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.