How To Compare Prepaid Funeral Plans — Questions To Ask Your Provider

How To Compare Prepaid Funeral Plans — Questions To Ask Your Provider

Arranging a funeral can be traumatic for those left behind when a loved one passes. Amidst the grief, family members are often left to cover the costs ― which can range anywhere from $4000 to $15,000. There’s funeral director fees, legal certificates, transport, casket and burial plot or cremation services to cover...the list goes on.

By planning ahead with a prepaid funeral, you’ll be saving your family from unnecessary stress and financial burden when you pass — which gives everyone involved some piece of mind. But pre-paid funerals are a significant financial investment — so how can you compare prepaid funeral plans to make sure that the money you spend is going towards a legitimate funeral service provider?

 

What to look for in a pre-paid funeral plan

 

Many funeral companies claim to offer prepaid funeral plans, but only some of them will offer you financial security and flexibility in your options. To ensure the plan you are considering is legit, look for the following key features:

 

Payment options

If you’re the forward-thinking type, you’ll no doubt like the idea of smoothing the cost of major purchases out over a long period. There’s a few options available for doing this — such as funeral bonds and funeral insurance — but prepaid funeral plans are often the safest of these options. Not only are they considered more financially secure than funeral bonds, they generally work out cheaper for you in the long run if set up earlier in life.

Just because a funeral is prepaid, doesn’t mean you have to pay upfront. A good funeral company will give you the option of paying off your plan in instalments ― so beware of any provider who is not flexible in their terms of payment.

Remember: funeral service providers are required by law to give you a full breakdown of the costs included in your prepaid funeral. If you do not receive this on request, consider it a red flag (and a direct breach of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010).

 

Where your money is kept

The money you put towards your funeral plan — regardless of how it is paid — doesn’t simply go to your funeral service provider for ‘safe keeping’. Legitimate funeral companies will forward your money to an investment fund, where it will be immune from tax and interest changes until the funeral services are needed.

Caution: never hand your money over to a prepaid funeral provider who does not invest your money into a registered fund. To check whether a fund is legit, contact NSW Fair Trading’s Registry Services.

 

Flexibility in funeral arrangements

This is your service, and it should honour your individual wishes. You can request to have it personalised in any way that you like ― from reflecting religious denomination, cultural tradition or spiritual beliefs right down to favourite colours, music and flowers.

If you don't want to think about the specifics at this stage, you can still pay for the funeral through a prepaid plan. Your funeral director and family can work out the finer details later ― without the financial worry.

 

What is covered

Not all prepaid funeral plans are the same, and there can be a enormous variation in costs between providers. Some funeral directors only offer coverage for certain aspects of the funeral such as the ceremony. Take the time to carefully consider what different funeral plans do and don’t cover, and choose the one which suits you best.

 

Refunds and withdrawals

You generally can't claim your money back for a prepaid funeral package if you change your mind. However, at Lady Anne Funerals you reserve the right to cancel your plan and receive a full refund within 14 days of sign up, should you be unhappy with your choice.

Prepaid funeral services are considered an investment which is exempt from tax, and not included as part of Centrelink’s personal income and assets test. Like superannuation, this means it’s not possible to withdraw funds early, to use for other purposes.

 

What are my rights?

If you’re unsure as to whether the funeral plan you’re considering pre-purchasing is right for you, rest assured that you’re protected by consumer rights applicable to the funeral service industry. Many of the features outlined above are considered legal requirements for funeral funds operating in Australia. So if you come across a provider that contravenes any of the criteria listed above, contact NSW Fair Trading; the company may be in breach of their regulatory obligations.

That said, the law shouldn’t replace common sense! So do your research; like any consumer product, it’s a good idea to shop around before entering a major contract.

 

At Lady Anne Funerals, our compassionate team understand that it's difficult to think about making plans for what happens after you’re gone — let alone talk about it. That's why we don’t rush our clients; we like to spend time with you to chat about your wishes, your budget, and explore all of your options. So when the time comes, you’ll be farewelled with the ceremony you wanted ― whether it be religious, spiritual or celebratory.

Have you been thinking about prepaid funeral options for yourself or a family member? Get in touch with our ladies today, and we can provide you the guidance you need.


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We're here to help

Lady Anne Funerals is here to support and assist your family through what can be a difficult time, with a ladies touch. 

We are available to discuss a range of services to support your family, including: 

  • Personalised memorial services
  • Cremation and burial services
  • Religious services catering to all faith's
  • No service, no attendance 

Please get in touch - night or day - via the form or you can call us on the number below.

Phone: 1300 74 00 74

904 Victoria Road, West Ryde 2114

Let's Talk

Some of the families we've helped

“I just wanted to send you our sincerest thanks for everything you and your incredible team did for us in making the most perfect day, celebration and farewell of our beautiful Harper.

I have given a lot of thought to your business and the industry and I think it is perhaps the most important business for families to get it right when it comes to planning a funeral which may be sudden or may be a long time in the making. Either way, when one is faced with the unfortunate situation of needing to arrange a funeral, only then do you realise the importance of getting it right.

We experienced first hand the polar opposites the industry offers. It is not just about the cars, the booklets, the music and all the things that make up the day - its about the service, the care and most importantly it’s about the people.

From our very first conversation we could sense your genuine care to our situation and your attention to detail was obvious - this was very different to the previous conversations we had with others we had been referred to. Those other companies wanted to commence meetings with the paperwork side of things upfront which is a very confronting thing to do just days after losing your loved one - and when one of the others that I am referencing couldn’t even refernece our daughters name as our meeting started - we were horrified of how poor the service of care could be.

This is where you and your team shine. After feeling very lost in our search to secure the perfect funeral director to create the perfect day, my wife all of a sudden recalled you standing out the front of your office each morning watering the surrounding gardens to ensure a beautiful front of house. Well, I can assure you, it is not just the front of house that is beautiful - its the entire package that is beautiful.

Your manner, your direction and your expertise is evident from the get go. Nothing is too hard for you or your amazing team. The personal care made us feel like we were the only funeral you were working with at the time, and that’s exactly how it should be.

The finer detail, such as driving past our house so our daughter could go past our house one last time, then leaving the most beautiful flowers on our doorstep, to bumping into us at the Church because you were just doing your own research to make sure the day was seamless. This combined with your recommendations from every aspect as everything was very foreign to us, you were able to guide us to achieve the most beautiful farewell.

The day itself was simply perfect. Not once did we have a concern. The car was shining, your team dressed beautifully, cold water provided for us, directions for our guests, directions for us. Everyone commented on how amazing the day was and how incredibly your team were. Seamless is the only word I can use. It doesn’t stop here.

Your personal care and guidance then allowed us a more intimate farewell the following day (we are so grateful for for this recommendation and possibly would have missed this special day if you had suggested it was the best idea). Again, you and your team made us feel like you had nowhere else to be, and no one else to help. Just us. The setting was beautiful, the celebrant (that you arrange and recommend) is a delightful, your team make this day even more special than the last.

This is something we never want to go through again but there will be so many others, that like us, have no idea where to start to look for the right funeral director for their own special day. All I can say is that I hope that they appoint Lady Anne Funerals. We learnt a lot quickly and it is again a business many do not ever consider needing but without question one of the most important businesses to select the right person and the right team.

I welcome any of your future potential clients to contact me if they wish to discuss our experience with the amazing Lady Anne team. We thank you for giving our beautiful baby the most incredible farewell that was exactly how we imagined it, you just made it happen.”

photo02_harper
Lee Dowdall
Karen has supported my Mum and me through the most difficult week of our lives as we not only planned a funeral, but interred my Dad to his new home. I will be forever grateful to Karen for her ongoing support, guidance, kindness, empathy and friendship over the last week. Karen has now become part of our extended circle of close family friends.
Daughter of the late Sveta Dordevich
Lady Anne Funerals has the compassion, understanding and empathy that many of the larger funeral homes do not possess. My aunts funeral was dignified and classy everything she deserved. I would highly recommend Lady Anne (and have) as they go above and beyond.
Joanne Marks
I am overwhelmed with the feedback on how beautiful it all was from all who attended. You and the other ladies were wonderful, looked so elegant, and made the day so very special for all who loved Paul.
Barbara Sommerville Enright
Karen and her staff treated us with the utmost respect we could not have been in better hands during this difficult time. My mum had organised her funeral with a prepaid funeral plan which she had purchased from Karen almost ten years ago this also made this upsetting time much easier to deal with and she got all the things that she wished for.
Malcolm Ellis
On behalf of my family, I would like to thank Lady Anne Funerals for a beautiful service yesterday for my aunt Dot. All who attended commented on how lovely the service was & the professionalism of all the staff. Thanks again very much for helping making a sad day one of celebration of Dot’s life.
Judith Neville

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