How funeral insurance can help manage funeral expense
In Australia, a typical funeral can cost between $4,000 to $15,000 (Money Smart, 2013). Is it seriously that expensive?
The traditional funeral arrangement
My grandfather was of Chinese descent, so it was only natural that both my dad and uncle wanted his funeral ceremony to be held in the way of a Chinese tradition.
Traditional Chinese Custom Funeral Ceremony (Shrine)
Note:The Breakdown of Funeral Costs
|Basic funeral costs||$ (AUD)|
|Service fee||from $2000|
|Removal of body||$300|
|Advertising (death and funeral notice in newspapers and obituaries)||$285|
|Extra cars (rough cost per car)||$330|
|Coffin/casket||Up to $10,000+|
|Cemetery or grave fees (This includes opening and can include the plaque)||From $3500+|
|Re-opening fee||From $1800|
|Certificates for cremation||$185|
|Cremation fees (This includes the use of a chapel)||$950|
|Disposal of ashes||$ (AUD)|
|Wall, niche, urn, rose garden||from $1200|
These costs are estimates based on NSW State Library's 2011 study of funeral costs.
- Coffin: that my father had selected was from a budget range. The more expensive coffins can cost up to $20,000.
- Funeral home venue hire: for a total of 5 days (for the wake).
- Funeral home services: include funeral director’s fees, embalming and dressing.
- Other costs: include burial clothing, monk, celebrant and ritual items.
- Columbarium: is a niche wall that is constructed to store cremated remains (usually preserved in a decorative urn), as the final resting place.
Why did the wake take five days to host? Based on Feng Shui reasons, when a member of a Chinese family dies, it is important to consult a monk for advice on the best day and hour when one can be buried/cremated. My grandfather died on a Tuesday and as advised by the monk, he was cremated on a Sunday, as it was the best day to send him off. The five day wake also allowed our extended families and friends living in different parts of the country to come and pay their respects.
Do you have life insurance?
“Mum, did grandpa have life insurance?” I asked, a few days after the funeral. “Umm... Well, no. You know, insurance was expensive back in those days,” she replied. I realised that all of my grandfather’s funeral expenses had been paid by my family out of their own pockets. “How about you and dad?” “We do. You never know what can happen these days,” she said. “I mean, it’s still expensive, but at least I am certain that you won’t have to worry about all the financial stuff when we’re gone.” Both my parents work harder than anyone else I know and everything earned, they saved. Family means the world to them, so they always make sure that they take care of the family the best way that they can.
Dale Maroney on preparing for a funeral in Australia
Dale Maroney from Walter Carter Funerals shares her insight into funeral planning in Australia and why it is important to be prepared, even for your own.About Walter Carter Funerals Walter Carter Funerals in Sydney's eastern suburb of Bondi Junction is a family-owned and run funeral service provider. Established in 1887, it is one of the oldest and independent funeral home in Australia that continues to provide service and care of the highest quality - helping people grow through the experience of loss, rather than be diminished by it. Walter Carter Funerals is a boutique funeral home, with experienced staff that are committed to provide unparalleled care and support for the eastern suburbs community and families. Available 24/7, Walter Carter will ensure everything is taken care of - whether the choice of service is traditional or contemporary, or burial or cremation. It understands the diverse cultures and faiths in the community and make every effort to accommodate all customs and traditions. It also offers grief and bereavement follow up and support to assist families following the death of their loved one. Walter Carter Funerals 302 Oxford Street Bondi Junction NSW 2022 Ph. (02) 9389 3499 www.waltercarter.com.au