Pre-Planning Your Funeral
When faced with having to make funeral arrangements, most people have no prior experience in organising such an event, and little knowledge of what to do.
Funeral Directors can alleviate this burden for you by providing a range of services, allowing you to choose an appropriate funeral that will be conducted professionally and with dignity. The role of the Funeral Director is to assist in every way possible to ensure the wishes of the family and the deceased are fulfilled.
The costs associated with a funeral vary due to the number of choices available, which allows a true reflection of personal, cultural and religious needs.
A Pre-Paid Funeral is one where the family and Funeral Director establish the funeral requisites and services that they wish to contract and pay for now, for provision at a future date.
When planning a funeral decisions need to be made on the type of service and its location along with the content, music, readings, poetry and order of service, whether there will be a burial or a cremation, the choice of a coffin or a casket, the selection of funeral notices, deciding on floral tributes and looking at catering options. The Funeral Director will ensure that wishes are fulfilled.
Generally there are five cost components of a funeral. The ‘professional service’ fees from the Funeral Director which include each of the tasks and services involved in arranging, planning and conducting a funeral. The ‘coffin or casket’ costs which can vary based on the construction and type, quality, finish and style that has been chosen. ‘Cemetery and crematoria’ charges which are set by individual cemeteries and crematoria and will not vary between funeral companies. Options to ‘celebrate a life’ may include: visual presentations, service booklets, thank you cards and memorial books. Other third part disbursements payable may include newspaper notices, floral tributes, celebrant or clergy fees, music and catering.
The cost of a Pre-Paid Funeral is fixed, regardless of future price increases.
Funeral firms must invest the funds in a Friendly Society in strict accordance with the Funerals Act (1996) and the funds cannot be accessed until the funeral is provided; furthermore the funds are invested independently of the Funeral Director.
A pre-payment of a funeral does not impact on a pension entitlement, as it is not subject to an income or asset test.
Payment of a Pre-Paid Funeral may be made in one lump sum or through a payment plan.
When organising a Pre-Paid Funeral it is important that family is advised that arrangements for a funeral have been made in advance. Copies of the Pre-Paid Funeral contract should be provided to members of the family, or filed with the Will and other important documents.
A Pre-Arranged Funeral is one where the family and Funeral Director establish the funeral requisites and services which they may utilise in the future.
Information that may be required include: the contact person after your death, important personal information including marriage(s), children and parental details, which will be recorded on a death certificate.
Decisions can also be made regarding the location of the funeral service, burial or cremation options, nominated clergy or celebrant to conduct the service, and personal wishes including readings, pallbearers, flowers, donation requests and music.
Payment of the funeral is made when the service is conducted.
Both of these options can provide peace of mind and remove the need for a loved one to arrange a funeral.
For your own peace of mind, select a Funeral Director who is an Accredited Member of the Australian Funeral Directors Association (AFDA), which requires its Members to honour a strict Code of Ethics and Practice.