There is a big push by some funeral companies to tout the benefits of the prepaid funeral plans they sell to pensioners. They urge pensioners in Sydney and Melbourne to pay for their own funeral in advance—in order to spare their loved ones the trouble and expense and lock in current prices.

However, if you are a pensioner in Australia, you should consider the pros and cons of prepaid funerals before you select this option. They may not be the best choice for you and your family.

What should I consider before organising a prepaid funeral?

There are a number of different components to consider when arranging a funeral in Brisbane, which will vary the cost depending on the service providers and each can have a great impact on the final bill. The cost of organising a wake is another expense that is often forgotten. Some of the typical costs of a funeral arrangement often include:

  • Casket or coffin
  • Funeral director’s fees
  • Burial or cremation service fees
  • Burial plot
  • Grave marker
  • Urn
  • Flowers
  • Venue hire
  • Celebrant or clergy fees
  • Transportation
  • Memorial booklet
  • Obituary
  • Death certificate
  • Catering
  • Event organiser service fees

When paid in instalments, an initial payment may be required upfront. Be aware that the cost of a funeral director’s services near you as the packages often vary from one to the other. So, make sure that you have detailed descriptions of the costs to know what you are paying for.

What should I look out for on prepaid funeral plans?

The ability to transfer your plan. Check your provider allows you to transfer your plan to a different provider if you need to move to a different location to reside.

Understanding of the plan’s terms and conditions. For instance you may not be able to get a refund on some policies.

Check if the policy offers a cooling-off period. This will give you the opportunity to reassess and change your mind if required.

Pre-paid funeral registration is required by some states. Make sure you check with your state’s fair trading office for more information.

Are there better options?

There are much safer and better alternatives to prepaid funerals for pensioners, such as setting up a special bank account, recording your funeral wishes (pre-need planning) and shopping around. These options reduce the risk of losing your money and provide your family with much greater control when the time comes.

With eziFunerals, pensioners can record your funeral wishes in advance by filling out a pre-need planning form. You can then store it in a secure Dashboard. You can also appoint your funeral guardian/s. Most importantly, be sure to tell your family about your plan. Walk them through every detail. Give them copies of your written funeral wishes.

By comparison shopping, pensioners in Adelaide and other cities, can make reasonably priced funeral arrangements, without setting aside large sums of money or prepaying anything. eziFunerals helps you get detailed quotes from several multiple homes —and compare prices. You’ll see big price differences for essentially the same goods and services. Visit our list of independent funeral homes, and choose the one you like best.

Get peace of mind

Your family will have to make choices after you die and you cannot just prepay these choices away. You and your family will enjoy greater peace of mind, if you just simply plan ahead without the need to pre-pay your funeral up front. By planning your funeral in advance,  your family will be more empowered to shop around and make your funeral arrangements much easier. But if you decide to pre-pay your funeral in advance, be very cautious and read the contract.


About eziFunerals

eziFunerals supports individuals and families cope with end of life decisions, death and funerals. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company. We are not part of any other funeral company.

Our member Funeral Directors operate in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Australia wide. They are chosen for their knowledge, quality, service, personalisation and experience. They go above and beyond, and will take the time to support the family.

For more information or to make contact with a trusted Independent funeral director, call eziFunerals on 1300 236 402 or visit

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Peter Erceg is the Owner and Founder of eziFunerals. He has had a long history within the funeral industry, and is a published author of ‘What Kind Of Funeral: A self help guide to planning a meaningful funeral’. Prior to eziFunerals, Peter worked in the public sector and health industry for more than 30 years. The views and opinions expressed on posts are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of eziFunerals and members.