Planning your own funeral can be a gift to your loved ones when you pass, as they won't have to worry about making funeral arrangements while they're grieving. It's also a good way to ensure your funeral is carried out in such a way that your personal beliefs are respected. Pre-planned funerals are easy to organise, and you can opt for a prepaid or prearranged funeral. Here's an overview of the difference between these two options:
This is the most comprehensive type of prearranged funeral plan, as every aspect of your funeral, including the cost, is taken care of by you before your death. You can choose your casket, floral arrangement, service music and readings, catering plan and burial plot or memorial spot, and your wishes will be carried out by your chosen funeral director.
Paying for your funeral in advance gives you complete control and prevents family members being burdened with bills. Another advantage of a prepaid funeral is the price, as even if costs increase several years after you've bought your funeral plan, you'll only ever pay the price that was quoted when you purchased your plan.
Once you've specified the type of funeral you want, your payment will be invested in accordance with the Funerals Act (1996). This system protects your money, and after your death, your nominated funeral director will have access to the invested payment and will make the arrangements for your burial or cremation.
A Prearranged funeral plan allows you to specify your wishes in the same way a prepaid plan does, so you can choose the venue, flowers, readings, etc. However, no payment is made until the time of your funeral. Additionally, the total price will be calculated based on the cost of each part of your plan at the time of your death.
This makes it difficult to determine exactly how much your funeral will end up costing as you cannot predict the impact of inflation on an unknown date in the future. However, you can take out a funeral insurance plan to ensure the total cost is covered and your family doesn't receive a bill for any shortfall.
If you don't want to use an insurance plan, you can arrange with your bank for a sum of money to be transferred to a nominated person's account in the event of your death. Your chosen funeral director will then work in partnership with your nominated person to ensure your wishes are carried out.
Regardless of whether you choose a prepaid or prearranged plan, when you organise your own funeral, you'll be given a contract. It's a good idea to keep a copy of this with your will paperwork, but providing a copy for your family will also allow them to ensure your service is carried out as you specified. A funeral director can help you plan your funeral and answer any questions you have about the process.