Is it ok to plan your own funeral

Published: 5/2/2024
Is it ok to plan your own funeral
Is it ok to plan your own funeral

Prepaid funerals are becoming an increasingly popular choice for individuals who want to take control of their final arrangements and spare their family the emotional and financial burden. In this article, we'll explore the idea of planning your own funeral and delve into the world of prepaid funerals, addressing common concerns and highlighting their benefits.

Why plan your own funeral?

The thought of planning your own funeral might seem unusual or even morbid, but there are several compelling reasons to consider it:

Relieve the burden on loved ones

The thought of planning your own funeral might seem unusual or even morbid, but there are several compelling reasons to consider it:

Personalisation

Planning your own funeral allows you to ensure that it reflects your wishes and values. You can choose the type of service, the music, and even the location that holds special meaning to you.

Financial peace of mind

Funerals can be expensive, and costs can add up quickly. Prepaying for your funeral can help you lock in the price, protecting your family from potential future cost increases.  

RELATED ARTICLE: Prepaid Funerals: Should I pay upfront or in instalments?

Eligibility for government assistance

Individuals receiving government benefits may consider prepaid funerals, as they are often exempt from the asset test for the age pension and other government assistance programs.

What should I do to plan my own funeral?

Now that you've learned the benefits of planning your own funeral, let's dive deeper into prepaid funerals:

What is a prepaid funeral?

A prepaid funeral is a financial arrangement where you contract a funeral director to provide your funeral services and lock in the cost at today's prices. This means you can pay for your funeral in advance, either as a lump sum or through instalments, allowing you to alleviate the financial burden on your loved ones.

What's included in a prepaid funeral?

Prepaid funeral packages can vary, but they typically cover essential services like the coffin or casket, transportation, professional services of the funeral director and the use of the funeral home facilities for the service. However, it's crucial to review the terms and conditions to understand exactly what is covered and what isn't.

Is it ok to plan your own funeral
Is it ok to plan your own funeral

The benefits of prepaid funerals

Now that you know what prepaid funerals entail, let's look at some of the advantages:

Price guarantee

One of the most significant benefits of prepaid funerals is locking in the cost at today's prices. This ensures that your family won't be burdened with escalating funeral expenses in the future.

Financial security

When you prepay for your funeral, the funds are typically placed in a secure trust or invested with a reputable financial institution. This ensures that the money is protected and available when needed.

Exemption from asset tests

Funds used for prepaid funerals are often exempt from the asset test when determining eligibility for government assistance programs like the age pension. This can be a valuable financial advantage for seniors.

Common concerns addressed

It's natural to have questions and concerns about prepaid funerals. Let's address some of the most common ones:

What if the funeral director goes out of business?

Choosing a reputable and licensed funeral director is crucial. They are bound by regulations that ensure your prepayment funds are secure. If the funeral director goes out of business, your prepaid funds should be transferred to another licensed provider or refunded.

Can I make changes to the prepaid funeral plan?

Yes, you can usually make changes to your prepaid funeral plan. If you change your mind about certain aspects of your funeral, discuss it with your chosen funeral director. They can help you make adjustments to better reflect your wishes.  

RELATED ARTICLE: How to preplan your funeral in Australia

What happens if I move to a different location in Australia?

Prepaid funerals are transferable between funeral directors, so relocating within Australia shouldn't be a concern. You can choose a new funeral director near your new residence and they will manage the transfer of your prepaid funeral plan.

When should I start planning my funeral?

You should start planning your funeral whenever you feel ready to do so. There is no specific age or time that is ideal for everyone, as it is a highly personal decision. Some people begin planning in their earlier years, while others may wait until later in life. It's essential to make the decision based on your own circumstances, preferences and the peace of mind it provides. Planning ahead can help ensure your wishes are met and alleviate the burden on your loved ones when the time comes.

Making the decision

The decision to plan your own funeral and opt for a prepaid funeral is a personal one. It's essential to consider your individual circumstances, wishes, and financial situation. Discuss your plans with your loved ones, so they understand your choices and can support you in your decision.  

Preplanning your funeral is a thoughtful and considerate way to ease the burden on your loved ones during a challenging time. Prepaid funerals in Australia offer a practical and financially secure way to ensure that your final wishes are met. By taking control of your funeral arrangements, you provide yourself and your family with peace of mind, knowing that everything is in place for that inevitable day.

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