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Arranging a Funeral

Funeral directors

The funeral director will carry out many of the basic requirements for a funeral. She or he will usually look after:

  • collecting documents and meeting legal requirements, including obtaining a cremation permit
  • removal of the body
  • the coffin (or casket) and care of the body
  • purchase of burial plot and arrangements for its opening and closing
  • provision of a hearse (limited mileage) is usually included in the cost
  • graveside service or service at a crematorium.

Beyond this, the funeral director may also arrange a pre-burial service, organise the use of funeral parlour or chapel, arrange for mourners' cars, flowers and newspaper advertisements. Charges will depend on the amount of work undertaken by the funeral director.

Funeral costs

There are no set fees for a funeral. Costs vary depending on the cemetery or crematorium. There are also variations in the cost of caskets and coffins and in the cost of grave plots. Where plots are in a lawn section, the charges will include perpetual care of the plot in addition to the cost of a memorial plaque. Where a double grave is used, costs will be limited to a re-opening fee as the plot itself will have been paid for at the first opening. Different funeral directors offer different facilities - ranging from expensive and elaborate parlours and coffins to simple buildings and inexpensive coffins. It is worth contacting more than one director to find the kind and the cost of services that suit you and your family.

Pre-paid funerals

Where people pre-pay for their funeral the money paid must be held in trust and full details must be given to the person. These documents should be kept in a secure place.

Arranging a Funeral  :  Last Revised: Fri Nov 7th 2014
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.