When a loved one dies, arranging their funeral is a very overwhelming process – especially when mixed with grief.
For this reason, we highly recommend planning funerals in advance so you know exactly what you and your loved ones would prefer.
Would you rather a cremation or a burial?
Who would you like to conduct the ceremony?
Are there particular flowers or music you’d like?
The cost of a funeral varies substantially from person to person; it all comes down to your personal preferences and affordability.
We know it’s a tough conversation to have with your partner, mother or father, but planning a funeral in advance relieves the pressure of making decisions when you’re in the midst of bereavement.
But if you find yourself facing a funeral following unexpected death, then the process is even more difficult.
So how much does it cost? This is a good question, but hard to respond with a simple answer when it all comes down to your own choices. However, to give you an idea we’ve broken it down as best as we can below.
How much does a funeral cost?
Firstly, you need to decide whether you want a cremation or a burial. The processes are slightly different for each, which means that the fees will vary.
The average funeral cost in Australia is $7,075.* For a cremation, you’ll spend around $6,000 to $10,000, whereas for burials, you’re looking at approximately $9,000 to $25,000.
What does a cremation cost?
When planning a cremation, you need to consider the following:
- Cremation and crematorium chapel hire for the service – This pricing will vary depending on the crematorium you choose. It’s usually between $1,100 and $1,500 (To help you get started, we have a list of crematoriums on our website [we don’t have such a list on our website at the moment*]- link to https://ianjarthurfunerals.com.au/burials-cremation/)
- Cremation Certificates – There are two compulsory certificates in order for a cremation to take place. The first is called the ‘Attending Practitioner’s Cremation Certificate’ and is issued by the doctor who signs the ‘Medical Certificate of Cause of Death’. Your Funeral Director will ensure this is provided by the doctor. The second is called the ‘Medical Referee Certificate’ and this is organised by your Funeral Director in Sydney. These certificates cost an approximate total of $275.
- A Death Certificate – This is an official certificate issued from the NSW Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages. As of June 2018, this is $56 to obtain.
- Flowers – The cost of flowers at a cremation service will vary depending upon the type you choose and the size of arrangement. It can be anywhere between $175 for a simple bouquet on the coffin and thousands of dollars if a casket cover, church bowls, wreaths and so forth are all purchased. The most popular flower request we receive is for medium-sized casket covers, which range from $385 to $550 depending on the particular choice of flowers.
- Storage of ashes – While some people prefer to store ashes in an elegant urn to display on the mantle or shelf in their home, others wish to bury the ashes in a biodegradable urn or scatter them in the ocean or a place of significance. We can arrange beautiful urns for around $300-500. If you’re after a biodegradable option, it’s around $195. And for a more temporary solution prior to releasing the ashes, it’s $150.
- Clergy or Celebrant Fee – Whether you want the funeral service conducted by religious clergy or celebrant, the costs will vary significantly. The average cost is around $385. If you need any assistance connecting with suitable clergy or celebrants, let us know.
- Professional Fees – With Ian J. Arthur & Sons, our professional fees cover the 24 hour mortuary transfers, mortuary care and preparation, hearse transport, memorial book, and any additional staffing and administrative needs, such as the registration of death with NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. When comparing pricing with other Funeral Directors, it is important to check if they charge additional fees for any of these items.
What does a burial cost?
- Purchase of grave – Most graves these days are dug double or even triple depth, so you only need to purchase one grave for a married couple. However, sometimes a family may choose to purchase two plots side by side. If this is what you wish to do, there will obviously be a bigger upfront cost. A grave costs anywhere between approximately $3,000 (outskirts of Sydney) to $25,000 (Eastern Suburbs of Sydney).
- Interment / Grave Digging Fee – Sometimes called an Open and Close Fee, this fee can cost anywhere between $1,100 and $3,000.
- A Death Certificate – See cremation costs above.
- Flowers – See cremation costs above.
- Coffin / Casket – The price of a coffin will vary according to the materials used or themes. (You can view a gallery of your options on our website . Simple, but dignified, coffins are made from MDF, usually with a wood veneer and start at $1,295. Solid timber coffins start from $2,450. Themed caskets start from $1,795.
- Clergy or Celebrant Fee – See cremation costs above.
- Professional Fees – See cremation costs above.
Optional Costs of a Funeral
In addition to the above, you might be interested in the following:
- Newspaper notices – The fees charged are based on the length of the notice and the newspaper.
- Order of Service / Mass Booklets – The costs will vary depending upon the amount of design involved, pages, and quantity.
- Scottish Piper – For those with a Scottish heritage, this could be a beautiful addition to your ceremony.
- Dove Release – Say farewell to your loved one with a sense of peace.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the price tags, don’t be. We’re here to provide assistance with your funeral planning so you can arrange a beautiful ceremony that ’s within your means.
* 2017 study by finder.com.au – https://www.finder.com.au/funeral-insurance/cost-of-a-funeral