What Expenses are Involved in a Funeral?
Funeral services are a meaningful, cathartic way of celebrating a loved one’s life. But like weddings, they can also be expensive. When unprepared for the costs involved, funerals can cause financial strain. But just how much can you expect to pay? It really depends on exactly how you organise the service, as well as your individual circumstances.
The cost of a funeral can vary dramatically depending on what is involved as part of the service, choice of venue and more. A low cost funeral service can be as little as $3,500 while premium funeral ceremonies where no expense is spared can cost $20,000 or more. To get a clear idea of the overall expenses involved and potential areas where you may be able to save, itemise each cost.
Basic Funeral Costs
There is no legislation regarding whether you need to hold a ceremony to mark someone’s death. However, there are rules about what must be done with a deceased person’s body and the legal documentation required. This incurs costs. Some of the basic costs involved include:
- Cost of the death certificate and other legal documentation
- Removal of body
- Funeral director’s fee
- Preservation if required (e.g. embalming, make-up)
- Funeral service venue hire
- Minister/celebrant fees
- Flowers and other decorations
- Cremation fees if applicable (including certificate)
- Disposal of ashes via wall, niche, urn, rose garden
- Cemetery or grave fees (including opening/reopening and the plaque)
- Advertising (death and funeral notice in newspapers and obituaries)
The expenses associated with funerals can vary from state-to-state and between funeral homes. It’s a good idea to get an itemised quote from funeral service providers in your local area. Funeral services can also be arranged in package type deals to save costs, with options ranging from the basic to the deluxe. A basic package may just offer the bare necessities while a deluxe package may include options like private transportation for guests and elaborate flower decorations.
Ways to Reduce the Cost of a Funeral
Many loved ones look for ways to reduce the cost of their own funeral to ease the financial burden on their families. Fortunately, there are many ways to do so while making sure the ceremony is still meaningful and memorable. For example, cremation is often more economical than a burial, costing as little as $1,000 in some places, while burials can cost over $15,000. Keep in mind that much of the expense of a burial has to do with the particular burial plot selected and where the cemetery is located.
Another way to lower funeral costs is by using a basic wooden coffin for burial. You can rent a nicer quality coffin or casket for the ceremony and use a basic coffin for the final burial. Other ways to reduce the cost of a funeral service include using your home or a public place as a memorial venue rather than a formal venue and to forgo newspaper notices in favour of sharing details online via social media.
Funeral Services in Maitland
At Fry Bros Funerals, our experienced funeral directors can provide you with the support and guidance while you are arranging a funeral, including going over all the potential costs and budgeting. Call us for services across Maitland, Newcastle, Port Stephens, the Hunter Valley and all surrounding areas on 02 4933 6155 or contact us online.