William Barrett and Sons believe that a funeral service should celebrate the life of a person in a personal way. When someone dies, those left behind are responsible for shaping the funeral. Their best guide to doing this can be the wishes left behind by their loved one. An Exclusively Yours Pre-Arranged Funeral Plan can guide a family in what their loved one wanted and felt was important in their lives.
People may pre-arrange a funeral for a variety of reasons. Some people want to have their wishes recorded for future reference, others to gain financial benefit or for the financial benefit of others, or to lift some of the burden from their loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.
According to individual wishes, a funeral may be pre-arranged, pre-paid, or both. When a funeral is pre-arranged, the personal information required for death registration is recorded. It is very important to have this information kept safe, as it is required to obtain the death certificate. It is also important to record your wishes for the funeral. If your wishes are written down it removes doubt for those left behind in planning the funeral. People often record their funeral wishes in a Will, but in many cases the Will is not read until after the funeral.
Our individual service profile is used to record this information. Regardless of whether you wish to pre-arrange your funeral with a funeral director, this form should be completed and your next of kin or executor should be made aware of its location. Once a funeral is pre-arranged, it is possible to give an idea of the costs of the service. There are three types of cost associated with a funeral:
Our fees: William Barrett and Sons have a professional service fee which covers all of the professional staff services, premises, vehicles and equipment. It is also common to choose and pay for a coffin or casket at the time of pre-arrangement. Once fully paid, these fees become fixed and never change. The only exception is if, at the time of the funeral, there is an after-hours service, mileage fees have changed or Taxes have increased.
Cemetery/crematorium fees: Some cemeteries allow pre-purchasing of graves and interment fees at a fixed cost, others reservations while some offer no pre-purchasing at all. Crematoriums allow prepurchasing of cremation certificates and placement of ashes. Our knowledgeable staff can offer advice on individual cemetery and crematorium by-laws.
Disbursements: It is common for items such as flowers, newspaper notices, printing services, photographic tributes, clergy/celebrant fees and other costs to be included in the main funeral account. These costs are variable and cannot be fixed but it is possible to put money aside to help cover these costs.
A pre-paid funeral may be paid off over time at your own pace. If you miss a payment it doesn't matter - the balance stays the same and your money stays safe until the payments resume. Fees are not fixed until the final payment is made.
Any form of pre-planning is beneficial and having a dedicated bank account will help those left behind from a financial point of view. However, a bank account is counted as an asset and may affect your pension. Conversely, a pre-paid funeral is not included as an asset and does not affect Centrelink or DVA pension up to a certain amount.
There are two main types of investment with a pre-paid funeral, a Funeral Fund or a Bond. If a Bond is purchased the money cannot be withdrawn until time of death. The Bond is held in the plan holder's name by a third party funeral fund, is capital guaranteed and may be transferred to another funeral home if the plan holder moves. If the money is held in a Funeral Fund you have the right to cancel the agreement and withdraw from the plan. With the exception of administration expenses, all monies paid by the plan holder would be refunded.
William Barrett and Sons should be notified and the arrangements will begin to be put in place. A copy of the plan is given to the plan holder at the time the pre-arrangements are made and it is helpful if this can be referred to prior to the arrangements. All the funeral arrangements will be discussed again so those making the arrangements are aware of the deceased's wishes. If circumstances have changed over time changes may be made. If there is any financial adjustment, as estimate of those costs will be provided.
Open discussion among family members is advisable. If everyone is aware of the existence and type of plan, it can save confusion at the time of death. At the very least, the Executor or person responsible for making the arrangements should be made aware of the funeral plan, and some of the details such as whether the plan is pre-paid.
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