What funeral expenses am I likely to incur?
Many people don’t realise how expensive a funeral can be until it’s too late. At that point, the surviving family members are often faced with a substantial bill at an emotional and difficult time.
Funeral expenses can usually be divided into three areas. First up is the cost of the funeral service, which covers use of the funeral home, the services of the funeral director and staff, arranging the burial or crematorium, legal obligations and administration costs.
The second area relates to supplementary services for the funeral itself. These can include transporting the body, embalming, arranging viewing times and providing a burial container. Finally, there are additional funeral expenses that may be organised by family and friends, or by the funeral home on your behalf. These may include the purchase of clergy services, flowers and decorations, musicians, obituary notices and invitations. Many families also choose to host a wake following the service, providing refreshments for close family and friends.
How can I prepare for funeral expenses?
It’s important to shop around to ensure you’re getting a good deal, but when you factor in the various funeral expenses the average bill can easily exceed $7,000. For that reason, it can be wise to plan ahead. Options include pre-paying your funeral directly with a funeral service, setting aside funds in a funeral bond or savings plan, and taking out specific funeral insurance.
Suncorp offers Funeral Insurance that pays a lump sum benefit on your death to cover your funeral expenses and other related costs. Some life insurance policies also include a special funeral advance, which pays a set amount to cover funeral expenses on the death of the insured. This benefit means your family will have immediate access to funds at a stressful time, without having to wait for the life insurance claim to be processed and paid.