Cost of death: The most expensive capital cities to hold a funeral revealed

Posted: 24 March 2021 10:53 am
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The most expensive cities to die in throughout the country have been revealed as part of a new study by Finder.

Finder analysed the cost of burials and cremations from major funeral providers in each capital city and found that Perth came out on top as the most expensive place to die, with the average funeral here costing $8,261.

Hobart ranked as the second most expensive city to hold a funeral on average, at $7,588, followed closely by Melbourne ($7,581).

On the other hand, Brisbane emerged as the cheapest city to die in, with the average funeral service costing around $6,728 – that's $1,533 less than what you'd pay in Perth for a similar service.

Kate Browne, personal finance specialist at Finder, said that the cost of a funeral can come as a nasty shock.

"Unfortunately, many people don't realise how expensive funerals can be until it's time to foot the bill.

"A basic funeral can easily set you back more than $5,000, while more elaborate options can be closer to $15,000.

"Dealing with the death of a loved one is extremely difficult, let alone having to organise and pay for a funeral.

"In some cases, it can help to prepay the cost of a funeral to reduce the financial burden at the time, but this obviously isn't always possible," Browne said.

Finder's research found that a burial service alone can cost upwards of $5,070, depending on the cemetery and grave type.

You can also be charged up to an additional $2,909 if your loved one passes away interstate and needs to be repatriated.

Browne said that it is still possible to hold a meaningful memorial service without spending an excessive amount.

"Holding a budget-friendly funeral doesn't mean your loved one is any less valued.

"Keeping costs to a minimum can reduce a grieving family's burden, let them mourn and remember their loved one without an excessive bill at the end of it."

"To save money on funeral costs, consider holding the service on a weekday, choose a cremation over a burial and keep extras like flowers to a minimum.

"Funeral insurance is another way to finance the cost, but remember that if you hold your policy for a long time, you may end up paying more in premiums than you would on the funeral," Browne said.

Cost of a funeral in Australian capital cities

RankCityAverage cost
1Perth$8,261
2Hobart$7,588
3Melbourne$7,581
4Canberra$7,032
5Adelaide$6,993
6Sydney$6,976
7Brisbane$6,728

Methodology:

  • Finder researched the burial and cremation costs for a basic single service on major providers' websites in each state.
  • For comparison purposes, only basic services were included: professional service fees, transportation and mortuary care, storage and preparation of the deceased, coffin, death certificate and cremation permit. Additional costs such as celebrants, venue hire, burial or cremation services and flowers were not included.
  • Burial prices were weighted at 33% and cremation at 67% to match the popularity rate in Australian capital cities. Darwin was excluded as prices were not available.

How to save on rent if you can't move home:

  • Skip the extras. Only pay for the essentials. There's no need to fork out extra for embalming, flowers, funeral cars and limousines or funeral notices.
  • Opt for cremation. Unless your loved one has made a specific request, try and opt for a cremation if possible. The price difference between cremations and coffins can range from $300 for a simple cremation capsule to an eye-watering $10,000 for a premium coffin.
  • Hold the wake at home. If possible, consider hosting the wake at a friend or relative's place or your own house, rather than paying to book out a venue. This can save you a few hundred dollars, if not more. Keep the catering simple too.

Visit Finder's Life Insurance hub to compare life insurance brands in Australia.

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