Not many people really want to think about their own funeral, which is understandable, but it can be a very sensible and thoughtful thing to do, particularly in the event of an accident, when families are distraught, and don’t know where to start, or what their loved one would have wanted.
Planning your funeral in advance can be as simple as having a conversation with those nearest to you and expressing a few thoughts about what you might like to have happen when your time comes, or you might want sit down with Dil’s and document in some detail your plans and preferences. In any case, doing some sort of preparation in advance of your death makes sense and really makes a difference to those you leave behind by giving them confidence that they’re following your wishes about how you wish to be farewelled.
When planning your funeral in advance one thing we would suggest you consider is also leaving permission for your family to change your wishes, should the need arise. This doesn’t mean they have carte blanche to change everything, but does show that you trust those you have left behind to carry out your wishes and at the same time fulfil their personal needs as they face your passing.
Similarly, with prepaying your funeral. Paying for all or part of a funeral’s expenses in advance is done for a number of reasons. For some it’s simply peace of mind. It’s one less thing for the family to worry about. Others just like to be organised or use pre-paid funerals as a legal way of reducing assets for Asset Testing purposes; such as to qualify for the Residential Care Subsidy.
Dil’s offer the FDANZ Funeral Trust. This plan is owned by the Funeral Directors' Association of New Zealand (FDANZ). Under the FDANZ Funeral Trust, your money is held in trust until the time of your death. At this time the amount paid into the Funeral Trust plus any interest accrued, less any fees applicable are used to pay your funeral expenses. If the balance is insufficient to pay all funeral expenses then a claim is made against your estate for any outstanding amount. Likewise, any money left over after funeral costs have been met will be returned to your estate.