In Australia, the average funeral cost is between $3,500 and $6,700. However, most people are unaware of where these costs come from and what is involved making funeral arrangements. Many of the costs can be customised to suit your budget and needs. Speaking with your preferred funeral director is the best way to personalise your funeral and create an appropriate budget. The primary costs involved in funeral arrangements are listed below.
Coffin or Casket Costs
A coffin or casket is necessary for the body and required under Australian law. Depending on your wishes, there are a number of options available that meet different budgets. The more extravagant the coffin or casket, the more expensive the funeral becomes. You can reduce the funeral costs by selecting a basic coffin or casket, without finishes. Trimmings such as gold or silver plated handles are common and indulging however these will also significantly increase the cost of a funeral. Coffins and caskets can be made of wood, metal or cardboard. Metal options are generally the most expensive, with prices starting at $7,000 up to $50,000. Those made of solid wood with visible grain are offer a more affordable option, varying in price from $3,000 to $12,000. The more economical coffins and caskets made using particle board or wood fibre will cost anywhere between $1,400 and $3,500.
The image above demonstrates the different appearance of coffins and caskets. Remember that your funeral director can help you select the best option that suits both your budget and your wishes.
The spray of flowers is usually placed on top of the coffin or casket. Prices for flowers will ultimately depend on the season and availability of particular flower varieties. Seasonal sprays will cost anywhere between $200 and $600. Choosing flowers that are out of season may increase the cost of the spray of flowers. Also, the more flowers in the spray, the more expensive it will become.
Speak with your funeral director about the florist they use for flower preparations. If you are restricted by your budget, consider requesting less flowers in the spray and opt for a seasonal combination.
Funeral Directors Professional Fees
Funeral directors play an important role in making funeral arrangements. They manage everything for you and take a great deal of the pressure from their client families. They are also there to offer your family grief support in such an emotional time. Funeral directors take onboard a lot of responsibility to help families, and understandably they are part of the funeral costs. Included in the funeral pricing package will be the funeral director’s professional fees. These are fees are for making service arrangements, body transportation and preparation. Remember that a funeral director will become a part of your families support network, so choose one that you are comfortable with.
Mourning Vehicle Costs
Choosing to have mourning vehicles as part of the funeral service will ensure that those emotionally unfit to drive will safely find their way to and from the funeral service. There are many companies that will offer mourning cars for funeral services. The cost of these vehicles will depend on the size of the family and how many people require transport. Basic chauffeured vehicles can usually be hired for less than $100 per hour. Limousines and larger vehicles will attract higher fees.
Late model and european vehicles will be more expensive than other options. If you are restricted by a budget, opt for simple clean cars.
Cremation or Burial Costs
Cremation and burial expenses will impact the total cost of the funeral arrangements significantly. There are various reasons people choose one option over the other, many of which are personal. Financially, cremation is the best option. The cost of cremation will vary $800 to $2000 depending on the location and facility. A coffin or casket is still required for cremation services. An ashes urn may also be an additional cost starting at $50. The cost of burial is slightly higher starting at around $1,500. A burial plot will also need to be acquired from the preferred cemetery. The cost of these plots and associated cemetery services is generally upward of $3000. By contacting your local council or cemetery-owning church you can obtain a more accurate figure.