The Cost of Dying in All 50 States

Gabrielle Olya

There are many reasons to celebrate getting older, but having to think about the cost of death isn’t one of them.

For starters, funeral costs can add up fast. The National Funeral Directors Association cited the median out-of-pocket funeral expenses for 2016 — including viewing and cremation costs — at $7,360. On top of that, the average out-of-pocket expenditure for end-of-life necessities is $11,618, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

One of the biggest factors impacting funeral expenses — and the cost of dying, in general — is the state where the death certificate is issued. Just like the cost of living, the cost of dying depends on where you reside.

GOBankingRates calculated the average costs for end-of-life medical care and funeral expenses in each state by multiplying the national averages for those services by every state’s cost-of-living index. The study also considered 2018 inheritance tax and estate tax data, sourced from the Tax Foundation.

50. Mississippi — $18,509

  • Average funeral expenses: $6,684
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $11,825

The cheapest state to die in, Mississippi, has no estate tax or inheritance tax. Average funeral expenses total $6,684, and average medical costs associated with dying come out to $11,825 — both well below the national average. This is unsurprising because Mississippi also has the cheapest cost of living in America, according to a separate GOBankingRates study.

49. Arkansas — $18,681


  • Average funeral expenses: $6,746
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $11,934

The cost of dying in Arkansas is similar to that in Alabama. Funeral expenses in Arkansas average $6,746, while medical costs associated with dying hover around $11,934. The state has no estate tax or inheritance tax.


48. Oklahoma — $18,702


  • Average funeral expenses: $6,754
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $11,948

Medical costs associated with dying in Oklahoma are typically around $11,948, and the average cost of a funeral is $6,754 — notably below national figures. You won’t have to pay inheritance or estate taxes when you die in Oklahoma.


47. Missouri — $18,724


  • Average funeral expenses: $6,762
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $11,962

In Missouri, the cost of a funeral averages $6,762, and the medical costs related to dying average $11,962. Neither estate taxes nor inheritance taxes are imposed.


46. New Mexico — $18,810


  • Average funeral expenses: $6,793
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,017

The cost of a funeral in New Mexico averages $6,793, while medical expenses related to dying typically total $12,017. New Mexico doesn’t levy an estate tax or an inheritance tax.


45. Tennessee — $19,068


  • Average funeral expenses: $6,886
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,182

Funeral costs average $6,886 in Tennessee, and medical costs related to dying are normally around $12,182. One of the most tax-friendly states for retirees, Tennessee doesn’t have an estate tax or an inheritance tax.


44. Michigan — $19,111


  • Average funeral expenses: $6,902
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,209

As the seventh-cheapest state to die in, Michigan doesn’t impose an estate or inheritance tax. The average cost of a funeral in the state is low at $6,902, and medical costs associated with dying are typically around $12,209.


43. Kansas — $19,132


  • Average funeral expenses: $6,909
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,223

The cost of a funeral in Kansas averages $6,909, and medical expenses related to death total approximately $12,223. No inheritance tax or estate tax is collected in the state.


42. Georgia — $19,175


  • Average funeral expenses: $6,925
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,250

Falling below the national average, the standard cost for funeral expenses in Georgia is $6,925, while medical costs associated with dying are usually around $12,250. Georgia has no estate tax or inheritance tax.


41. Alabama — $19,197


  • Average funeral expenses: $6,933
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,264

The average cost of a funeral in Alabama is $6,933, and medical costs associated with dying typically total $12,264. Like the other members of the 10 cheapest states to die in, Alabama doesn’t have an estate tax or an inheritance tax.


40. Wyoming — $19,197


  • Average funeral expenses: $6,933
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,264

The average cost of a funeral in Wyoming is $6,933, and medical expenses associated with dying total $12,264, on average. Neither an estate tax nor an inheritance tax is collected in Wyoming.


39. Indiana — $19,347


  • Average funeral expenses: $6,987
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,360

Medical costs related to dying in Indiana average $12,360, and the standard for funeral expenses is $6,987. There’s no inheritance tax or estate tax in Indiana.


38. Iowa — $19,369


  • Average funeral expenses: $6,995
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,374

Iowa has no estate tax, but unlike many other states, it does have an inheritance tax of up to 15%. The average cost of a funeral is $6,995, and medical expenses related to dying hover around $12,374.


37. Nebraska — $19,519


  • Average funeral expenses: $7,049
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,470

If you’re inheriting from a deceased family member in Nebraska, you’ll be taxed at a rate between 1% and 18%. However, the state doesn’t impose an estate tax. The cost of a funeral in Nebraska averages $7,049, and medical expenses associated with dying are typically around $12,470.


36. Ohio — $19,519


  • Average funeral expenses: $7,049
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,470

Coming in below the national average, funeral costs in Ohio run approximately $7,049, and medical costs associated with dying total $12,470, on average. Ohio doesn’t have an estate tax or an inheritance tax.

35. Kentucky — $19,541


  • Average funeral expenses: $7,057
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,484

Funeral costs in Kentucky total approximately $7,057, while medical expenses related to dying average $12,484. The state doesn’t have an estate tax, but its inheritance tax can be as much as 16%.


34. West Virginia — $19,584


  • Average funeral expenses: $7,072
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,511

Dying in West Virginia will cost close to the national average, at around $12,511 in medical costs and $7,072 in funeral expenses. There’s no estate tax or inheritance tax in West Virginia.


33. Texas — $19,669


  • Average funeral expenses: $7,103
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,566

The average cost of a funeral in Texas is $7,103, while medical costs associated with death are typically around $12,566. Texans don’t pay an estate tax or an inheritance tax.


32. Idaho — $19,841


  • Average funeral expenses: $7,165
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,676

You won’t be charged an estate tax or an inheritance tax in Idaho, which is good news if you are the executor of a will. Plan for around $7,165 in funeral costs and approximately $12,676 in medical expenses associated with dying.


31. Louisiana — $20,185


  • Average funeral expenses: $7,290
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,896

There’s no estate tax or inheritance tax in Louisiana. Medical costs related to death average $12,896, and funeral expenses run approximately $7,290.


30. Illinois — $20,314


  • Average funeral expenses: $7,336
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,978

Like most states, Illinois doesn’t have an inheritance tax. However, estates worth more than $4 million are taxed at a rate of 0.8%-16%. Funeral costs average $7,336, and medical costs related to dying are typically around $12,978.


29. North Carolina — $20,400


  • Average funeral expenses: $7,367
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,033

In North Carolina, there’s no estate tax or inheritance tax, so you won’t have to worry too much about what might happen to your money after you die. The average cost of a funeral is $7,367, and medical expenses associated with dying tend to total $13,033.


28. South Carolina — $20,615


  • Average funeral expenses: $7,445
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,170

In South Carolina, the average cost of a funeral is $7,445, and medical costs associated with dying average $13,170. There’s no estate tax or inheritance tax.


27. Arizona — $20,852


  • Average funeral expenses: $7,530
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,321

There’s no estate tax or inheritance tax in the Grand Canyon State. The average cost of a funeral is $7,530 in Arizona, and medical expenses related to death tend to add up to $13,321.


26. Wisconsin — $20,916


  • Average funeral expenses: $7,554
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,363

Funeral costs in Wisconsin tend to total around $7,554, while medical expenses associated with dying average $13,363 — which are both on the cheaper side for the U.S. as a whole. No inheritance tax or estate tax is instituted, but Wisconsin is one of the most expensive states to file taxes, in general.


25. Florida — $21,045


  • Average funeral expenses: $7,600
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,445

The cost of a funeral in Florida is typically around $7,600, and medical expenses associated with death average $13,445. No estate tax or inheritance tax is levied in the Sunshine State.


24. Utah — $21,153


  • Average funeral expenses: $7,639
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,514

Still under the U.S. benchmark, medical costs associated with dying in Utah average $13,514, and funeral expenses are approximately $7,639. The state doesn’t impose an inheritance tax or an estate tax.


23. North Dakota — $21,239


  • Average funeral expenses: $7,670
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,569

North Dakota doesn’t have an inheritance tax or an estate tax. Medical expenses associated with dying are usually around $13,569, and the average cost of a funeral is $7,670.


22. South Dakota — $21,454


  • Average funeral expenses: $7,748
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,706

No estate tax or inheritance tax is imposed in South Dakota. Funeral expenses average $7,748, and medical costs related to dying are typically around $13,706 — just above the U.S. average.


21. Virginia — $21,647


  • Average funeral expenses: $7,818
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,830

There’s no estate tax or inheritance tax in Virginia. Medical costs related to death hover around $13,830, and funeral expenses average $7,818.


20. Minnesota — $21,841


  • Average funeral expenses: $7,887
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,953

Slightly above the national average, standard funeral costs in Minnesota come out to $7,887, and medical expenses associated with dying are approximately $13,953. The state has no inheritance tax, but if the value of your estate is above $2.4 million, you will be subject to an estate tax between 13% and 16%.


19. Pennsylvania — $21,862


  • Average funeral expenses: $7,895
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,967

Pennsylvania doesn’t have an estate tax, but it does levy up to 15% in inheritance taxes. Medical expenses related to dying total approximately $13,967, and the average cost of a funeral is $7,895.


18. Colorado — $22,701


  • Average funeral expenses: $8,198
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $14,503

There’s no need to stress about an estate tax or inheritance tax in Colorado, as neither is imposed. Funeral costs average $8,198, and medical expenses correlated with dying generally total $14,503.


17. Montana — $22,980


  • Average funeral expenses: $8,299
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $14,681

The standard cost of a funeral in Montana is approximately $8,299, while medical costs related to dying typically average $14,681. You can keep any gold and jewels passed down to you in the Treasure State free of estate or inheritance taxes.


16. Delaware — $23,238


  • Average funeral expenses: $8,392
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $14,846

You won’t pay an inheritance tax or estate tax in Delaware. Funeral costs average $8,392, and medical expenses related to death tend to fall around $14,846.


15. Nevada — $23,324


  • Average funeral expenses: $8,423
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $14,901

Expect to spend about $8,423 on funeral costs in Nevada. Typical medical expenses involved with dying are $14,901, and there’s no estate tax or inheritance tax. Nevada is also one of the states with no income tax.


14. New Hampshire — $23,582


  • Average funeral expenses: $8,516
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $15,066

Medical costs related to dying in New Hampshire average $15,066. Funeral expenses add up to $8,516, on average, but there’s no estate or inheritance tax in the Granite State.


13. Washington — $23,797


  • Average funeral expenses: $8,594
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $15,203

In Washington, funeral expenses average $8,594, and medical expenses related to dying typically hover around $15,203. There’s no inheritance tax, but estates worth more than $2.19 million are taxed between 10% and 20%.


12. Vermont — $24,614


  • Average funeral expenses: $8,889
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $15,725

Vermont has a 16% tax on estates worth more than $2.75 million. There’s no inheritance tax, but funeral costs average $8,889, and medical expenses related to death are typically around $15,725.


11. Maine — $25,259


  • Average funeral expenses: $9,122
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $16,137

Maine estates valued at more than $5.6 million are taxed between 8% and 12%. There’s no inheritance tax, but the average cost of a funeral is $9,122, and $16,137 is the standard for medical expenses associated with end-of-life care.


10. Rhode Island — $25,667


  • Average funeral expenses: $9,269
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $16,398

The average cost of a funeral in Rhode Island is $9,269, and medical expenses associated with death typically amount to $16,398. There’s no inheritance tax, but a 0.8%-16% tax is levied on estates worth more than $1.54 million.


9. New Jersey — $26,892


  • Average funeral expenses: $9,712
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $17,181

In New Jersey, the standard funeral costs $9,712, and medical expenses correlated with dying average $17,181. There’s no estate tax, but you’ll face an inheritance tax of up to 16%.


8. Connecticut — $27,451


  • Average funeral expenses: $9,914
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $17,538

In Connecticut, funeral costs are typically around $9,914, and medical expenses related to end-of-life care average $17,538. There’s no inheritance tax, but a 7.2%-12% tax is levied against estates valued at over $2.6 million.


7. Maryland — $27,881


  • Average funeral expenses: $10,069
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $17,812

Funeral expenses in Maryland average $10,069, and medical bills associated with dying typically add up to $17,812. Maryland is one of the few states with both an estate tax and an inheritance tax. Inheritances are taxed up to 10%, and estates worth more than $4 million are taxed at a 16% rate.


6. Alaska — $27,924


  • Average funeral expenses: $10,084
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $17,840

The average cost of a funeral in Alaska is $10,084, while medical expenses associated with dying hover around $17,840 — both of which are much higher than the national average. On the plus side, the state doesn’t have an inheritance tax or an estate tax.


5. Massachusetts — $28,290


  • Average funeral expenses: $10,216
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $18,073

At around $10,216, funeral costs in Massachusetts are well above the national average. Medical expenses related to end-of-life care average $18,073. No inheritance tax is levied in Massachusetts, but estates worth more than $1 million are taxed at a 0.8%-16% rate.


4. Oregon — $28,849


  • Average funeral expenses: $10,418
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $18,430

There’s no inheritance tax in Oregon, but if you own property in the Beaver State, plan your estate carefully — those worth more than $1 million will be taxed at a 10%-16% rate. Funeral expenses average $10,418, and medical costs related to death tend to be around $18,430.


3. New York — $29,902


  • Average funeral expenses: $10,799
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $19,103

In New York, you won’t pay an inheritance tax, but estates worth more than $5.25 million are taxed at a 3.06%-16% rate. Funeral expenses average $10,799, and medical costs correlated with dying are $19,103.


2. California — $32,611


  • Average funeral expenses: $11,777
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $20,834

Though it’s the second-most expensive state to die in, California doesn’t levy an estate tax or an inheritance tax. The standard cost of funeral activities is around $11,777, and medical expenses related to dying average $20,834.


1. Hawaii — $41,467


  • Average funeral expenses: $14,975
  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $26,492

Death in Hawaii is by far the priciest among all the states, as funeral costs average $14,975 and the benchmark for medical expenses correlated with end-of-life care is $26,492. The Aloha State doesn’t have an inheritance tax, but estates worth more than $11.2 million are taxed at a 10%-15.7% rate.


Where You Die Impacts the Financial Burden You Leave Behind

Fortunately for people who have to face the death of a loved one, many states don’t add an additional financial burden on the deceased’s family by levying taxes. However, this wasn’t always the case, as many states have removed estate and inheritance taxes in recent years. Others have left taxes in place but raised the exemption levels:

  • Indiana repealed its inheritance tax in 2013.
  • Tennessee repealed its estate tax in 2016.
  • New York raised its exemption level to $5.25 million and will match the federal exemption level in 2019.
  • New Jersey fully phased out its estate tax in 2018.
  • Delaware repealed its estate tax in 2018.

Overall, the cheapest places to die are Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and New Mexico. The most expensive places to die are Hawaii, California, New York, Oregon and Massachusetts.

More on Savings Advice

Joel Anderson contributed to the reporting for this article.

Methodology: GOBankingRates determined the cost of dying in all 50 states based on median out-of-pocket funeral expenses — $7,360, which includes viewing and cremation costs — sourced from the National Funeral Directors Association’s 2017 report; this amount was then adjusted to June 2019 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ consumer price inflation calculator. The average out-of-pocket expenditures on end-of-life necessities are $11,618 in 2010 dollars, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research; this amount was then adjusted to June 2019 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ consumer price inflation calculator, equaling $13,733.49. These values were then calculated for each state’s respective cost of living, sourced from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. All data used to conduct this ranking was compiled and verified on Aug. 5, 2019.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: The Cost of Dying in All 50 States