudden burden. They take out bank loans and go into credit card debt.

There are two pinch points that squeeze our families financially. Both are not out of the ordinary for any death that may occur. Sometimes the body needs to be flown to the final resting place. Sometimes the family struggles with the funeral home with those finances. We understand these realities of life and death and we accept them. What we will not accept is when these realities hit a veteran family who have already made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.


Here’s a good overview article with more links for those needing more information.

Sources of the Veteran Family’s Financial Crisis

Pinch Point #1 – Transporting the Remains  – One Last Trip Home

Our first family, the Taylors, brought home this point. Shockingly, their cost was over $5,000. This is pinch point #1 for some of veterans suicides. For our families who need our help (not all veteran suicide families need financial help) this is our time to rise to the occassion with funds in their time of need.

Here’s a good overview article with more links for those needing more information. This is also the source for our figures.

For a regular flight, you pay for your ticket and bags. The cost of shipping a body is based on the weight of the shipment and the distance from the place of origin to the destination. In addition, you will have to pay for the cost of the shipping container, as well as any fees to the funeral home(s) for the coordination of the shipping.

The fee for forwarding remains to another funeral home usually ranges from $1000.00 to $3000.00. The fee for receiving remains from another funeral home usually ranges from $800.00 to $2500.00. You will likely have to pay both of these fees, in addition to any other funeral home fees.

Pinch Point #2 – Funeral Homes – A Necessary Business That’s Unnecesarily Ruthless

Burying your loved one is never easy, but funeral home practices and the growing monopoly of services offered is a real issue for our families. There are many burial alternatives, and most customs and practices help and done here in the States are born from regulations and laws supported by the funeral home industry. Outside the scope of our mission, we can still advocate for our vetearn familes to get them the special treatment they deserve, and we will.

Thanks to Ever Plans for the following content, posted here in September 2019.

The Basic Services Fee, sometimes referred to as the “Basic Services of Funeral Director and Staff,” is for funeral homes’ required services and any overhead costs associated with those services. Basic services and the Basic Services Fee are non-declinable, but will vary from company to company. Generally, “basic services” include:

  • Filing any necessary paperwork
  • Securing any necessary permits and copies of the death certificate
  • Properly storing the remains
  • Coordinating arrangements with the cemetery, crematory, or any other third parties
  • Overhead expenses related to the funeral home facility and operations 

For burial and cremation, the Basic Services Fee is a flat-rate charge and may not vary, regardless of the types of arrangements you choose. However, there are four cases in which the Basic Services Fee may vary:

  • If the funeral home’s only role is to receive remains
  • If the funeral home’s only role is to forward remains
  • If you are planning a direct burial
  • If you are planning a direct cremation

In these four cases, the Basic Services fee may be less than the normal Basic Services Fee. However, some funeral homes may charge a flat-rate Basic Services Fee for all services, including the four listed above.

Be aware that many funeral homes try to have fairly low Basic Services Fee, as the Basic Services Fee is often used as a price indicator. However, the funeral home may make up for the decreased Basic Services Fee in higher prices of goods and services.

Additional Services And Goods

Additional services and goods are items that the funeral home offers for an additional fee, and are available at your discretion. These goods and services may include:

The purchase of all additional goods and services are at your discretion. According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule, you have the right to purchase any goods elsewhere and the funeral home may not charge you a fee for using those goods. However, many funeral homes will require certain services based on the services you choose; for example, should you choose to have a viewing or visitation, the funeral home may require you to have the body embalmed.

Cash Advances

Cash advances are fees charged by the funeral home for any goods or services they may purchase on your behalf from third-party vendors. These goods and services can include:

Some funeral homes may charge you the cost of these items, while others may add an additional fee on top of the cost of these items. If the funeral home charges you an additional service fee, they are legally required to disclose that to you, though they are not required to disclose the amount they are charging. They are also required to inform you of any discounts or refunds they have received from their suppliers on any cash advance items.

Average Funeral Home Prices

Though prices at funeral homes can differ greatly, here are some average price ranges to help you get a sense of how much things cost.

ItemPrice RangeNotes
Basic Services of Funeral Director and Staff$1000-$2500This expense is non-declinable, but price may vary based on whether you’re having a burial or cremation versus a direct burial or direct cremation
Embalming$400-$700Never legally required, though may be required with the purchase of other services
Other preparations of the body$200-$400Includes makeup, hairdressing, putting the body in the casket, and is an add-on to embalming; cost may be higher if an autopsy has been performed

Facilities, equipment, and staff:

ItemPrice RangeNotes
Use of funeral home facilities and staff for viewing at funeral home$250-$500May implicitly include embalming and other preparations of the body
Use of funeral home staff for viewing at another location$250-$400Embalming may not be required
Use of funeral home facilities and staff for funeral or memorial service at funeral home$350-$700Cost is may be higher than holding the funeral elsewhere because you’re paying for the funeral home chapel
Use of funeral home staff for funeral or memorial service at another location$300-$500
Use of funeral home staff for graveside service at the cemetery$250-$400May implicitly include fees for setting up the gravesite for the service


ItemPrice RangeNotes
Transfer of the person who died from place of death to funeral home$200-$400If you’ll be having a funeral with the body present, this is usually unavoidable
Transportation of the body to the cemetery or crematory from funeral service site$250-$350If you’ll be having a burial after a funeral, this is usually unavoidable
Use of limousine for transportation of family$150-$350This is entirely optional; you may drive your own car
Utility van/flower car/lead car$100-$200This is entirely optional; you may drive your own car
Charge for forwarding remains to another funeral home$1400-$3000Implicitly contains the receiving funeral home’s charge for receiving remains
Charge for receiving remains from another funeral home$1000-$2500Implicitly contains the forwarding funeral home’s charge for forwarding remains

Additional services:

ItemPrice RangeNotes
Tent and chair set-up at cemetery/gravesite$100-$150The cemetery may offer this service as well
Charge for keeping the body at the funeral home (per day)$100-$300Charges may begin immediately or after a certain number of days
Charge for refrigerating the body (per day)$50-$100May be in addition to the daily charge for keeping the body at the funeral home
Charge for choosing cremation$300-$400In addition to the cost of the cremation

For the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Guide For Funerals, click here.

Veteran Still Not Buried Needs Help Today

Michael G. Forsting

Chad M. Forsting, father of 4, committed suicide 10 months ago. He served in Afghanistan.
They are $600 away from what they need to finally put the veteran to rest.

Donate here.