Prepaid funerals are a big business for the funeral industry. It’s not uncommon to see 100-plus ads for funeral plans on the airwaves and social media most days. Many of them sell the idea that your funeral is, essentially, about you: in other words, tailor your funeral the way you want, and in the process, relieve your family of the stress. 

But, without knowing it, you could be transferring control of the funeral away from your family, which can sometimes cause them even more distress.

Let’s say you die more than 20 years after signing up for your pre-paid funeral, and your funeral funds have doubled in value. Sounds like a good investment so far, right! 

Now, let’s say that after you die, your family calls the Funeral Fund manager, to find out how much money there was. Only to be told they couldn’t disclose this information as your membership rights and funds have been transferred to the funeral director you assigned, as part of your contract. How is your investment sounding now?

‘The funeral fund contract is with the person while they are alive, but once they die, their membership rights are transferred to the company they’d assigned to carry out their funeral.’

According to eziFunerals, Founder and Owner, Peter Ercegmost people don’t realise that once you assign your prepaid funeral to a funeral director, you may be locking out the people you intended to protect in the first place”.

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When a funeral bond is used together with a prepaid contract, the funds belong to the nominated funeral director when you die, not your family.

The disclosure document given to you before you sign the contract, will usually state explicitly that the fund manager’s only obligation is “to pay upon death the balance of the investment to the funeral director to whom the deceased person assigned their investment”. The fund manager is “unlikely to accept any responsibility or liability” to ensure that prepaid contracts are honoured by the funeral director.

From the funeral director’s perspective, that’s the nature of prepaid funerals – the risk and reward lies with them. They will provide the funeral set out in the contract – no matter whether the funeral costs more or less than the benefit available to them.

Nevertheless, eziFunerals is concerned that this aspect of, a prepaid funeral used with a funeral bond, may lock out the family left behind. We see this as a matter of transparency and accountability for everyone. People should be able to access their loved one’s account to find out how much money is available to spend on the funeral, says Erceg.

Our advice to consumers is, ask lots of questions and understand your rights. Most importantly, consider who you should assign your pre-paid funeral with. A funeral director, a family member or the ‘executor’ of your will or ‘next of kin’?

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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.