It is important to understand how the costs for a funeral service are comprised.
There are three main components to the cost of a funeral service.
Funeral Director’s Professional Fees
This is the funeral company’s fee for their professional services and use of their facilities, and both the fee and the services/facilities, will vary greatly between companies.
It should appear as a lump sum in a quote. These services should include but are not limited to: transfer of the deceased into their care (mortuary), making all bookings and liaising with clergy/celebrants, cemeteries/crematoriums, registration of a death with Births, Deaths and Marriages, florists, caterers etc, and provision of a hearse and staff on the day of the funeral service.
The professional fee may include mortuary care of the deceased, (excluding embalming if it is required), otherwise the mortuary care will be listed as a separate item on a quote. Additional fees are usually incurred if funeral directors are required to travel to multiple destinations or make longer journeys for the service. Services held on weekends or public holidays will usually attract a higher fee.
These are the payments the funeral director makes to other suppliers on your behalf, and these costs will be the same for every funeral director. These could include but are not limited to: crematorium/cemetery fees, church, clergy/celebrant, and provision of cremation and death certificates.
These are items that can be provided and costed directly by the funeral home, or alternatively, you can arrange these items yourself. These items could include but are not limited to: Coffin/casket (some funeral directors will charge a ‘handling fee’ if you provide your own coffin), flowers, service booklets, guests attendance book, newspaper notices, refreshments and special items to personalise the service.
Please view our section on ‘Personalising a Funeral’ on this website for further information.
Many funeral homes offer special fixed price packages, which may cost less than purchasing individual items or services. However, the funeral home is still required to provide an itemized price list, as per the Trade Practices Act.
It would be advisable to check the packaged offer for any items or services that you may not want or need. These packages are generally not negotiable, and it could work out that the services and items you require are less expensive, if purchased individually.
If you are experiencing difficulty accessing the required funds to pay for a funeral, please use our Business Directory Search facility to locate ‘Funeral Loan’ providers that can assist you with a personal loan.