While living well is an ideal we’re all familiar with, dying well can seem like a strange concept to many. We often let our superstitions and fears about dying, and the discomfort that comes with discussing death, prevent us from planning for when that time inevitably comes.
As a funeral celebrant and someone who has personal experience with both pre-planned and at-need funerals, Christine is intimately acquainted with the difficulties of death, and sees pre-planning her own and loved ones’ funerals as a way of reducing their pain.
“When making pre-arrangements for our mother’s funeral, my sister was worried that it might somehow bring about our mother’s death. But I knew it was important because as soon as someone dies, you go into shock and can lose control of how they’re commemorated.”
While it was emotionally challenging, Christine recognised that the process would only be harder once their mother died, and wanted to have the ‘practicalities’ sorted so that they could focus on making easier choices at the time, like picking the music for the service.
“Pre-planning meant that we had the right information at hand to register her death, knew what the expenses we wanted covered were, and could plan for any extra costs. It also meant we could choose the priest we wanted and, most importantly, that we wouldn’t have to sit and stare at caskets when we were already distraught.”
Overall, the major benefits of pre-planning are choice and peace of mind. It gives people the opportunity to do their own research, ensure their affairs are in order and establish a trusting relationship with their chosen provider. It also means they can decide on their level of involvement, and even provide their loved ones with resources designed to help them cope, such as bereavement counselling with grief specialists.
“When my brother-in-law was dying 18 months ago, my sister was too distressed to make any plans. So when he did die, the family had completely different ideas of what they wanted, hadn’t done the paperwork, and didn’t any have professional support – it just prolonged everyone’s pain.”
And while Christine hasn’t pre-paid for her funeral – you can still pre-plan without doing so – she’s considering it, and her trusted funeral provider’s individualised offerings will ensure that her, and all their clients, are only paying for what they need.
Along with the benefits of pre-planning, some of the key advantages of pre-paying for your funeral are:
- Unlike funeral insurance where you pay instalments over a period of time that can increase as time goes on, pre-paying your funeral ensures that you are locking in the costs at today’s prices.
- Having the option to pay upfront or by instalments
- Reducing your family’s financial burden
- Benefitting from pre-paid contracts being exempt from asset and income means testing when assessing aged pension eligibility
- Taking control of the end-of-life decisions. These are important things to be aware of as, since dealing with a large number of families in her time as a celebrant and pre-planning multiple funerals, Christine has discovered that most people don’t know the true costs associated with a person’s death.
Ultimately, we don’t know how we will die, but we can decide on what happens afterwards. By pre-planning and/or pre-paying for your funeral with a trusted, family-owned provider, both yourself and your loved ones can rest assured that they will be treated with the kindness and respect they deserve at the time they need it most.
The information on this website is for general information only and are not (and nor are they intended to be) a substitute for professional medical or mental health advice, nor is it used for diagnosis and treatment. You, or anyone you are concerned about, are encouraged to seek professional medical or mental health advice and treatment from suitably qualified medical and clinical practitioners and providers.
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