With the costs of funeral services being what they are now, planning a funeral in advance is a great deal more convenient and cheaper, according to funeral directors in Sydney and experts everywhere. But the topic of death is one most people prefer to stay away from as much as possible, only making decisions when circumstances force them too.
According to experts, including Invocare; one of Australia’s leading funeral service providers, this is an issue. As with any decision making process being clouded by extreme emotion, like grief for a lost loved one, can make one prone to making erroneous mistakes. This means that, in the aftermath of a loved one’s death, people find it hard to find the best deals for the funeral service.
Invocare has released some data on the issue, which shows that, out of the yearly average of around 45,000 funeral contracts they get, only 7,000 are ‘pre-need’ or planned ahead of schedule. Their research has also shown that only 41% of Australians involve themselves in the planning of the funerals of their loved ones, with only 10% saying that the whole process went smoother because it was already paid for prior.
Additionally, the research shows that only 17% looked for the best local deal, with 26% choosing based on having attended a funeral from the company in the past. Notably, 39% of Australians in the age range of 18-34 chose their provider simply because it was the first shown on their search engine.
Fergus Kelly, of funeralplanner.com.au, stated that, whilst pre-need does not change the price now, it also doesn’t change the price, ever. Pre-need funerals will ensure that you pay the current rate without any additional costs attached at any point after payment.
According to Kelly, if the booking is early enough, costs can be reduced by as much as half, taking inflation into account.
Additionally, a pre-need choice means that payment can be made over time, instead of in one deposit, which can alleviate the issue of finance later on.
He states that, with current costs hovering at $6,000, if a person were to plan now, the cost increase trend of the market meant that, 2 decades from now, when a funeral might cost around $13,000, savings would be in the thousands, easily.