17 US states where it costs over $20,000 to die

Enn Li/Getty ImagesA cemetery in Vermont.
  • Dying might not seem like it would be a big expense, but in these 17 US states, it will cost the typical person around $US20,000, according to GOBankingRates’ data.
  • The most expensive states to die tend to overlap with the most expensive states to live. This is generally thanks to the higher costs of healthcare, which is a factor in the cost of end-of-life care.
  • States where the costs surrounding death top $US20,000 include Hawaii, California, and New York. The three most expensive states all have either inheritance tax or estate taxes, on top of high healthcare costs.
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Death isn’t cheap in these 17 states, where costs of healthcare and funeral expenses will add up to over $US20,000.

According to data by GOBankingRates, states that have a traditionally high cost of living are also the states where it’s most expensive to die.

According to the data, Hawaii, California, and New York have the most costs surrounding end of life. However, Hawaii’s costs are much higher than the rest, with the average funeral in the Island State costing $US14,975 compared to the $US7,360 average funeral cost in the US.

GOBankingRates created this ranking by looking at the average costs of end-of-life healthcare and the costs of a funeral across the US, and then factored in each state’s cost of living index.

Here are the 17 states where dying will cost the most.


17. Montana

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Montana has the 17th highest cost of dying, with high medical and funeral costs.

Average funeral expenses: $US8,299

Total end-of-life expenses: $US22,980


16. Delaware

Slightly more expensive than Montana, death in this small state will cost about $US23,238 in final expenses.

Average funeral expenses: $US8,392

Total end-of-life expenses: $US23,238


15. Nevada

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This western state doesn’t make death affordable, but there’s no inheritance tax or estate tax.

Average funeral expenses: $US8,423

Total end-of-life expenses: $US23,324


14. New Hampshire

As one of the states with a high cost of living, New Hampshire also has high costs for funerals. However, there’s no estate or inheritance tax.

Average funeral expense: $US8,516

Total end-of-life expenses: $US23,582


13. Washington

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Washington has high costs of living, which contribute to higher funeral and healthcare expenses.

Average funeral expense: $US8,594

Total expenses: $US23,979


12. Vermont

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Vermont has fairly high costs of medical expenses, along with high costs of living.

Average funeral expenses: $US8,889

Total end-of-life expenses: $US24,614


11. Maine

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High average funeral costs make Maine the first state on this list to break the $US25,000 mark in final expenses.

Average funeral expenses: $US9,122

Total end-of-life expenses: $US25,259


10. Rhode Island

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In Rhode Island, like most of New England, everything costs a bit more. And funerals are no exception.

Average funeral expenses: $US9,269

Total end-of-life expenses: $US25,667


9. New Jersey

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New Jersey’s steep inheritance tax can be as high as 16%.

Average funeral expenses: $US9,712

Total end-of-life expenses: $US26,892


8. Connecticut

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Connecticut’s high costs make for expensive healthcare and funerals.

Average funeral expenses: $US9,914

Total end-of-life expenses: $US27,451


7. Maryland

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Maryland’s average funeral cost is over $US10,000, and the state will also tax inheritances up to 10%.

Average funeral expenses: $US10,069

Total end-of-life expenses: $US27,881


6. Alaska

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Alaska’s already high costs of living make for higher funeral and healthcare costs.

Average funeral expenses: $US10,084

Total end-of-life expenses: $US27,924


5. Massachusetts

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Massachusetts funeral costs are well above the national average.

Average funeral expenses: $US10,216

Total end-of-life expenses: $US28,290


4. Oregon

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Oregon’s high healthcare and funeral costs make dying there very expensive. And for those who have large estates of over $US1 million, plan to face taxes between 10% and 16%.

Average funeral expenses: $US10,418

Total end-of-life expenses: $US28,849


3. New York City

New York is the third most expensive state for death, and funeral expenses are high.

Average funeral expenses: $US10,799

Total end-of-life expenses: $US29,902


2. California

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California’s funeral costs exceed $US10,000, while final medical expenses average $US20,000.

Average funeral expenses: $US11,777

Total end-of-life expenses: $US20,834


1. Hawaii

Associated Press

Hawaii is the most expensive state for funeral costs, with the total coming to over $US40,000. High medical costs greatly contribute to that expense.

Average funeral expenses: $US14,975

Total end-of-life expenses: $US41,467

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