Understanding Funeral Costs in Australia

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If you haven’t arranged a funeral before, it can be a daunting task trying to understand the various funeral cost components and your options. This guide is designed to help you understand funeral costs and how much you can expect to pay. It covers:

  1. Funeral Cost Categories
  2. Itemised Breakdown of Funeral Costs
  3. Funeral Costs by State

For more specific information on funeral costs in each state, see our specific city guides:

For guidance on additional methods of paying for your funeral expenses, see our Guide to Paying for a Funeral in Australia.

1. Funeral Cost Categories

There are three main categories of funeral costs:

  1. Professional Services Fee
  2. Additional Services
  3. Third Party Costs

Professional Services Fee

A funeral home’s professional services fee covers the basic services required for arranging, planning and carrying out the funeral and the overhead costs associated with those services. The amount of the professional services fee will usually vary according to the type of funeral service sought (i.e. single service, dual service, graveside service, no service / no attendance) as different services require more labour and planning than others.

To learn more about the different types of funeral services available, see our Guide to Planning a Funeral Service.

While different funeral directors may include and exclude certain services from their professional services fee, the following are usually included. If any items are not included, you should enquire about the additional cost for those services.

  • Guidance, expertise and care from staff
  • Transfer of the deceased from the place of death
  • Mortuary care and storage of remains
  • Provision of all necessary staff and hearse on the day of the funeral
  • Registration of death with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages
  • Filing of any other necessary paperwork
  • Coordinating and making arrangements with the chosen cemetery or crematorium
  • Arranging a celebrant
  • Arranging flowers, caterers, musicians and other third party services
  • Placement of death and funeral notices in newspapers

Additional Services

Additional services are services that are not strictly necessary to carry out the funeral but are (common) services that can be offered by funeral directors. The following are common additional services. (Please note that some of these costs may be included by the funeral director in their professional services fee.)

  • A viewing at the funeral home chapel (often charged hourly with different rates for viewings outside of business hours)
  • Use of the funeral home chapel for the funeral service
  • Embalming
  • Cosmetic preparation of the body
  • Additional fees for non-local transportation of the deceased
  • Funeral cars, coaches or limousines to transport family on the day of the funeral

Third Party Fees

Third party fees are payable for goods and services not provided by the funeral home (i.e. provided by third parties). Depending on the type of funeral sought, some of these fees may be mandatory. Common third party fees include:

  • Cemetery or crematorium fee
  • Celebrant or clergy
  • Musician or vocalist
  • Venue hire
  • Funeral flowers
  • Death and funeral notices
  • Catering
  • Registered death certificate
  • Cremation certificate
  • Garment
  • Memorial books
  • Thank you cards
  • Orders of service
  • Monument or grave marker

Some funeral homes may charge families the “at cost” price for these items, while others may add an additional fee for arranging and coordinating these goods and services.

2. Itemised Breakdown of Funeral Costs

When discussing funeral costs with your funeral director, it’s important to get an itemised breakdown of all goods and services being provided – not only so there are no misunderstandings about what is included, but also so you can understand where your money is going.

Allocation of Funeral Costs

The following chart provides a general illustration of how your funeral costs might be allocated. As you can see, the two biggest funeral costs are the professional services fee and the right of interment.

Chart of Breakdown of Itemised Funeral Costs

Price Ranges for Funeral Costs

To give you a rough idea of how much you can expect to pay for various funeral costs, we have set out the price ranges for the essential items below.

Item Price Range
Professional Services for No Service, No Attendance Funeral $1,500 – $4,000
Professional Services for Single Service Funeral $2,500 – $5,500
Professional Services for Dual Service Funeral $2,700 – $6,000
Professional Services for Graveside Service $2,400 – $5,400
Transfer of the Deceased $200 – $360
Registration of Death $60 – 80
Celebrant, Priest or Clergy $280 – $650
Right of Interment $1,500 – $52,000
Interment Fee $1,500 – $4,000
Cremation Fee $570 – $1,200
Coffin or Casket $595 – $10,000

3. Funeral Costs By State

Depending on which state you live in, the average cost of a funeral in Australia ranges between $5,553 and $6,727.

Note: The following averages are calculated based on over 9,000 prices in our database across 660 funeral homes. They do not include cemetery costs or a headstone.

Average Price of a Funeral in Australia

While the state averages offer a useful benchmark for families looking to arrange a funeral, it’s important to keep in mind that there is a large variance between the cheapest and most expensive funeral directors in each state. In fact, the difference between the cheapest and most expensive basic funeral in Australia is almost $4,300. This adds up to significant savings for families who are willing to compare prices online.

Range of Funeral Prices in Australia

For a more in depth look at the average cost of a funeral, read our articles on the average cost of a burial and the average cost of a cremation, and our Guide to Coffin Prices in Australia.

We hope you have found this guide to funeral costs in Australia helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at suppport@gatheredhere.com.au or leave us a message in the comments section below.

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