Planning ahead is generally considered a great idea for most aspects of life.
From planning activities for an upcoming holiday and your career pathway through to creating a schedule for the week.
Yet, planning a prepaid funeral is often ignored until the last minute or when a grieving family is left to plan the service on their own – leading to rushed decisions and financial stress.
By creating a prepaid funeral plan, you can relax knowing the funeral service will meet your exact wishes, and your family won’t have to worry about money or make the tough decisions by themselves.
To help you get the most out of your Prepaid Funeral Plan, here are 5 key details to consider.
Know what you want in a Funeral
Funeral planning requires a lot of decision making.
Sure, this may sound daunting at first. But the good news is you’re not expected to know everything on Day One. Rest assured, your funeral director will guide you each step of the way and help you make the right choices.
In saying this, it might help you to start thinking about what you want in a funeral now, before you start approaching funeral directors. This can speed up the planning process and ensure you are genuinely happy with the choices you make.
Start thinking about the below details to get the ball rolling:
- Burial or cremation service
- Guest list
- Type of coffin, casket or urn
- Location – venues, cemetery or cremation, final resting place
- Choice of celebrant, clergy, or civil celebrant
- Newspaper notices
- Music – live, pre-recorded, or none
- Funeral flowers
- Stationary – memorial booklet, thank you cards, and more
- Readings, speeches, and eulogies
- Whether or not to have a viewing
- Provision of staff and vehicles for the day
- Temporary accommodation for interstate or overseas funeral guests
- Post-funeral catering
Upfront Deposit or Instalments?
Most prepaid funeral plans give you the option to pay the deposit as a lump sum or instalments.
If you choose to pay in instalments, you’ll have a set number of years to pay off the total funeral cost. This is ideal as it means you don’t have to sacrifice your day-to-day living needs in order to afford the funeral you want.
Regardless of the payment option you choose you will never pay interest. And you always pay today’s cost of the funeral. Thus, you avoid paying a higher cost due to inflation later on
Prepaying could benefit your Pension Entitlements
One significant benefit to prepaying for your funeral is the contributions you make to the funeral bond can be excluded from the age pension assets test.
So, no matter how much you contribute to your prepaid funeral plan, it won’t affect your eligibility for the Centrelink Aged Pension. In fact, depending on your circumstances, doing so may in fact increase your odds of receiving the pension or boost your current pension rate.
Do you Intend to move Interstate or Overseas?
Some prepaid funeral plans do not let you transfer your plan if you move to another state or outside the funeral director’s service area.
At this stage of life, you may already be settled and comfortable with the idea of staying put. However, if you plan to sell your current home and travel or move elsewhere, this may affect your prepaid funeral plan.
For this reason, make sure to find out what the terms are of your plan before you sign anything.