The pros and cons of DIY funerals vs funeral directors

The passing of a loved one is an emotional and challenging time – especially when you have to be part of the planning process. Given the changing nature of funeral arrangements, more Australians are considering alternatives to using traditional funeral directors. Here, we explore the advantages and disadvantages of DIY funerals versus engaging a funeral director.

Exploring funeral arrangement methods

Planning a funeral starts with a single choice: do you go down the traditional route with a professional funeral director, or do you take advantage of the rising trend of DIY funerals? Recognising the pros and cons between these two approaches will help you make a well-informed decision during a sensitive time.

DIY funerals: Pros and cons


  • Cost savings: DIY funerals often come at a lower cost compared to traditional funeral services, as families can choose the most cost-effective options for different parts of the funeral.
  • Personal involvement: Families have more control over the funeral process from start to finish, which allows you to personalise the ceremony to honour the deceased's wishes.


  • Emotional strain: Taking on the responsibility of organising a funeral can be emotionally overwhelming for family members, adding stress to an already difficult time.
  • Legalities and logistics: Managing the legal requirements and getting the necessary permits, as well as handling logistics, can be complex and time-consuming without professional support.

Funeral directors: Pros and cons


  • Professional expertise: Funeral directors have the experience and knowledge to handle every aspect of the funeral with precision and care.
  • Relieve the burden: They take on the burden from grieving families by managing all the logistics, legal and practical sides of the funeral.


  • Can be expensive: Hiring a funeral director often comes at a significantly higher cost due to the professional services and facilities provided.
  • Limited personalisation: While funeral directors can offer you a range of different service types to choose from, some families might feel limited in how they are able to personalise the funeral to reflect the individuality of their loved one.

4 factors that might impact your decision

  1. Cost: Consider how much money is available for your funeral and if you have funeral insurance. DIY funerals tend to be more cost-effective, with families able to manage their expenses by picking less-costly options for services, caskets and venues. Funeral directors provide comprehensive services but at a higher cost.
  2. Emotional and practical considerations: It’s important to consider how you and your family may feel about organising a funeral on their own. At times it may seem like the easier and more cost-effective option, however it may be worth having a conversation with your loved ones in advance to discuss how they would manage organising a DIY funeral during an emotional time.
  3. Personalisation and flexibility: If you wish for your funeral to be personalised and have flexibility with your plans, a DIY funeral will ultimately put the power in you and your family’s hands to make every decision.
  4. Professional expertise: Funeral directors bring their expertise in managing legal, paperwork and logistical details. DIY funerals, however, demand that the families must navigate these complexities on their own, potentially adding stress and further complications.

Both DIY funerals and funeral directors have their merits and drawbacks. The choice ultimately rests on your personal preferences, financial considerations and whether you have funeral insurance, as well as the level of involvement required to organise the final farewell for your loved one.

Whether it’s a traditional or DIY funeral you want, help to take the financial strain out of the equation by comparing funeral insurance with Choosi. Compare online or call 1300 364 619 to get started.