What Costs are Involved in a Funeral?
Funerals can be beautiful, meaningful ways to celebrate someone’s life and create positive, lasting memories. However, they can also be a source of financial strain on the family. A study by the University of Sydney in 2017 found that the average funeral service costs $4,902, while comparison website finder.com.au found the average cost to be $7,449.
It’s worth noting that the cost of a funeral can vary dramatically depending on exactly what it involves, where you are and many other factors. Budget funerals can be done for very low cost (well under $4000), while premium funeral ceremonies can cost significant amounts (well above $10 000). The best approach to get a clear idea of the overall expense you may face is to itemise the potential costs involved.
Basic Funeral Costs
While there are no laws about holding a ceremony to mark someone’s death, there are rules around what to do with their body and the legal documentation required, and these can incur costs. The costs for goods and services associated with funerals vary from state-to-state and between funeral homes, so it’s best to get an itemised quote from a provider in your local area.
Some of the basic items you can expect to pay for include:
- Cost of the death certificate and other legal documentation
- Removal of body
- Funeral director fee
- Preservation if required (e.g. embalming, make-up)
- Venue hire
- Minister/celebrant fees
- Flowers and other decor
- Cremation fees (including certificate)
- Disposal of ashes via wall, niche, urn, rose garden, etc.
- Cemetery or grave fees (including opening/reopening and the plaque)
- Advertising (death and funeral notice in newspapers and obituaries)
Funeral memorials can also be arranged in package type deals, with options ranging from the basic to the deluxe. For example, a deluxe package might include private transportation for guests, hiring of an organist and more elaborate flower decorations.
Reducing the Cost of a Funeral
If you’re looking to reduce the cost of a funeral, there are many ways to do so while still ensuring the ceremony is meaningful and memorable. Cremation is generally more economical than a burial. Much of the expense of a burial has to do with the cemetery fees, which alone are around $4700. Therefore, the cost can vary depending on where you are.
Another way to reduce the cost of a funeral is to use a basic MDF (particle board) coffin. Other ways to reduce the cost of a funeral include having a memorial service at home or in a public place rather than a formal venue and to forgo newspaper notices in favour of sharing details online and on social media.
Budget Funeral Services in Western Australia
At Hetherington Funerals, we’re proud to offer a variety of funeral service options for families including budget options when expenses are a concern. For more information, please contact us on (08) 9459 2846, submit an enquiry on our contact page or look at our funeral services here.