It costs to kick the bucket! Staggering costs of Aussie funerals revealed

Choice has carried out an investigation of the funeral issue with results revealing a significant difference in prices from varying organisations around the country. Source: Getty

It’s no secret that funerals can set you back a fair bit, but a new report has now revealed the huge costs Aussie families are having to fork out in order to give their loved ones the send off they deserve.

The report, compiled by Australian Seniors, focused on simple burials and cremations right through to more extravagant ceremonies, with many priced well into the thousands.

Even the most basic of funerals can come with a hefty price tag, with the average no-strings-attached burial in Australia around $8,048, while cremations are cheaper, averaging $3,108, the report claimed.

Going up one level, a standard “middle of the range” funeral added a couple of extra thousand to the total, with flowers and a chapel service added to the expenses.

The research revealed the average cost of a standard burial in Australia is $9,403, whereas the cremations on the same level come in at $5,591.

In some cases, these prices can skyrocket even further with the “top of the range” funeral including newspaper notices, a celebrant service, memorial book and an audio-visual presentation reaching prices over the $10,000 mark.

Funeral directors across the country have weighed in on the ever increasing prices, claiming they have definitely noticed a change in what customers are choosing.

“Yes, cost is increasing,” a Queensland non-metro funeral director explained in the report. “It’s increasing so rapidly and so much that people are just not able to afford most of what the funeral industry is offering. So they’re going for the cheapest things and then they’re floundering to make up the rest.”

Their thoughts were echoed by a funeral director in metro New South Wales, who said: “Yes, prices have increased with our company… For many, many years, funeral directors have been putting a lot of money into it because they’ve got to pay for their leased building and sometimes crematoriums or cemeteries which they own.”

Read more: Death ain’t cheap: The most expensive places to die in Australia revealed

These increasing prices have led to a shift towards cremations as the cheaper of the two main options, with 68 per cent of funerals in Australia involving a cremation, compared to 32 per cent which involve a burial.

According to funeral directors, as well as being less costly, cremations are generally easier and simpler to organise during a time of hardship.

“Burials are becoming more and more difficult,” a QLD non-metro funeral director explained in the report.

“There’s a huge trend away from it, largely because of the expense and the lack of available grave sites… so the trend is towards cremation because it’s cheaper and it’s much more available.”

A NSW metro funeral director also weighed in on the topic adding: “It’s a result of the transient sort of lifestyles that we live. So a lot of people move around and if you have someone buried somewhere and you’re possibly moving around it’s not as easy to visit, whereas if you’ve got ashes, you can take them with you.”

Have you planned your funeral? Would you prefer a burial or a cremation?

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your financial or legal situation, objectives or needs. That means it’s not financial product or legal advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a financial or legal decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get independent, licensed financial services or legal advice.

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