Things you might not know about prepaid funerals

Want to know how prepaid funerals work? Do you need help finding the best option for you? Here are a few things you need to know before deciding if prepaid funerals are best for you.
Things you might not know about prepaid funerals

When you invest in a prepaid funeral, you are taking control of your future. With plenty of time to weigh your options, you will be able to make the best decisions for yourself and your family. Getting organised for the end of your life ensures your loved ones celebrate your life the way you want it done. You don’t want your relatives taking out a second mortgage on your property to lay you to rest. Prepaying makes the transition as painless as possible for your grieving family, whilst also addressing your final wishes.

What is a prepaid funeral?

A prepaid funeral is a legally binding contract between you and a funeral service provider which ensures that the service you pay for today will be delivered when the time comes.

Typically, you would choose a prepaid funeral to spare family members any unnecessary concern or stress. You may not be able to control their feelings about your passing, but by prepaying for your funeral, you relieve them of part of the burden.

It also helps families understand their loved one’s final wishes so they can help in creating the passage. Planning relieves them of guesswork and guilt.

The benefits of a prepaid funeral

Prepaying for your funeral protects you and your loved ones from rising costs by locking in today’s price. Not only are you avoiding inflation, but you are also alleviating their financial responsibility.

Depending on your financial situation, you can usually either pay the entire balance upfront or set up a payment plan in order to pay off your funeral over time.

Another advantage of prepaying your cremation is that your wishes will be known. Your family won’t have to guess what you would’ve liked or spend their time researching and comparing different providers. You will have saved them the hassle.

By choosing to prepay your cremation, you are also easing the time pressure that comes with a traditional funeral. Instead, your loved ones can arrange a celebration of life service at a time that suits them, and once your ashes are returned. More time can be particularly important if your family lives interstate or overseas.

Additional fees

By prepaying your cremation, you are locking in today’s price with no more to pay. Most often there won’t be any additional fees to pay when the time comes. The exception to this is that from time to time there may be an additional charge for transport. For example, if a person passes away quite far from the residential area registered in the original plan. To avoid this, it’s best to advise your prepaid funeral provider if you are planning to move house.

Prepaid cremation or funeral insurance: which is better?

If you have funeral insurance, when the time comes the person you nominate will be paid out a predetermined amount. This may or may not cover the entire cost of the funeral, depending on inflation between now and then. In addition, they will be paid a lump sum and will then need to arrange the funeral service on your behalf.

Another factor to consider is that as you age, it’s likely that the premiums you are asked to pay to maintain your funeral insurance will increase. If you skip a payment or cannot afford the escalating charges, you will lose your benefits. Your insurance could laps you might end up with nothing to show for the premiums already paid.

In contrast, when you prepay your cremation, not only are you locking in the price but you are also locking in the service. Your family won’t be left with any questions about what you would’ve wanted and they won’t have to worry about coordinating all the different elements. With one phone call, they will be setting your wishes in motion. 

In the event that you transition before making the last payment on a prepaid cremation, those left behind will be able to pay the remaining balance either from your estate or on your behalf.

Which option sounds better to you? It seems obvious to us! 

The price of a prepaid funeral and a prepaid cremation

Today, the price of a traditional funeral can range from $4,000 and $15,000 or more. This can include a funeral director, transport of the deceased, a fancy casket, a service vehicle, newspaper notices, death certificates, funeral flowers, a burial plot, a wake, a burial or cremation service…the list goes on! As prices rise over time, so too will the cost of each of these elements.

In contrast, a direct cremation service can be locked in today for around $2,500 incl. GST, depending on where you live. With the cremation sorted, your loved ones can celebrate your life in a way that suits them and their budget, when the time comes.

Getting organised feels good

Organising your funeral can bring up a range of emotions. It might come as a surprise to know that it’s very common to feel a deep sense of relief once you have your affairs in order.

Planning your funeral ahead of time prevents your loved ones from having to make rash decisions during an already painful time. The knowledge that you’ve made a traumatic time less stressful for your family is enough for most people to explore a prepaid funeral plan.

Sharing your funeral plans

It’s almost always a good idea to share your funeral plans with people near you. That may be your next of kin, your nominated executor, hospital staff or staff at your residence if you are living in aged care. Doing so may alleviate some burdens for your surviving relatives.

Keeping a copy of the contract safe alongside your Will and other important documents will make it easier for everyone, when the time comes. It is critical to have open lines of communication with everyone linked to your affairs to avoid confrontations.


Wrap up

Prepaying for your cremation allows you to lock in today’s price, and in turn minimise confusion or worries for those left behind. Removing the financial burden of your final disposition allows your family to focus on grieving your loss, easing an emotionally overwhelming time.

If you are ready to prepay your cremation, our team of dedicated funeral planners can help. For an obligation free fixed-price quote, please call them today on 1300 945 533.

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