For most people organising a funeral is something they would rather not be doing. The ways of observing funerals and the choices available to you are many and varied. Similarly the costs and fees for the different parts of a funeral will also require your consideration. The funeral is an important step in coming to terms with the death of someone close. The service itself allows people to share their feelings with family and friends. It is an opportunity to celebrate a person’s life and to share memories. There is no right or wrong way to honour someone’s life or to say goodbye. As with most things your decisions may be determined by the costs involved. For a more detailed explanation, please head to our Price Comparison page
The total cost of a funeral is dependent on a number of factors, some that we can control and others that we can’t. Your Funeral Director will be able to guide you regarding costs and expenses. Some of the fixed costs will vary depending on the area you live in; for example burial fees vary depending which council we are dealing with. The price variations mean that without sitting down and going through specific requests it is hard to put a price on a funeral. Think of a funeral like you would building a house; until you know exactly what you want a builder cannot tell you what the house will cost. What we can tell you however, is that the final account can be as low as $2500 for a direct cremation to in excess of $20,000 if the likes of body repatriation is required. Our average account is approximately $8500. In addition to our account you will receive an account from the local council of $750 – $5500, depending on whether you choose to be buried or cremated.
For more information on how your choices can affect the cost of a funeral, have a look at these examples with our price comparison.
The funeral account is made up from the following charges:
Funeral Director’s Professional Fee:
Please be aware that all funeral homes operate differently. When looking at the Professional Service Fee it is important to ask what it does and does not include. For example, some companies charge separately for each of their services such as hearse hire, transfer or embalming services. Whilst each on it’s own may not seem like much, by the time you put them all together things add up pretty quickly. At Eagar’s we charge a fixed fee of $4427.50 including GST (correct as at March 2017) that includes, but is not limited to, some of or all of the following services –
- Personal attendance to receive instructions from the family
- Transferring the deceased into our care
- Liaising with minister/celebrants, florists, organists, churches or other venues
- Liaising with medical authorities regarding medical certificates, cremation certificates and burial applications
- Mortuary services including hygienic care of the deceased, dressing and preparation for viewing
- Arranging funeral according to families instructions
- Preparing and organising newspaper notices
- Booking cemetery or crematorium
- Use of vehicles for funeral service
- Use of facilities for viewings
- Service sheet preparation and photo manipulation
- Arranging catering and caterers
The Funeral Directors professional fee also covers overheads, vehicles, and on call staff – 24 hours. This fee can vary sometimes depending on our involvement in the funeral and services provided to the family.
We have a large selection of caskets available. These range from a basic customwood casket at $895.00 to a solid timber casket or couch for several thousand.
Expenses Paid on Behalf of the Family:
These are expenses generally paid by the Funeral Director on behalf of the family and relate to the funeral experience –
- Flowers – Casket Spray or Natural Arrangement
- Venue Hire
- Minister / Celebrants Fees
- Organist Fees
- Newspaper Notices – the cost depends on the length of the notice, out of district papers are usually double the price of our local paper and we have seen accounts of over one thousand dollars for newspaper notices only.
- Personalised Service Sheets
- Death Certificates
- Any other arrangements the family has asked to be made on their behalf.
Cost Saving Considerations:
Whilst we can and usually do look after paying all of the above for our families, there are ways of reducing the funeral expenses by families looking after things themselves. For example, providing your own flowers (you may be able to pick them from your own garden), preparing and printing your own service sheets (many people have access to computers, scanners and copiers), using your own vehicles for transferring your family member (once a person has been embalmed and placed into a casket, a number of our families use their own vans or station wagons – especially if travelling out of the district).
Burial and Cremation Fees
These are charged from the local council. Your Funeral Director will be able to let you know these charges.
There is a funeral grant available from Work and Income New Zealand. It is a lump sum payment to assist with funeral expenses, it is means tested and will not cover the full cost of the funeral. We can assist you with the application. You will need to provide us with a recent bank statement for the deceased and sign the application.
If a person’s death is as a result of an accident, an application can be made to ACC for a funeral grant. We can assist you with this application and usually do on your behalf. There may be other grants that dependants may be entitled to.
Closing Bank Accounts
We are able to assist with the closing of bank accounts if the balance of the account is under $11,000.00. Please ask your funeral director to assist you with this.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding cost please feel free to contact our office.