Recently we have been asked lots of questions about Pre Paid Funerals and Funeral Insurance. I feel quite strongly about chatting to individuals and community members about this, hence my blog on the topic!
Firstly….buyer beware! And please, for anyone reading this who may have older family members or friends, perhaps it’s a good idea to have a chat about the subject. As we all know it’s easy to get caught up in the moment sometimes and make a hasty un-informed decision. Especially when ‘appealing’ TV ads have caught our eye and drawn us in.
So, funeral Insurance….well I do not claim to be an expert on the subject, however I was horrified recently to hear a story told by a colleague. This person is around 50 years old, and decided to calculate funeral costs with a funeral insurance company. If he lived till the age of 90 he would have ended up paying around $40,000 – WOW! Quite frankly I was somewhat horrified to hear this, even more so when he added that some elders decide after many years have passed that they can no longer afford their INCREASED premiums. What started as a manageable amount in the early days was not the case years down the track, hence ALL the money was foregone and the policy cancelled.
So like anything; read the fine print and think carefully before you enter into a funeral insurance policy.
Pre Paid funerals on the other hand are generally a great idea. Locking in and arranging a Pre Paid funeral with a reputable Funeral Director is a relief for many individuals and families for many reasons, and can really ease the burden when a loved one passes away. Client funds are placed in a trusted fund and securely invested until the time of the funeral. Just one of the benefits of a Pre Paid funeral is that funds are not means tested, so do not affect individual pensions. More importantly, the wishes of the deceased person in relation to their funeral arrangements are also discussed and carefully documented, thereby eliminating future stress for the family and ensuring funeral plans are in line with the wishes of the individual concerned. The cost of the agreed funeral is also locked in to today’s prices and will be honoured by the funeral director regardless of any future price increases.
We are very pleased to use the services of the Australian Friendly Society (owned by Bendigo Bank), a community like minded organisation; and feel secure in the knowledge that we and our clients will be cared for in this regard. Some organisations like the Australian Friendly Society also allow contributors to pay a regular instalment into their fund, eliminating the need for the client to pre-pay a larger sum of money in the first instance.
Another option is to consider pre-arranging a funeral. This quite simply involves a consultation with your funeral director where your exact wishes will be discussed and documented, at no (or in some instances minimal) cost to the client. So all those sometimes tough questions can be answered – what type of coffin or casket, burial or cremation, service or no service, what important things should be mentioned during the service, what type of flowers, what music should be played etc etc. Any funeral director or celebrant will be pleased to hear that someone has entered into a Pre-paid agreement or had a Pre-arrangement discussion. As ethical and caring Funeral Directors we want to know that a loved ones wishes have been honoured.
Of course it’s extremely important to notify family members of any contracts or agreements entered into with a Funeral Director or other organisation, otherwise the funds may lie idle! This has unfortunately occurred many times.
Please contact us at Oakdale Funerals on 0423009836 if you require further assistance or would like to discuss Pre Paid or Pre Arranged funerals. Warm regards… Anne Allison