Plan holders for pre-paid funerals should pay premiums in advance at current prices. You have a choice between lump sum payments and monthly amortizations. There are no additional charges regardless of the funeral’s actual schedule. However, these plans are subject to specific terms and applicable government taxes. Funds are released only to certified funeral managers after the service is finished.
Benefits and Eligibility of Pre-Paid Funerals
Opting for pre-paid funerals produces numerous benefits. It protects your next of kin from emotional stress and financial pressures. The plan makes sense because you need not worry about inflation and price increases. Beneficiaries can make full use of pension claims since Australia’s earnings rule does not affect payments.
Pre-paid funerals are secured by impartial parties or entities like trustee firms. The funds are secured until the time finances the funeral director is authorized to get the money. Payments are arranged through the booklet payment process or direct debit.
The pre-paid funerals includes the memorial service; embalming and body preparations; interment or embalmment; arrangements for memorial park or crematorium; choice of coffin; religious rituals and celebrant; commemorative book and cards; obituary, flowers and vehicles; and, photography and music.
You cannot take out money from the plan prior to death. The money should not also be used for any other purposes except for funeral expenses. Cancel your plan and refund the money if you are not satisfied with the terms within two weeks after receiving the investment confirmation. Otherwise, withdrawal from the pre-paid funerals is not permitted.
AFDA Rules on Pre-Paid Funerals
The Australian Funeral Directors Association or AFDA maintains several policies on pre-paid funerals. All funeral directors must provide written contracts for clients. These should specify all requirements and contracted services. Prices are generally fixed in advance. Funeral directors should also have easy access to the financial institution that holds the funds for pre-paid funerals.
This company should make sure that funeral directors cannot withdraw the funds for pre-paid funerals until after the funeral is over. The financial company must preserve these funds in case the funeral company goes bankrupt.
Pre-paid funerals and relevant processes need to comply with existing Commonwealth and State legislation of Australia for each state. Find time to review these procedures carefully.
Interstate and Overseas Concerns of Pre-Paid Funerals
It is possible to reorganize your pre-paid funerals if you decide to relocate interstate. The funeral manager can provide you with assistance through appropriate plan transfers. Notify the funeral director right away if the death takes place abroad or in another state. This person will make arrangements for the transfer of the cadaver and attend to documentation as well as permits.
Pre-paid funerals are paid to estates if the death or burial takes place in another country or state within Australia. Important papers are always in the possession of the funeral director. Family members should also receive copies of a complete set of documents. Your loved ones have to know where the contract is being kept. These include the solicitor, executor of wills, next of kin, public trustee, and trusted friends.