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Funeral Planning

Easy Guide to a Stress free Funeral

A lot of time and effort goes into planning a funeral, often at a time when the death of a loved one leaves you with little inclination to be dealing with the details. Not only that, but the costs can blow out into the thousands. We’ve put together a guide to the most important factors to consider when laying your loved one to rest.

There are two main options to consider when planning a funeral: Cremation and Burial.


According to Gathered Here the average total cost of a burial in Australia is around $19,000. The bulk of this cost consists of three main components:

  • Funeral director

Fees charged by funeral directors are solely to cover costs associated with the funeral service. This includes a coffin, hearse, celebrant, death certificate and providing a venue for the service. According to a 2017 study, the average price of a basic funeral service is $4902. However the national average spent for a funeral is $7464, according to price comparison website finder

  • Cemetery fees

Cemetery fees consist of two main portions:

Right of internment. which is the right to be buried on the land. When customers “buy a plot” from a cemetery, they are not purchasing the land itself, but the right to be buried there.
Internment Fee.The second portion is the Internment fee. This is the practical cost of opening and closing the grave, as well as maintenance. Cemetery fees are being driven upwards by the fact that land supply is rapidly shrinking, particularly in metropolitan areas. The price of cemetery fees in Sydney have doubled in the last five years alone.
It is also worth noting that it is possible, under certain circumstances, to obtain approval for a burial to take place on private property. Consult your local council for details.

  • Headstone
    Headstones too can very greatly in price. Simple grave markers start from $750, headstones range from $2000 – $4000 and more elaborate grave markers and monuments can be as much as $12000


Cremation can be a cheaper option to burial as you avoid the more expensive burial ground fees. After cremation ashes may be stored in an urn, scattered at a meaningful location or buried on private property. They can even made into diamonds – there are no real rules as to how ashes must be disposed of.
There are still costs associated with cremation. The average cost of a cremation in Australia is around $6,000 – $8,000.
Many people who choose to be cremated will still want to have a service as with a burial. In this case the same costs would apply, including the price of a coffin, which will be cremated also.
Rather than paying for plot of land and internment, a cremation fee would be charged. This can range from $600 to $1200

Young couple leaning on and comforting each other

How to choose what is best for your loved one

Before you make plans, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself about the loved one that you are planning the funeral for. Thanks to Gathered Here for this handy checklist:

  • Would your loved one prefer Burial or Cremation?

A burial provides a public memorial that others may visit in remembrance, whereas cremation gives the opportunity to keep the remains close to the family, or to be scattered in a place of significance to the deceased.

  • Religion of the service (if any)?

It pays to take into the account and honour the religious beliefs of the deceased and the family. As an alternative, many funeral directors offer non-religious services that serve as a memorial to the deceased and may involve video presentation, photo slides and eulogies delivered by families and friends.

  • Do you own a burial plot?

Sometimes burial plots will be passed down through the family, or a family plot bought in advance so that family members may be buried together

  • If not, do you have a preferred cemetery or crematorium?

As mentioned above, plots in inner city locations can be expensive, so a leafy cemetery out of the city could be considered, perhaps close to a childhood home or a favourite holiday spot.


Bouquet of flowers on table in front of white, airy light window


What location(s) or venue(s) would you like the funeral service to take place at?

There are many options for the service other than the movie cliché of a graveside service: Some other options are:

  • Funeral home chapel

Generally a purpose built room in a funeral home. Fees for use of this room would be include when enlisting the services of a funeral director.

  • Graveside

This is another option that will be offered by a funeral director.

  • Place of worship

If your loved one was active in their local church community, you may consider holding the service at their place of worship. Most churches will not charge for the use of the church but will ask a stipend/fee for the priest to open the church, even if the priest is not the one conducting the service.

  • Cemetery or crematorium chapel

Many cemeteries will have a chapel to conduct funerary services and may charge a nominal fee for the use of the facility

  • Public space (like a park or beach)

Maybe your loved one had a favourite park where they used to enjoy spending time, or have made special memories there. A good place to start when researching conducting a funeral service in a public space is the local council website.

  • Private property

As with a public space, a service may be held on private property with permission from the owner.


Grassy church yard with old fashioned chapel and flowers in foreground

What would you like to do with remains?

If a burial:

Private property
Burial at Sea

If a cremation:

Cemetery lawn or rose garden
Wall niche
Kept in the family home

If you want to avoid leaving behind a large funeral bill for your loved ones, you can opt for one of these 3 options:

  • Funeral insurance

You can insure for an agreed lump sum payment for a weekly fee. Compare plans here

  •  Pre-paid funerals

Once you have planned your funeral you can pay it off in advance with your director. You can learn more about pre-paid funerals at here

  • Funeral bonds

Slightly different to a prepaid funeral – a funeral bond is similar to a savings account, and will mature upon the death of the investor/partner. Find out more about funeral bonds here

You can compare funeral plans here also has a great article on ways to save money and conduct a DIY funeral which includes a list of things that a funeral director will be likely to “upsell”

Once you’ve planned what kind of funeral service you would like to honour your loved one, you might need the cash to do it. We can help. Simply apply for a fast, affordable small loan here



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