Prepaying a Funeral? Read These 5 Tips First


You’ll want to cover your funeral costs to ease the burden on your family, but consider these 5 things before locking yourself into any prepaid deal.

1. Be realistic about cost
You’ll need anywhere between $4,000 and $20,000+ for your final fling, depending on how glitzy you want it to be.

2. Get clear about what you’re paying for
Whether you decide on a funeral plan for your plot, ceremony etc., or get insurance, the family may still have to spend money. Standard costs include a casket, chapel/venue hire, funeral director’s fees, celebrant fees, crematorium niche/burial plot, transportation, advertising, programs, flowers, memorial booklet, etc. And then of course, there is the wake.

3. Make sure you can change your mind
Life circumstances may change: you could move away from where you have purchased a plot, you may decide to be buried instead of cremated etc., so make sure your option is transferable or you could be locked in with a particular funeral director, crematorium or cemetery.

4. Choose an option that works for you*
Not all options will suit. For example, prepaid agreements with a particular funeral director is great – unless you change your mind or move; Funeral Bonds are a solid investment – but they don’t guarantee against rising funeral prices, so may need to be topped up by your family; funeral insurance premiums could become unaffordable, and if you miss 2 payments you will be uninsured and have wasted your money.

5. Talk to your loved ones about your choices
It’s great to have ideals, but your choices may not be practical or feel good for the family (they may want to visit your ashes at a crematorium instead of them being scattered etc.). Keeping clear instructions written down and discussing your choices beforehand will help your family to be more likely to follow through.

*See my blog titled Funeral Prepaying – Buyer Beware!