Navigating the Costs of Funeral Services in Singapore

Understanding the costs and options for funeral services in Singapore is crucial for making informed decisions during a challenging time.

This article delves into the average costs of funerals in Singapore, the availability of payment plans in funeral homes, various payment options, and cost-effective methods for laying a loved one to rest. Additionally, it offers practical tips to help you manage funeral expenses effectively.

What is the Average Funeral Cost in Singapore?

The cost of a funeral in Singapore can vary significantly based on several factors, including the type of funeral service, the duration of the service, and the religious affiliation.

As of 2024, the cost for a professionally serviced funeral with a funeral director ranges depending on the religious service and the number of days the service is held. For instance, a two-day Christian funeral averages around S$4,519.16, while a two-day Taoist funeral can be more expensive, costing about S$8,214.36. Buddhist funerals for the same duration average around S$5,632.00. The cost increases with the number of days the service is held, with seven-day services being more expensive​​.

In general, funerals in Singapore include services such as room setup, decoration, casket, tables and chairs, fans, lighting, and a restroom. Additional features like catering may also affect the total cost. It’s also noted that funerals held in HDB (Housing and Development Board) areas tend to be cheaper by about 13% compared to those held in funeral parlours.

For those opting to manage the funeral without a professional director, the costs can be lower but require more preparation. Casket prices can start from around S$2,000 for basic materials and can go much higher for premium materials. Cremation is a more cost-effective option, with prices ranging between S$315 to S$1,100.

Do Funeral Homes Offer Payment Plans?

Yes, some funeral homes in Singapore offer payment plans for funeral services. For example, Singapore Funeral Services (SFS) introduced a monthly instalment package for pre-planned funeral services, aiming to reduce the financial burden on family members. This indicates a move towards more flexible payment options in the funeral industry in Singapore, catering to the varied financial capabilities of clients. For specific details and arrangements, it’s advisable to directly contact the funeral service providers as offerings and terms can vary.

Funeral Payment Options You Can Consider

Funeral payment options typically include various methods to ease the financial burden associated with funeral expenses. Common payment options are:

  1. Pre-Payment Plans: Some funeral homes offer plans where you can pay for funeral services in advance. This can lock in current prices and ease the burden on surviving family members.
  2. Payment Installments: Funeral providers may offer payment plans, allowing families to pay in instalments over time rather than a lump sum upfront.
  3. Insurance: Some life insurance policies include funeral expense coverage. It’s important to check the policy details for such provisions.
  4. Government Assistance: In some regions, government assistance or subsidies may be available for funeral expenses, especially for low-income families.
  5. Credit Cards or Loans: Families might also consider using credit cards or taking out personal loans to cover funeral costs.

Consider Direct Cremation for an Affordable Goodbye

The most affordable way to lay a loved one to rest generally involves opting for a direct cremation without a formal funeral service. This approach typically includes the basic services of a funeral director, transportation of the body, a simple container for the body, and the cremation process.

The cost can be significantly lower than a traditional funeral with a viewing, ceremony, or elaborate casket. It’s important to compare the prices and services of different providers to find the most cost-effective option. Additionally, forgoing a formal ceremony or holding a small memorial service at home can further reduce costs.

Best Tips to Reduce Funeral Costs

Planning a funeral can be a challenging and emotionally taxing experience, especially when trying to manage costs. It’s important to remember that a meaningful farewell doesn’t have to be expensive.

There are several ways to honour your loved one while keeping expenses under control, including:

  1. Price Comparison: Contact multiple funeral homes to compare prices and services. Prices can vary significantly for similar services.
  2. Basic Service Package: Opt for the most basic service package, which typically includes only essential services.
  3. In-Home Memorial Service: Consider hosting a memorial service at home or another personal venue, which can be more intimate and cost-effective.
  4. Purchase Casket Online: Online retailers often offer caskets at lower prices than funeral homes.
  5. Handle Some Arrangements Yourself: Personalizing certain aspects, such as creating your own memorial programs or floral arrangements, can reduce costs.
  6. Avoid Embalming: If you’re having a closed-casket funeral or immediate cremation, embalming isn’t necessary and can be skipped.
  7. Alternative Urn: For cremated remains, consider using a meaningful container you already own instead of purchasing a new urn.
  8. Government Assistance: Investigate if there are any local government or community programs that assist with funeral expenses.
  9. Crowdfunding: In some cases, setting up a crowdfunding campaign can help cover expenses through donations from friends, family, and community members.

Final Thoughts

Navigating funeral arrangements can be a complex and emotional process. By understanding the costs, payment options, and ways to economize, you can plan a respectful and dignified farewell for your loved one without undue financial strain.

Whether choosing direct cremation or utilizing various cost-saving strategies, it’s important to remember that the value of a funeral lies not in its expense but in its ability to honour the life and memory of the departed.


Denisse loves reading and writing about culture, history, and politics. Outside writing articles for The Singaporean, Denisse enjoys musicals, gaming, and Harry Potter.

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