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Can You Afford To Die in Your State?

·15 min read
BrankoPhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto
BrankoPhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

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

Find Out: 27 Genius Things Retirees Should Do With Their Money Right Now

For starters, funeral costs can add up fast. The National Funeral Directors Association cited the median out-of-pocket funeral expenses for 2019 -- including viewing and burial costs -- at $7,640. 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.

Read More: The Economy and Your Money: All You Need To Know

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.

Last updated: May 27, 2021

Exterior of the Mississippi State Capitol building at dawn in Jackson, Mississippi.
Exterior of the Mississippi State Capitol building at dawn in Jackson, Mississippi.

50. Mississippi — $18,307

  • Average funeral expenses: $6,568

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $11,739

The cheapest state to die in, Mississippi, has no estate tax or inheritance tax. Average funeral expenses total $6,568, and average medical costs associated with dying come out to $11,739 -- 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.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

49. Oklahoma — $18,739

  • Average funeral expenses: $6,722

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,016

Medical costs associated with dying in Oklahoma are typically around $12,016, and the average cost of a funeral is $6,722 -- notably below national figures. You won't have to pay inheritance or estate taxes when you die in Oklahoma.

See: How Long $1 Million in Savings Will Last in Every State

Downtown Little Rock skyline with the Arkansas River in the foreground.
Downtown Little Rock skyline with the Arkansas River in the foreground.

48. Arkansas — $18,954

  • Average funeral expenses: $6,800

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,154

Funeral expenses in Arkansas average $6,800, while medical costs associated with dying hover around $12,154. The state has no estate tax or inheritance tax.

Learn More: Here’s Exactly How Much Savings You Need To Retire In Your State

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

47. Kansas — $18,976

  • Average funeral expenses: $6,808

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,168

The cost of a funeral in Kansas averages $6,808, and medical expenses related to death total approximately $12,168. No inheritance tax or estate tax is collected in the state.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

46. Missouri — $19,192

  • Average funeral expenses: $6,885

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,307

In Missouri, the cost of a funeral averages $6,885, and the medical costs related to dying average $12,307. Neither estate taxes nor inheritance taxes are imposed.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

45. Alabama — $19,197

  • Average funeral expenses: $6,924

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,376

The average cost of a funeral in Alabama is $6,924, and medical costs associated with dying typically total $12,376. Like the other members of the 10 cheapest states to die in, Alabama doesn’t have an estate tax or an inheritance tax.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

44. Georgia — $19,300

  • Average funeral expenses: $6,924

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,376

Falling below the national average, the standard cost for funeral expenses in Georgia is $6,924, while medical costs associated with dying are usually around $12,376. Georgia has no estate tax or inheritance tax.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

43. New Mexico — $19,343

  • Average funeral expenses: $6,939

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,404

The cost of a funeral in New Mexico averages $6,939, while medical expenses related to dying typically total $12,404. New Mexico doesn’t levy an estate tax or an inheritance tax.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

42. Tennessee — $19,473

  • Average funeral expenses: $6,986

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,487

Funeral costs average $6,986 in Tennessee, and medical costs related to dying are normally around $12,847. One of the most tax-friendly states for retirees, Tennessee doesn’t have an estate tax or an inheritance tax.

Related: Places You Can Buy a Mansion for Less Than $1 Million

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

41. Indiana — $19,516

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,001

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,514

Medical costs related to dying in Indiana average $12,514, and the standard for funeral expenses is $7,001. There’s no inheritance tax or estate tax in Indiana.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

40. Michigan — $19,624

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,040

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,584

Michigan doesn't impose an estate or inheritance tax. The average cost of a funeral in the state is low at $7,040, and medical costs associated with dying are typically around $12,584.

Find Out: The Best and Worst States for Healthcare Costs

Des Moines skyline view with Downtown Des Moines, elevated view.
Des Moines skyline view with Downtown Des Moines, elevated view.

39. Iowa — $19,883

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,133

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,750

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 $7,133, and medical expenses related to dying hover around $12,750.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

38. West Virginia — $19,883

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,133

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,750

Dying in West Virginia will cost around $12,750 in medical costs and $7,133 in funeral expenses. There’s no estate tax or inheritance tax in West Virginia.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

37. Texas — $19,926

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,148

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,777

The average cost of a funeral in Texas is $7,148, while medical costs associated with death are typically around $12,777. Texans don’t pay an estate tax or an inheritance tax.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

36. Nebraska — $19,991

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,172

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,819

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 $7,172, and medical expenses associated with dying are typically around $12,819.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

35. Ohio — $20,055

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,195

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,861

Funeral costs in Ohio run approximately $7,195, and medical costs associated with dying total $12,861, on average. Ohio doesn’t have an estate tax or an inheritance tax.

Louisiana
Louisiana

34. Louisiana — $20,163

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,234

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,930

There’s no estate tax or inheritance tax in Louisiana. Medical costs related to death average $12,930, and funeral expenses run approximately $7,234.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

33. Kentucky — $20,250

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,265

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $12,985

Funeral costs in Kentucky total approximately $7,265, while medical expenses related to dying average $12,985. The state doesn’t have an estate tax, but its inheritance tax can be as much as 16%.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

32. Idaho — $20,314

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,288

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,027

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 $7,288 in funeral costs and approximately $13,027 in medical expenses associated with dying.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

31. Wyoming — $20,595

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,389

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,207

The average cost of a funeral in Wyoming is $7,389, and medical expenses associated with dying total $13,207, on average. Neither an estate tax nor an inheritance tax is collected in Wyoming.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

30. North Carolina — $20,638

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,404

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,234

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 $7,404, and medical expenses associated with dying tend to total $13,234.

Time to Move? Surprising Data Reveals the Top 25 Tax-Friendly States to Retire

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

29. Illinois — $20,681

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,419

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,262

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 $7,419, and medical costs related to dying are typically around $13,262.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

28. South Carolina — $20,681

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,419

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,262

In South Carolina, the average cost of a funeral is $7,419, and medical costs associated with dying average $13,262. There’s no estate tax or inheritance tax.

Milwaukee Skyline on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, Wisconsin.
Milwaukee Skyline on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, Wisconsin.

27. Wisconsin — $20,789

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,458

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,331

Funeral costs in Wisconsin tend to total around $7,458, while medical expenses associated with dying average $13,331 -- 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.

A trail to a scenic overlook of a badlands river valley.
A trail to a scenic overlook of a badlands river valley.

26. North Dakota — $20,941

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,512

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,428

North Dakota doesn’t have an inheritance tax or an estate tax. Medical expenses associated with dying are usually around $13,428, and the average cost of a funeral is $7,512.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

25. South Dakota — $20,941

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,512

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,428

No estate tax or inheritance tax is imposed in South Dakota. Funeral expenses average $7,512, and medical costs related to dying are typically around $13,428.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

24. Utah — $21,005

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,536

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,470

Still under the U.S. benchmark, medical costs associated with dying in Utah average $13,470, and funeral expenses are approximately $7,536. The state doesn’t impose an inheritance tax or an estate tax.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

23. Montana — $21,329

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,652

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,677

The standard cost of a funeral in Montana is approximately $7,652, while medical costs related to dying typically average $13,677. You can keep any gold and jewels passed down to you in the Treasure State free of estate or inheritance taxes.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

22. Florida — $21,372

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,667

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $13,705

The cost of a funeral in Florida is typically around $7,667, and medical expenses associated with death average $13,705. No estate tax or inheritance tax is levied in the Sunshine State.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

21. Minnesota — $21,847

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,838

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $14,010

Slightly above the national average, standard funeral costs in Minnesota come out to $7,838, and medical expenses associated with dying are approximately $14,010. The state has no inheritance tax, but if the value of your estate is above $3 million, you will be subject to an estate tax between 13% and 16%.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

20. Arizona — $21,869

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,845

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $14,023

There’s no estate tax or inheritance tax in the Grand Canyon State. The average cost of a funeral is $7,845 in Arizona, and medical expenses related to death tend to add up to $14,023.

Caution: Avoid These 30 States in Retirement if You Want to Keep Your Money

City street in Old Town, Alexandria, VA.
City street in Old Town, Alexandria, VA.

19. Virginia — $21,934

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,869

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $14,065

There’s no estate tax or inheritance tax in Virginia. Medical costs related to death hover around $14,065, and funeral expenses average $7,869.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

18. Pennsylvania — $21,998

  • Average funeral expenses: $7,892

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $14,106

Pennsylvania doesn’t have an estate tax, but it does levy up to 15% in inheritance taxes. Medical expenses related to dying total approximately $14,106, and the average cost of a funeral is $7,892.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

17. Colorado — $22,668

  • Average funeral expenses: $8,132

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $14,536

There’s no need to stress about an estate tax or inheritance tax in Colorado, as neither is imposed. Funeral costs average $8,132, and medical expenses correlated with dying generally total $14,536.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

16. Delaware — $23,294

  • Average funeral expenses: $8,357

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $14,937

You won’t pay an inheritance tax or estate tax in Delaware. Funeral costs average $8,357, and medical expenses related to death tend to fall around $14,937.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

15. New Hampshire — $23,358

  • Average funeral expenses: $8,380

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $14,979

Medical costs related to dying in New Hampshire average $14,979. Funeral expenses add up to $8,380, on average, but there’s no estate or inheritance tax in the Granite State.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

14. Nevada — $23,509

  • Average funeral expenses: $8,434

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $15,075

Expect to spend about $8,434 on funeral costs in Nevada. Typical medical expenses involved with dying are $15,075, and there’s no estate tax or inheritance tax. Nevada is also one of the states with no income tax.

Washington
Washington

13. Washington — $24,028

  • Average funeral expenses: $8,620

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $15,408

In Washington, funeral expenses average $8,620, and medical expenses related to dying typically hover around $15,408. There’s no inheritance tax, but estates worth more than $2.2 million are taxed between 10% and 20%.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

12. Vermont — $25,042

  • Average funeral expenses: $8,984

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $16,058

Vermont has a 16% tax on estates worth more than $2.8 million. There’s no inheritance tax, but funeral costs average $8,984, and medical expenses related to death are typically around $16,058.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

11. Maine — $25,085

  • Average funeral expenses: $8,999

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $16,086

Maine estates valued at more than $5.7 million are taxed between 8% and 12%. There’s no inheritance tax, but the average cost of a funeral is $8,999 and $16,086 is the standard for medical expenses associated with end-of-life care.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

10. New Jersey — $25,517

  • Average funeral expenses: $9,154

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $16,363

In New Jersey, the standard funeral costs $9,154, and medical expenses correlated with dying average $16,363. There’s no estate tax, but you'll face an inheritance tax of up to 16%.

Find Out: States Where Your Retirement Will Cost Less Than $45,000 a Year

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

9. Rhode Island — $25,776

  • Average funeral expenses: $9,247

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $16,529

The average cost of a funeral in Rhode Island is $9,247, and medical expenses associated with death typically amount to $16,529. There’s no inheritance tax, but a 0.8%-16% tax is levied on estates worth more than $1.6 million.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

8. Connecticut — $27,007

  • Average funeral expenses: $9,689

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $17,318

In Connecticut, funeral costs are typically around $9,689, and medical expenses related to end-of-life care average $17,318. There’s no inheritance tax, but a 10%-12% tax is levied against estates valued at over $5.1 million.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

7. Alaska — $27,633

  • Average funeral expenses: $9,913

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $17,720

The average cost of a funeral in Alaska is $9,913, while medical expenses associated with dying hover around $17,720 -- 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.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

6. Maryland — $27,654

  • Average funeral expenses: $9,921

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $17,733

Funeral expenses in Maryland average $9,921, and medical bills associated with dying typically add up to $17,733. 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 $5 million are taxed at a 0.8-16% rate.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

5. Massachusetts — $28,626

  • Average funeral expenses: $10,270

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $18,356

At around $10,270, funeral costs in Massachusetts are well above the national average. Medical expenses related to end-of-life care average $18,356. No inheritance tax is levied in Massachusetts, but estates worth more than $1 million are taxed at a 0.8%-16% rate.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

4. New York — $28,863

  • Average funeral expenses: $10,355

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $18,509

In New York, you won’t pay an inheritance tax, but estates worth more than $5.9 million are taxed at a 3.06%-16% rate. Funeral expenses average $10,355, and medical costs correlated with dying are $18,509.

Oregon
Oregon

3. Oregon — $29,058

  • Average funeral expenses: $10,424

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $18,633

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 $10,424, and medical costs related to death tend to be around $18,633.

11709, Horizontal, States
11709, Horizontal, States

2. California — $29,900

  • Average funeral expenses: $10,727

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $19,173

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 $10,727, and medical expenses related to dying average $19,173.

Scenic view of Honolulu city and Waikiki Beach; Hawaii, USA.
Scenic view of Honolulu city and Waikiki Beach; Hawaii, USA.

1. Hawaii — $42,378

  • Average funeral expenses: $15,203

  • Average end-of-life medical costs: $27,175

Death in Hawaii is by far the priciest among all the states, as funeral costs average $15,203 and the benchmark for medical expenses correlated with end-of-life care is $27,175. The Aloha State doesn’t have an inheritance tax, but estates worth more than $5.5 million are taxed at a 10%-20% rate.

More From GOBankingRates

Mark Shrayber and Joel Anderson contributed to the reporting for this article.

Methodology: GOBankingRates determined the cost of dying in all 50 states based on the median out-of-pocket funeral expenses — $7,640, which includes viewing and cremation costs — sourced from the National Funeral Directors Association's 2019 report; this amount was then adjusted to current 2020 dollars ($7744.77) using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' consumer price inflation calculator. The average out-of-pocket expenditures toward end of life necessities is $11,618, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research in 2010 dollars; this amount was then adjusted to current 2020 dollars ($13,843.38) using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' consumer price inflation calculator . These values were then adjusted to each state's respective cost of living, sourced from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. All data compiled on Nov. 20, 2020.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Can You Afford To Die in Your State?