Saying Goodbye to a Loved One

What Are the Benefits of a Pre-Arranged Funeral?

A significant number of people decide to pre-arrange their own funeral, for two specific reasons. Firstly, it allows them to specify all the details of how they want their funeral to be arranged so that it can provide clarity for their loved ones to organise and arrange the right type of service.

The second reason, and a much more common one, is financial. The cost of a funeral in Australia is currently estimated to be between AUS $4,000 and $15,000, which can be a significant amount of money for a family struggling to come to terms with a bereavement to find.

Pre-arrange funeral plans

These are the most common ways that a family, or a loved one, will arrange to pay for the cost of a funeral. These types of plans can differ quite widely in terms of benefits, but they all have a fairly basic underlying structure.

Normally they will fix the cost of a pre-arranged funeral at the price that is current at the time the plan is taken out. This cost can then be paid for either in weekly, monthly or yearly instalments or paid as a lump sum.

Benefits of a plan

Most pre-arranged funeral plans will cover a lot of the same areas but will differ in terms of the detail and the amount of flexibility that they offer.

Many will offer advice, support and guidance on organising the funeral, as would traditionally be expected from a funeral director. This is a really important element of any plan, as it should include not only grief and bereavement support but also practical advice and guidance regarding all the legal and organisational aspects of a burial or cremation.

A coffin will be included, with the cheapest plans offering the most basic type of coffin and the more expensive plans offering a much greater degree of choice in terms of design and build.

The cheaper plans may restrict the choice of funeral home to one or two firms, whereas more expensive plans will offer a greater variety of choice. This may impact things such as family viewings, additional limousines for family and friends on the day of the funeral itself and the extent to which special requests can be considered and incorporated into the service.

What plans normally exclude

It is worth bearing in mind when organising a pre-arranged funeral that there are likely to be a number of standard exclusions to most policies, although these do not always apply. Exclusions normally relate to things such as medical certification fees, where a coroner might need to be involved, or whether there are any complications regarding the death itself.

Exclusions can also relate to other standard processes around a funeral such as embalming costs, the cost of a burial plot, flowers or specific types of memorials or headstones. Most plans will also exclude the cost of catering or entertainment for any type of wake that may be provided.