How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of a funeral can vary greatly and depends on what sort of ceremony is planned. A funeral can be anything from a simple private service held in a family backyard, all the way to an extravagant ceremony held in a city cathedral with hundreds attending.

The important thing to remember is that the price will largely depend on what is included in ceremony. Generally speaking, the main components in the cost of a funeral are:

  1. Funeral director fees
  2. The cost of the coffin, casket or urn
  3. Burial or Cremation fees
  4. The cost of arranging a memorial

 

1. Funeral director fees

These costs will vary by funeral director both in price and exactly what is covered however here are some of the typical inclusions. Make sure you check with your chosen funeral provider exactly what is covered by their fees.

 

Professional fees

The professional fee will vary by funeral director both in price and exactly what is covered by the professional fee.

Below are some of the typical inclusions.

  • Arrange and co-ordinate the Funeral Service
  • Organising relevant administration and legal documents such as death certificates, doctors certificates, burial and cremation orders
  • Assist with the organisation of music, singers, organist etc.
  • Care for, and preparation of, the deceased
  • Attend and conduct the funeral service
  • Liaise with clergy, cemeteries / crematoria, florists, newspapers etc.
  • Help with preplanning a funeral

Make sure you check with your chosen funeral provider exactly what is covered by their fees.

 

Facilities and equipment

This is the cost or hiring venues and staff for the funeral as well as use of facilities involved with caring for the deceased. This may include items such as: 

  • Mortuary fees for the care of the body
  • Refreshment & catering for the event
  • Chapel hire fees 
  • Viewing room hire and staff 

 

Transportation

The funeral director will also help arrange transport of the deceased. That may include:

  • Transfer of the deceased from place of death
  • Hearse on day of funeral       
  • Transfer from the funeral home to crematorium or cemetery

 

2. The cost of the coffin, casket or urn

Coffins & Caskets

Coffins and caskets come in a wide variety of styles to meet the needs of all - from simple veneered particleboard to solid carved timber. You can even have a metal casket, which is air- and water-resistant. It's also possible to have a completely personalised coffin via a supplier such as LifeArt. Generally speaking, the average cost of a coffin or casket will be between $1,000 and $4,000 however some coffins or caskets may be more than $15,000. A LifeArt coffin will generally be in the realm of $2,000.

 

Urns

After a cremation the ashes are typically stored in an urn until the final resting place is decided. Urns come in a wide variety of shapes and materials including wood, metal & pottery. The only real requirement is that the urn has a lid. Prices of urns will vary according to the design, construction and material however the typical price will be between $100 and $500. You can also choose your own container to use instead of an urn, provided it has a lid.

 

3. Burial or cremation fees

 

Burial

The cost of a burial usually involves the purchase of a gravesite or crypt, the right of interment, opening/closing fees and maintenance. This is normally purchased from the cemetery with the assistance of a Funeral Director. Costs will vary depending upon the cemetery, what sort of burial site is required and even which state you live in. Below are some rough costs you can expect.

  • A traditional gravesite and headstone will be between $5,000 and $10,000
  • A larger plot with a small monument will be between $30,000 and $60,000
  • A crypt with be between $50,000 and $100,000
  • A family mausoleum will be anywhere from $400,000 up to $1,000,000

 

Cremation

Generally the cost of arranging a cremation will be less than a burial. The fees associated with cremation will usually include:

  • The cost of conducting a cremation
  • Preparing the cremated remains
  • Sometimes the cost of the urn
  • Depending on where the ceremony might be held, you may also hire their chapel

 

Without memorialisation or conducting a ceremony at the venue, the average cost for cremation fees is between $1,000 and $3,000. Like a burial, these fees will generally be in addition to the cost or arranging a funeral ceremony itself.

The funeral director will help make all these arrangements for you and the crematorium will contact you to arrange for memorialisation if you so choose or collection of the cremated remains.

 

4. The cost of arranging a memorial

Memorials come in all shapes and sizes and include anything from more traditional plaques and headstones through to full scale monuments or even memorial trees, gardens and benches.

Memorials will generally be organised directly with the memorial park of your choice but your funeral director should be able to help. selection of burial or cremation, the type of memorial and any religious considerations.

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