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Planning • 3 min read

The alternatives to traditional funerals in Australia

A funeral doesn’t have to be a sombre affair. Here are some types of funerals you may not have considered.

Our lives are celebrated through the milestones we share and coming together as a family can be a special time. But there’s one event which many of us don’t like thinking about—funerals.

Even if it makes you uncomfortable, having a plan in place for your funeral means your life can be celebrated in a way that is true to your values. It may also relieve pressure on those you leave behind.

A funeral doesn’t have to be a sombre affair. Because so many people choose to be buried or cremated, most funerals are held in funeral homes which have the necessary facilities. Traditionally, a funeral ceremony will include some religious elements like hymn singing and prayers.

If you’re not religious, or you feel a strong connection to nature, however, there are other options available. Here are some types of funerals you may not have considered:

Burial on private property

The rules differ in each Australian state and territory, but you can apply to be buried on private land. This can be a touching way to connect to family origins or a physical place which has a special meaning for you or your family.

Natural burial sites

Most states have approved natural burial sites, where native vegetation flourishes without pesticides or herbicides. Burial without a coffin is allowed at these sites. This could be a suitable option if you feel a strong connection to nature.

Burial at sea

This is an option, although it can be complicated. It requires some planning, including applying for a permit and choosing a location which meets local regulations.

If you want to be cremated but you don’t want a traditional funeral service, you can go for a ‘no-service funeral’. This is where a funeral home will do the cremation and return the ashes to your loved ones.

There are lots of creative options for what to do with ashes:

  • Scatter them in a memorable place (check local laws for any restrictions)
  • Plant the ashes in a biodegradable urn with a tree sapling and become a living memorial
  • Have the ashes made into a piece of jewellery
  • Be put into a vinyl record of your favourite song
  • Store ashes in a traditional urn at home
  • Mix the ashes with paint and become a work of art, or
  • Put a portion of the ashes into a teddy bear, so those who miss you can give you a hug.

There really are no requirements for funerals, that’s why it’s a good idea to make sure your will reflects your wishes and that you have a financial plan in place to cover the costs.

Every type of funeral will have some costs associated with it because a person or company will have to provide a service at some point down the line. These might include a coffin, flowers, cremation or burial or travel costs for relatives who live far away.

Funeral Insurance can help you make sure you’re covering the costs and not leaving a legacy of debt. It can make a difference when the time comes, and remind your loved ones that you are, and always will be, there for them.


Important information

Cover under the Funeral Insurance Benefit is for Accidental Death only for the first 12 months of cover, including for any increases. Accidental Death has a special meaning in the PDS and some causes of death are excluded during this time—please refer to the PDS or call us for further details. After the first 12 months, the Funeral Insurance Benefit provides cover for all causes of death.

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**Bonus 10% more cover is calculated on the fifth anniversary from the Policy Commencement Date. Each adult life insured will have an extra 10% of the average Funeral Insurance Cover amount held during the previous five years added to their Funeral Insurance benefit. Terms and conditions apply. Refer to the PDS for more information.

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