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Funeral Costs


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#1 casime

Posted 17 April 2019 - 08:07 AM

Awkward subject, but there will come a time, where I will be responsible for the funeral of an elderly family member.  There will certainly not be enough money in her bank account to pay the costs immediately, and I don't imagine there will be much left in her term deposit by that time either.  So it will fall to me to pay.  I am concerned about having that amount of money immediately available when the time comes.   She is quite happy to put her head in the sand about this matter, so it's up to me to deal with.  She is too old to be eligible for funeral insurance, so I was thinking about taking out a pre-paid funeral that I can pay in instalments until paid off over the next year or so, then it can sit there until needed.  Has anyone done this for another person before, and is it even allowed?

#2 Holidayromp

Posted 17 April 2019 - 08:29 AM

Is there anyone else in the family that can chip in?

Are you happy to do this?

Will doing this cause you any financial hardship?

Can you/her get financial assistance from Centrelink to help with the costs?

#3 Catticus

Posted 17 April 2019 - 08:38 AM

Yes - there are funeral homes that do pre-payment, and they hold the funds in a trust account, similar to a solicitor.

I'm in NSW, and mum wants to be buried (after cremation) at Palmdale, with other members of the family who are nearby (including her beloved PIL). So I contacted the two major funeral providers that service Palmdale, and one of them offered a pre-payment plan. So we've already paid for the major expenses of a fairly simple funeral when it happens.

#4 casime

Posted 17 April 2019 - 08:40 AM

No one else in the family, I'm the only relative left.  

I don't begrudge doing it, but I do wish she would have planned for it herself years ago (she's 85 now).  But she idn't, so I want to make sure I'm not in a position of having to pay out a big sum of money with little warning.  I'm a single mum on a teacher's salary, plus I already cover quite a lot of her living costs, so having a spare chunk of money available at short notice is not necessarily that easy.  Paying it off and having it 'locked away' would be peace of mind for me as well.

#5 kadoodle

Posted 17 April 2019 - 08:43 AM

My sister died unexpectedly just before Christmas, and the funeral home was able to do a payment plan. Apparently it’s pretty common, as not many people have the thousands of dollars required for a funeral just sitting there.

#6 qak

Posted 17 April 2019 - 08:53 AM

I suppose the real question is whether you are actually better off to do that rather than just open a separate bank account for the funds?

#7 luke's mummu

Posted 17 April 2019 - 09:01 AM

In nsw you can get paupers funerals, where the government pays for the whole thing. The social worker at the hospital would apply( assuming you die in a hospital I guess). They are basically buried in a grave with 2 or 3 other people ( strangers) and only a basic marker.

I would seriously consider this rather than putting yourself into debt as a single mum

#8 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 17 April 2019 - 09:10 AM

View PostHolidayromp, on 17 April 2019 - 08:29 AM, said:


Can you/her get financial assistance from Centrelink to help with the costs?

Definately check with CL - I have seen people mention they have bereavement help available on other posts.

#9 Freddie'sMum

Posted 17 April 2019 - 09:20 AM

I've said this before on other posts but my Mum sounds very much your the OP's relative.  

When asked about her funeral / paying for the cost of it - Mum just replied "oh the family will have to pay for it".  

Can you call a local funeral home OP and ask them for their advice?  You absolutely won't be the first person faced with this problem.

#10 MooGuru

Posted 17 April 2019 - 09:44 AM

View Postqak, on 17 April 2019 - 08:53 AM, said:

I suppose the real question is whether you are actually better off to do that rather than just open a separate bank account for the funds?

I'd look at this over a pre paid funeral plan. Plus you'd be earning interest on what you are putting aside. You just need to know you won't be tempted to use it.

*I may be overly sceptical because someone my parents knew fell for a pre paid funeral scam back in the 80s or 90s.

#11 Mumma3

Posted 17 April 2019 - 09:48 AM

If you are the only family member left, do you  think a full property funeral is necessary?
Does she have many friends who would expect a funeral?
You may find just having a burial/cremation is cheaper and then have a simple memorial/afternoon tea for the goodbye ritual.

#12 Chicken Pie

Posted 17 April 2019 - 09:56 AM

View PostMumma3, on 17 April 2019 - 09:48 AM, said:

If you are the only family member left, do you  think a full property funeral is necessary?
Does she have many friends who would expect a funeral?
You may find just having a burial/cremation is cheaper and then have a simple memorial/afternoon tea for the goodbye ritual.
this

#13 JBH

Posted 17 April 2019 - 09:58 AM

We didn’t have a funeral for my grandmother. It wasn’t actually to save money, it was because there were very few people who would want to attend. She disn’t Have many friends to start with, and outlived the ones she had. We did pay for a cremation, but no ceremony at all, and my mum and her sibling scattered the ashes and went out for a memorial meal just the two of them.

There are traps in prepaid funerals. You would be better off opening a dedicated bank account and transferring funds into it to save for a funeral.

#14 mayahlb

Posted 17 April 2019 - 10:29 AM

As PP stated, do you think a full funeral is required? My mum specifically took out funeral insurance when she was told she had 5-10 years to live so that covered it for us. It still cost around $4000 just to have her cremated (that is complicated by where I live and having to be sent to Perth for cremation and then sent back). She didn't want a full funeral though, just a "wake" where we celebrated her life and shared memories.

If possible I would start putting away some money into another bank account because you get the interest that way. It also means you don't fall into any prepaid funeral traps. Many funeral homes also allow payment plans.

#15 born.a.girl

Posted 17 April 2019 - 12:02 PM

A little off topic, but if you are the only one responsible for the affairs of an 85yo, it will be you who does all the legwork if they suddenly find they need aged care.

If you are not up to speed already with the process, then bookmarking the thread on 'Finding a nursing home for your own parents', which has invaluable information from many people.

#16 Sweet.Pea

Posted 17 April 2019 - 03:18 PM

 casime, on 17 April 2019 - 08:40 AM, said:

No one else in the family, I'm the only relative left.  

I don't begrudge doing it, but I do wish she would have planned for it herself years ago (she's 85 now).  But she idn't, so I want to make sure I'm not in a position of having to pay out a big sum of money with little warning.  I'm a single mum on a teacher's salary, plus I already cover quite a lot of her living costs, so having a spare chunk of money available at short notice is not necessarily that easy.  Paying it off and having it 'locked away' would be peace of mind for me as well.

I wouldn't. Can you set up a bank account to save for it?

I know she is 85, but what if you tragically die before her?

#17 casime

Posted 17 April 2019 - 05:06 PM

Thank you for all your comments, lots to think about.  

I'm the only family member left, so it will probably be a cremation and then some of her friends meeting down at their local club for afternoon tea as suitable.  She doesn't expect a big service, and I don't really agree with them either.  I don't like a lot of fuss.  

Quote

In nsw you can get paupers funerals, where the government pays for the whole thing.


I wouldn't expect this.  I can put aside enough extra to pay for the cremation and then host her friends.  I just can't justify a very expensive funeral event (not just for her, for anyone, including myself).  



Quote



A little off topic, but if you are the only one responsible for the affairs of an 85yo, it will be you who does all the legwork if they suddenly find they need aged care.




Yes, this is a possibility at some point.  She lives with me at the moment, I have POA and carer status for her.  We've already had the very serious discussion that I will not be giving up work to care for her, and if we need to make that decision we will.  We're already aware of some options around here should it come to that.  

Quote

I know she is 85, but what if you tragically die before her?


My son is our only other family member, and all of my assets will go into trust for him, so solicitors will have to deal with it as administrators of the trust.  There will be more than enough in my estate and life insurance to cover both funerals.  Most of my assets is in the house, not in the bank, which is why I need to think about the cash reserve needed for her funeral.



I think at this point I'll just set up a separate bank account and set up a debit each pay into it.  I've spoken to a few funeral directors today and got some general costs on the cremation and fees without a service, so that will give me an idea of what is needed.  


Edited by casime, 17 April 2019 - 05:06 PM.


#18 Charli73

Posted 17 April 2019 - 05:23 PM



We did this for my dad in January.. he has no money so we saved his pension (what was left after aged care) and used that money..

I would just save what you can in a high interest account instead of a funeral home in case they “go out of business” then you have wasted that money and there may be limitations on what plan you can have..

My mums friend payed funeral insurance then couldn’t afford it any longer so she “lost” all the money that had been saved from that firm... very dodgy.

I would use a bank account, it gives you more flexibility later. You could get away with no funeral and a non attended cremation for only $3000 or so..

Edited by Charli73, 17 April 2019 - 05:27 PM.


#19 notsoretro

Posted 17 April 2019 - 07:03 PM

A prepaid funeral is different to funeral insurance/bonds (they always seemed a bit of a scam to me). The money is held in trust and in some cases can be transferred to another funeral director or even interstate if necessary.

I had looked into this for myself after my Mum died in January (I'm in NSW). The Money Smart website has this link - https://www.moneysma...or-your-funeral

#20 Catticus

Posted 18 April 2019 - 07:25 AM

 notsoretro, on 17 April 2019 - 07:03 PM, said:

A prepaid funeral is different to funeral insurance/bonds (they always seemed a bit of a scam to me). The money is held in trust and in some cases can be transferred to another funeral director or even interstate if necessary.

I had looked into this for myself after my Mum died in January (I'm in NSW). The Money Smart website has this link - https://www.moneysma...or-your-funeral

This is the same as what we have for Mum. Maybe it's only a NSW thing?

#21 born.a.girl

Posted 18 April 2019 - 07:33 AM

My MIL had a funeral insurance bond with Australian Unity.  We could either pay for the funeral from there, and they'd send the rest to the estate, or we could pay for the funeral up front, and they'd send the whole amount to the estate.


She made a lump sum payment more than a decade ago, then it just sat there increasing in value a bit each year, like any insurance bond.

I personally wouldn't bother, but I can imagine for people who worry that they'll fritter away what money they have (as in, fritter, not spend on groceries or the gas bill), leaving their family to foot the bill, it would be worth thinking about, especially if their family were not in a position to pay.

I would never recommend anyone have a pre-paid funeral. What you think you're buying, and what you end up getting can be quite different. Put the money in a five year term deposit.


EFS.

Edited by born.a.girl, 18 April 2019 - 07:36 AM.


#22 qak

Posted 18 April 2019 - 08:22 AM

 casime, on 17 April 2019 - 05:06 PM, said:

I've spoken to a few funeral directors today and got some general costs on the cremation and fees without a service, so that will give me an idea of what is needed.  

Do you mind sharing? With general location details.

My parents funerals (small, non-denominational, simple, at Rookwood crematorium Sydney) were about $6K each - mate's rates through a friend. We had a minister conduct the service, but he cost nothing as he was from my sister's parish. Small wake at local golf club afterwards.

What shocked me was the interment cost at Rookwood - for my Dad I had to buy a double site and it was nearly $9K (for ashes, so it's about 1 square foot!). This includes some fees for the actual interment (witness etc).
It's a perpetual spot in a rose garden, non-denominational. I'd looked up on the Rookwood website and thought it was going to be about $2K, so I have no idea what I was looking at ...

My parents were long divorced, so my Mum's ashes went into her parents' grave at a different cemetery, there were some costs of a few hundred dollars.

#23 Soontobegran

Posted 18 April 2019 - 08:33 AM

 Spikey-on strike, on 18 April 2019 - 07:25 AM, said:



This is the same as what we have for Mum. Maybe it's only a NSW thing?

No, we are in Vic and my dad’s is pre paid and ready to go.
He insisted even though we would have managed.

#24 born.a.girl

Posted 18 April 2019 - 09:05 AM

Cripes qak, those costs are a bit of an eye opener.  It's not something I've ever had to deal with, my mother and MIL handled all of that and it never occurred to me to find out.

We were assuming our ashes would be scatter somewhere but our daughter has said that she'd like somewhere she could visit (and not just an ashes scattering site).

Hmm, will have to look into this.

#25 MooGuru

Posted 18 April 2019 - 09:27 AM

DS's was done at/close to cost by both funeral home and crematorium - total was something like $3500 not including the wake or anywhere to spread the ashes.
The place I was considering had plots for around $6k.




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