People are bewildered when it they have to conduct the Final rites of the deceased.
This is more complex and confusing in the case of Brahmins.
The reason is that the ceremonies are elaborate in terms of Mantras and the Dhanas/ the giveaways to the deserving are quite many .
And there are various interpretations.
Add to this the Sentiment value attached to events, especially Death.
To top it all you have all and sundry, well meaning though, confuse you.
So under the circumstances one has to address two major issues.
1. Mantras and Procedures.
2.The total expenses.
Under Mantras and expenses it is suggested that follow the suggestions of the Family Purohit.
In case you do not have one, contact Srinngeri/Kanchi Mutt for Purohit.
In places where these Mutts do not have their presence, check out the prominent temple in your city and you shall get the Purohit.
As to general rules to be followed please check my article Mourning Death Theetu Hindu Rituals.
As to expenses.
Thirteen days Rituals are prescribed.
While the first twelve days are Asubha Kaaryas,the Thirteenth Day is Auspicious, Subha.
In Hinduism, the Body, after Life has left, is called Sava, the physical body, sans Life.
However, at the spiritual level, the dead body,Sava is called ‘ Pretha’
Till the twelfth day the dead remain as Pretha and only after the Pindaas are joined to earlier Pitrus or ancestors, does the Pretha becomes A Pitru.
On the thirteenth day Subhasweekara/ Gruhayagnya is performed to denote auspiciousness.
There are rites to be performed from the day of death.
First day one cremates and on the next day collects the Ashes.
If the Cremation is done on the next Thithi( on the same day), this may change during the day depending on the Movement of rhe Moon, the Ashes may be collected on the same day of Death.
Expenses for these two days are approximately Rs. 15, 000/
This excludes what one may incur at the Cremation ground by way of tips to Cremation ground staff.
Many cremation grounds offer free service.
Other wise these expenses will have to be borne.
Sastras say that the Rites from day one to Thirteen are to be performed at Home.
However the practice now is to perform at the Gynavapis.
There are three types of perdorming these Rites.
Performing Tharpana from day one to ten.
Second option is to start from day seven.
And the third is to start on day Nine.
The approximate expenses from day three to Thirteen is Rs.60,000/.
This covers ,
Materials for all the Rites, excluding the The Thirteenth day.
Food for 30 people from day seven to day twelve.
Dhana includes the following.
Land as token,
The above is an indication.
The fee mentioned includes all the Dhanas.
So one need not be worried whether one has omitted some.
If the Purohit does not do the Dhanas after one has given him money, the Sin would accrue to him and not to the Kartha.
For the Thirteenth day, expenses for Food and Pooja materials(Pooaja materials might cost maximum Rs.500) is to be borne by the householder.
The thirteenth day rite is to be conducted at Home and not anywhere else.
The above expenses as obtaining at Chennai in 2017.
Variation of about 10% is likely elsewhere.
In effect, expenses for thirteen days Rituals would be around Rs.75, 000/
This would do for the Karmas.
Anything above this would be at your convenience.