S mentioned in our Funeral Costs section, it is unlikely that anyone can undertake a funeral for less than $1000.

The minimum cost – and this would apply outside major population areas – would be in the $1500 to $2000 range.

(“The State” will dispose of unclaimed bodies for a lesser expense, but this is not an option available to the general public. Also, what used to be called “a pauper’s funeral” in “an unmarked grave”, is no longer practised.)

It is open to anyone to ask a funeral director – who has their their own funeral home premises, or is “unattached” – how much they would charge for a no-frills funeral. And the “quote” offered would probably open to negotiation, if not bargaining.

If this is contemplated, then those asking for the no-frills-quote would stipulate that they wanted:

1. Transfer of the deceased to a mortuary in the care of the funeral director chosen

2. All necessary paper-work and other legal requirements taken care of

3. The cheapest cardboard or similar casket provided

4. No viewing of the deceased

5. Transport to a convenient crematorium

6. No attendance at the crematorium or funeral service

7. Disposal of the ashes by scattering in the crematorium’s rose garden

Payment would be made probably by way of a 50% deposit, and the rest on the completion of the funeral.

In a metropolitan context, this should be available for around $2000, give or take a few hundred dollars (if not, shop around).

However, some might want what is called a “minimum funeral” or “base-cost funeral”.

This, too, should be readily available on request. As an example of one such funeral option,a NSW-based funeral company currently offers a $2900 no-frills package that includes:

1. Pick up and transfer to a public mortuary

2. Preparation of the body for cremation (or burial – though that option costs more)

3. Transfer to a crematorium or cemetery chapel in a funeral vehicle (hearse)

4. Opportunity for an informal ceremony

5. Cremation or burial (no graveside attendance)

6. All documentation taken care of

7. All crematorium and funeral director’s fees (cemetery plot, etc, fees extra)

8. Opportunity for mourners to gather afterwards

This particular firm offers, as other funeral directors also do, extra services and specific additions (such as flowers) on a quoted-cost basis.