Living Legacies funerals generally cost far less than most mainstream industrial funerals. Families can easily save $5000 by doing most of the tasks themselves. The majority of Living Legacies funerals cost around $3000, as a rough guideline, and the most expensive was $5000, compared to $8000 t0 $15000 for a funeral director.

Total costs vary widely according to the wishes of the family and requirements of the deceased. Here are some indications:

Living Legacies handbook is $35, including postage, and buying a copy and doing it all within the family is the lowest financial cost option, although it may have quite a high emotional cost if the family is unprepared or unconfident.

Coffins range between about $950 for an untreated, unpainted, unlined, biodegradable, locally made, pine coffin which you can decorate yourself, up to around $3000 for a top of the range eco coffin sourced from the North Island. See the Coffins page for more details. Or you could build your own in advance out of untreated natural timber (not MDF or ply) for less if you have the time and skills.

Living Legacies funeral facilitation services are charged out at $650 per day in half day ($325) increments, for assistance, guidance, support, information and resources (minimum half a day). This can include celebrancy as part of the package. Some families may only need half a day of guidance and then feel confident to do the rest themselves, others may need 4-5 days of assistance – it varies with the situation and levels of confidence within the family. Some of the charged out work may start before meeting with the family, for example, phone or email guidance and information, cemetery bookings, etc.

For funerals outside the Nelson/Tasman region travel and accommodation costs will also apply.

Other services such as funeral planning consultations, grief counselling, etc are $80 per hour.

Mileage is charged at IRD rates.

Natural burial in the Tasman and Nelson districts currently costs around $1500  – $2000, and cremation (not eco-friendly) is approximately $500 at Nelson City Council’s excellent crematorium at Wakapuaka. Other areas have different costs so check with your local council.

Transport – are family and friends’ vehicles sufficient or do you want to hire something grander?

Other optional costs, especially those associated with a funeral ceremony, which may be incurred include:

Venue hire – where is the funeral going to be?

Flowers – will there be any? Homegrown? Professional floral arrangements? Donations to charity in lieu?

Catering – will there be refreshments? Will mourners each bring a plate or do you want to hire commercial caterers?

Celebrant – can be $200 – $500

Death Certificates – $26.50 each currently. How many do you need to close bank accounts, etc?