How to Preplan Your Funeral in Australia

Learn how to preplan your funeral in Australia with this complete guide for prearranging your funeral in 2021.
How to Preplan Your Funeral in Australia

For most people, writing a funeral plan and prepaying it is a foreign concept that's usually met with confusion and discomfort. But learning how to preplan your funeral is an important step in organising your estate and helps save your loved ones unnecessary stress and costs.

Why should you preplan your funeral?

Like any big decision in life, it’s helpful to take time to research and consider your options. Planning your funeral is no exception. Here are three reasons why you should consider preplanning your funeral:

1) Ease the stress on your loved ones.

Preplanning your funeral is a way for you to support your family from making difficult decisions during an emotional time. In addition, it can also help relieve the financial burden of having to pay for a funeral.

2) Make your final wishes known.

By preplanning your funeral, you give yourself the chance to get the send-off you want. For example, you can determine whether you want a burial or cremation, a traditional funeral service or a celebration of life. Whatever the details, you get to decide how others will reflect on your life.

3) Save money.

You can reduce the upfront costs and financial burden when you prearrange your funeral and pay costs in advance. In addition, you can also take advantage of current prices, not future prices.

Things to consider when preplanning your funeral

When you decide to preplan your funeral, there are some important decisions to make. Here are few things that you need to consider when planning your funeral.

The details of your funeral service

Whether or not you want a traditional funeral, choosing where to host the funeral is an important wish that should be honoured. However, wherever you choose to have the funeral, you’ll then need to be specific about music, religious guidelines, additional services and if you want your body to be present.

Burial vs Cremation

Deciding on how you want to lay your body to rest is one of the most important decisions you can make. If your preference is burial, you’ll need to research casket options. These days, you can even get earth-friendly caskets that can be decorated and personalised to celebrate a life well-lived. Or you can choose from different types of cremation.

What are the options for prearranging a funeral?

In Australia, there are three options for prearranging a funeral. These include prepaid funerals, funeral insurance and funeral bonds. Here are the major differences between the three options.

Prepaid funeral

A prepaid funeral is an agreement between you and a funeral home or funeral service provider. The arrangement requires you to make a lump-sum payment or instalments that cover the cost of your funeral service in the future. Then, when the time comes, the money pays for your funeral. With this option, you can lock in a price and typically save money over the long term.

Funeral insurance

​​Funeral insurance helps loved ones meet unexpected funeral costs by providing payment to assist with funeral expenses. However, depending on the provider, policies typically only cover accidental death in the first 12 months, and premiums can go up as you age. Therefore, it’s important to read the fine print before committing.

Funeral bonds

Funeral bonds are an investment that enables an individual to accumulate funds to meet future funeral expenses. Investing in a funeral bond is similar to life insurance, whereby the benefit is payable on death. However, it’s also important to note that, unlike a prepaid funeral, the funeral bond goes towards the funeral expense but does not guarantee full coverage.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to preplan your funeral in Australia can help ensure your wishes are known. In addition, you can help ease an emotionally turbulent time for your loved ones and save the financial hardship of funeral expenses for your family.

Check out our guides to learn more about planning your estate and writing your Will.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. This blog should not be relied upon as legal, financial, accounting or tax advice.

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