Funerals in Australia can cost a hefty amount, but there are ways to keep the costs down. Read this breakdown of funeral costs today.
As a parting celebration, you want a funeral to be memorable. You want it to capture that person’s life and personality, to elicit a smile from your guests at the mention of a fond memory, and to touch the hearts of all who attend to commemorate and commiserate.
But funerals usually aren’t cheap. The cost might not be up there with life’s other grand occasion – the wedding – but it can certainly put a dint in your pocket.
Funerals are a tricky business. You want to show the full extent of your love and the depths of your grief for your lost loved one. You want to throw a celebration the deceased would be proud of. And that can make you inclined to celebrate their life in style, to go the whole hog, regardless of the costs.
Typical funeral costs
Funeral costs can easily amount to thousands of dollars. In fact, the average cost of a funeral in Australia can be anywhere from $4000 for a basic cremation to around $15,000 for an extravagant affair complete with casket, burial and flowers.
Among some of the things you may need to pay for are:
Funeral directors charge a fee for professional services, namely the time they spend:
- organising meetings and grief support
- liaising with cemeteries
- transporting the deceased
- embalming or preparing the body
- organising florists and newspaper notices
- supplying the hearse and staff for the day
- completing legal paperwork and documentation.
This is typically a set fee billed to you in advance.
Coffin or casket
This is usually one of the biggest costs of a funeral, with prices ranging from $800 to more than $10,000.
The variation in costs comes down to the quality of and detail in the coffin. It’s thankfully also one of the easiest parts of the funeral to personalise, as you can make a decision based on personal tastes as well as cost considerations.
Burial or cremation
The average cost of a burial is about $4500, whereas a cremation can be slightly cheaper at about $3600, though prices can vary substantially.
A single grave can cost anywhere from $2970 to $4800, depending on the cemetery. And that doesn’t usually include labour costs for opening and closing the grave or ongoing upkeep.
On top of that, a simple memorial plaque can cost between $1500 and $3500, though some cemeteries might include this cost in the grave price.
Cremation costs typically include use of the crematorium facilities and staff labour during the cremation. You may pay more to receive the ashes in an urn and keep them in a niche or wall; it costs you nothing to scatter the ashes.
The personal touches are the things one remembers at a funeral or a wake. The flowers, the service booklet, framed photographs, and video projections – maybe even balloons or complimentary champagne – are the things that can define a funeral. But they are all likely to cost money.
Of course, you can always make choices based on your budget. You can stick to simple flower arrangements, for example. Or you can request everyone bring their favourite photo of the deceased and clip them onto pieces of string.
Ultimately, a memorable funeral isn’t about the amount of flowers in the chapel or the location of the burial plot. It’s about remembering an amazing life that was lived, and coming together to celebrate it.
Budget Direct Life Cover can advance $10,000 of the benefit amount to assist with funeral costs and other expenses while we assess a death claim. For more information, visit our website today.