Richard Laycock | Insurance expert
Let’s face it, planning a funeral isn’t fun. The situation in which you’re planning it is probably that a loved one has died, which makes the idea of organising a funeral a very stressful one. And while you’re grieving, if you aren’t sure what you want out of the service and you don’t know where to start, it can really be daunting.
Research shows that around 60% of Australians don’t plan on paying for their funerals before they pass away, which means that their relatives will likely be the ones to foot the bill. This can make the process even more stressful. Here is a quick rundown of some of the factors that can influence the cost of a funeral, so that you can plan better when the time comes.
We’ve touched on this before – flowers can add up if you don’t know what you’re looking for. There can be pressure to go bigger and bolder with flowers, especially if the funeral is being held in a larger venue. But just bear in mind that the people attending the funeral are focusing on the person who has passed away, and not really on the decorations. Flowers are important and can add to the atmosphere of the service, but they aren’t the be all and end all of a funeral. You can still add flowers to the ceremony without going overboard.
You can either choose your celebrant yourself or consider one that is offered with the venue or the funeral package that you choose. But just remember that a standalone celebrant that isn’t part of a package or directly tied to a funeral home is probably more expensive because they have to run their own business. However, the celebrant is an important part of the funeral so it’s important to consider all your options and choose carefully.
Do your research online before choosing a funeral home so that you know you’re getting the best value. Funeral homes can offer all sorts of different packages and pricing, so using a funeral comparison website like eziFunerals is a good way to get an overview of the ins and outs of the different brands.
There are a few factors that will determine how much transportation will cost. These include where your loved one is stored, how far away that is from the service and where they’re being taken afterwards.
Burial vs cremation
Typically, burials are more expensive than cremations. This is because the block of land, the manual labour involved and the burial site are all taken into account when determining pricing. Cremations are cheaper because you don’t have to worry about taking up space in a cemetery, ashes are much easier to store and you can even take the ashes home. This is worth taking into consideration when you’re planning a service for your loved one.
If you do go for a burial, different cemeteries offer different prices. For example, Waverley Cemetery in Sydney is heavily sought after because it has such beautiful ocean views. This means it’s very expensive. It’s worth considering this when you’re planning where to bury your loved one. You may want to consider a cemetery outside of a capital city in a country town or somewhere where you have history. Being nearby is convenient but not a necessity, and cemeteries in highly populated areas can be expensive.
Funeral services can come with lots of additional features that can the increase price. Whether you’re making a small change like upgrading the program, or if you’ve decided to have a choir, these extras can really impact the price. Some funeral plans even include the option of providing the guests with pens so that they can write loving messages on the coffin. Others allow you to release doves when the service is over.
There are plenty of choices that you need to make in order to create a more personal funeral service. It’s just about prioritising what’s important and what’s not to ensure you’re getting the best value and not breaking the bank.
Richard Laycock is an insurance expert at finder.com.au.