Financially planning for your funeral while you’re still alive and kicking can feel daunting for some, but talking about death won’t kill you. A fixed-price prepaid funeral plan allows you to budget while taking the future financial stress off your family.
Thinking about the time when you will leave this mortal coil can be confronting, so well done on getting this far.
The average price of a funeral in Australia is around $7,500 according to finder.com.au but the cost can easily be upwards of $10,000. Not every family has this much money set aside when a loved one dies, so a prepaid funeral plan is a simple and secure way to plan ahead.
This article explains the most common questions, including What is a prepaid funeral?What are the benefits of a prepaid funeral? and explains the cost of prepaid funeral plans.
What is a prepaid funeral plan?
A prepaid funeral plan is a contract with a selected funeral provider, that allows you to pre-plan and pre-pay for your funeral service in advance.
Depending on the amount of the service, the prepaid funeral plan can either be paid in instalments over a set term of years, or upfront. Your individual contract should break down all the costs and list the items included in your prepaid funeral service.
A Bare prepaid funeral plan includes the transport, paperwork, simple coffin and unattended direct cremation, return of ashes and a service fee. However, a prepaid funeral plan with another provider might include extras like a celebrant or minister, chapel hire, gravesite service, premium casket, flowers, advertising, viewing arrangements, memorial books and catering, among other fees.
Australian prepaid funerals are now heavily regulated to ensure consumers’ money is safe. With a Bare prepaid funeral plan, all of our customers’ funds securely are held in a trust in their name, with the Australian Friendly Society (associated with the Bendigo Bank). That money cannot be touched until it is needed for the accountholder’s funeral.
You can read more about the terms in the disclosure statement.
What are the benefits of prepaying your funeral?
Planning ahead with a prepaid funeral has many benefits. Here’s why people choose to prepay:
- To go out on your terms. You have time and flexibility to preplan the funeral you want, and leave instructions for the send-off you want, not what they
- To reduce the stress on loved ones. They won’t need to make difficult funeral decisions when they are grieving.
- To remove the financial burden of paying the funeral home’s invoice upfront.
- To lock in today’s price. The cost of a funeral has doubled in the past 10 years and they keep going up over the years. By prepaying at today’s prices, Australians can avoid inflation over the years.
- For flexible payment options to make funerals more affordable. Bare prepaid funeral plans can be paid either upfront, or in instalments over two or five years. Our affordable payment plans make the process of paying off a funeral more manageable, especially for pensioners.
- To get back to enjoying life without worrying about how your funeral will be paid for.
- To set money aside without your pension being impacted. Prepaid funerals generally don’t count as an assessable asset to determine your pension. You can read more about prepaid funerals and Centrelink here.
- To guarantee that your money is invested safely. Funds paid for a prepaid funeral plan will be securely held in a trust in your name.
Cost of prepaid funerals
The cost of a prepaid funeral plan should be close to the same as if you were paying for a funeral today. There will usually be some additional admin fees to set up the bond in your name, but the instalment cost of prepaid funeral plans should remain the same until the arrangement is paid off.
The cost of a prepaid funeral plan varies between funeral homes. The price will also depend on your customisation choices and whether you are prepaying a cremation or burial. Burials are generally more expensive than cremations because of land costs.
In addition, transport, crematorium costs and state government fees differ significantly across locations, and in the regions compared to metro cities.
The total cost of a prepaid funeral plan with Bare is generally less than $3,000. But again, the price will depend on your location due to local operating costs. For example, our prepaid funeral plans (paid upfront) cost $1,699 in Brisbane, but the cost of prepaid funeral plans in Launceston are $3,399 at time of writing*.
If you prefer to pay by instalments, the average cost of a prepaid funeral plan with Bare is $22 a fortnight, for five years. We also have two-year funeral plans, paid monthly.
The best way to get the most accurate cost of a prepaid funeral plan is to generate an itemised quote for your location, at bare.com.au.
To keep prices low, we don’t have brick and mortar showrooms. We operate online and over the phone only. We offer unattended cremations, to allow Australians the flexibility and budget to plan a more personalised send-off.
What is not included?
A Bare prepaid funeral service only includes the transport, medical/legal documentation, a respectful cremation and returning the ashes to loved ones in a simple urn. Our arrangement does not include any attended ceremony or costs associated with a wake.
However, a memorial service can be added to the arrangement for an additional fee. That's where our celebrants can help arrange and conduct a memorial service separately from the cremation. This can either be prepaid or added on at the time of passing. You can find out more about our Bare Memorial service, here.
If you pass away in a different region or state from the address listed on the prepaid funeral contract, it is common that funeral directors may charge some extra transport fees when the service is needed.
Before agreeing on a prepaid funeral plan with any funeral director, ensure you have read and understood the contract carefully. Read through what’s included in the prearranged service and the payment terms to ensure you understand what is and is not included in your prepaid funeral plan. The plan should identify any circumstances where you or your estate may be charged additional fees when the funeral is needed, so be sure you fully understand these terms.
If you have any questions about what’s not included in a prepaid funeral plan, speak with your funeral director before signing your contract.
Prepaid funeral plans vs funeral insurance
A prepaid funeral plan is an insurance product. Instead, you're paying for the actual funeral in advance.
With a funeral insurance policy, there are reoccurring fortnightly or monthly premiums to pay. But with a prepaid funeral plan, your payments stop once the arrangement has been paid off. The instalment amount is locked in at today’s price, so it never4 increases over the duration of the instalment period. And the best part about prepaid funerals is that there is nothing more to pay ever - whether your funeral is needed in two months years or 50 years.
Prepaying not only reduces the future emotional stress on your loved ones who will be making the arrangements when the time comes, but an instalment plan makes it easier to budget now.
At Bare, we don’t believe that expensive coffins or premium catering packages reflect how much you loved your person. That’s why we provide just what you need at an affordable price.
With your affordable funeral taken care of, you can get back to enjoying life without worrying about who will be left with the bill when you’re gone.
To learn more about Bare prepaid funerals, you can find the answers to more Frequently Asked Questions in our article, Prepaid funerals: what you should know about paying now.
How to get a prepaid funeral plan
Bare is Australia’s simple and affordable prepaid funeral provider. You can get a quote for a prepaid funeral plan and pay in just five minutes – it’s as easy as ordering a pizza!To get a quote for a prepaid funeral plan, visit bare.com.au or prepaid concierge team on 1800 202 901.
*This is the average price of a Bare pre-paid cremation paid up-front, correct at November 2021. Please note that prices vary depending on location and are subject to increase over time, however once a pre-paid plan is locked in, it will remain that price for the duration of the instalment plan. For an accurate quote and cost breakdown for your location, please visit our website.