Planning

Your funeral choices

Making your funeral wishes clear to your family or legal advisor – just makes sense.

The most significant decision is either cremation (and what is to happen to your ashes) or burial (natural or conventional and at which cemetery).

Whether you would prefer a simple & no fuss funeral or a convivial gathering, consider the following; venue for funeral, type of casket, celebrant, choice of music, catering, flowers. You can be very specific.

My funeral plan– print this off, fill it in and leave with your solicitor or family member.

However, while you can set out detailed funeral arrangements in your Will, those organising your funeral are not legally bound to follow those instructions.

Pre-payment plans and Funeral insurance

Consumer NZ investigated pre-payment funeral plans and funeral insurance at the end of October 2010. This report makes comparisons and highlights the benefits and disadvantages of the plans on offer.

One benefit of a pre-paid funeral plan is the funds (limit of $10,000) are exempt from asset testing requirements for a long-term residential care subsidy.

The report suggests that you can set up your own savings scheme in a bank account. This avoids paying the set-up and other fees required by pre-paid plans and trusts and ensures you have complete control over your money. To prevent the funds being tied up in probate they suggest putting the account in joint names with a trusted family member or friend.

Banks

Some banks in New Zealand have a policy to pay the funeral account direct to the funeral company from the deceased’s bank account assuming there are sufficient funds.  Check if your bank has this policy.