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#Funeral Blues – What’s Prearranging

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#Funeral Blues – What’s Pre arranging?

So what IS pre-arranging?

As a funeral celebrant, I get it, I truly understand the difficulty is planning a funeral for someone you love, whether that be husband, wife, brother, sister or horribly children…organising a funeral “sucks big time”, but it shouldn’t!

Death is something we should ALL talk about – I’m 45 and I talk about what I want with my wife ‘all the time’, well maybe not all the time, but Tan knows what I want for when that time comes…and vice versa! We know every detail, songs, who will speak, slideshow or not and importantly cremation or burial…and Tan is 10 years younger than me, so why is she thinking about it??

EASY! Ya never know, when you’re gunna go!

And it’s this simple saying that keeps both of us attentive to each other and to our families, not just immediate but extended, we should all know what mum and dad want, what each other want, so why is this important?

I see families every single day that have ‘NO CLUE’ what their loved ones wishes are…because they never spoke of death! And I know it’s not the first topic when it’s your shout down the boozer! But we certainly can make it that way, ask the boys at ‘the table of knowledge’ the girlfriends over a cuppa or vino, just communicate and believe me, you’ll feel better for it when I call your home asking about arranging that funeral.

So what’s the difference between Pre-paid and Pre-Arranging?

The Pre-paid funeral;

As defined by the Australian Funeral Directors Association…

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.


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.

A Pre-Arranged Funeral;

Pre-Arranged Funeral is one where the family and Funeral Director establish the funeral requisites and services which they may utilise in the future.

Information that may be required include: the contact person after your death, important personal information including marriage(s), children and parental details, which will be recorded on a death certificate. Decisions can also be made regarding the location of the funeral service, burial or cremation options, nominated clergy or celebrant to conduct the service, and personal wishes including readings, pallbearers, flowers, donation requests and music.

Payment of the funeral is made when the service is conducted.

Personally, I’d do both!!! Pay for the funeral now and lock it in at today’s prices, and arrange exactly what YOU want at the service. I’ve had MANY people call me over the years and say ‘let’s catch up, I wanna talk about my funeral’, it was weird at first, but I feel honoured knowing that they trust me with yet another one of their big days in life….and death! In fact in a survey recently release, 75% of seniors feel more comfortable knowing that they can plan their funeral prior to their death…so take advantage today, talk and decide what’s going to really matter when we say goodbye!



Australian Funeral Directors Association

14 Mar, 18

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