Not just funeral costs

If you’re worried about burdening your family with unexpected costs when you pass away, then don’t just focus on your funeral. Bills and other costs could impact on the legacy you want to leave them. Fortunately, you can help.

These days, it’s not uncommon for people to put aside money to cover the costs of their funeral, making sure their grieving relatives don’t have to worry about money at a painful and emotional time.

But there are other costs besides funeral expenses that could be left behind for your executor or family to deal with. So it’s important to consider how you’re going to cover them too.

Bills

Even after you pass away, the bills still have to be paid. These could include:

  • Electricity, gas, water, telephone and internet bills.
  • Medical bills, especially if you’ve had a long or complex illness.
  • Any legal costs involved in sorting out your affairs and winding up
    your estate.

Loans and credit cards

You may also leave behind outstanding debts, such as:

  • Unpaid bills.
  • Car loans.
  • Personal loans and other debts.

If you can’t cover your debts with liquid assets such as cash or super, your executor may need to sell other assets such as the family house or heirlooms.

Funeral costs

According to the government’s MoneySmart web site, the average funeral in Australia costs anywhere between $4,000 and $15,000, and costs have been rising. The exact cost will depend on the funeral director you choose and the kind of service you want.

Remember, it’s not just about the service itself. Funeral costs can include:

  • Funeral director fees
  • Transport
  • A coffin
  • Your death certificate
  • Burial or cremation costs
  • A cemetery plot
  • Celebrant or clergy fees
  • Flowers
  • Memorial costs, including death notices and plaques
  • The cost of the wake

How you can help your family

So how can you help make sure that your family has enough to cover
these expenses?

Some people plan for their family to use money from their estate or super to cover funeral costs and other expenses. If you choose this option, remember that it may take some time for your estate or super to be settled. So in the meantime, your relatives may need to cover the costs of your funeral and be reimbursed later. And, if you’re younger, or don’t have many assets, your estate may be eaten away by your final expenses, leaving your loved ones with much less to live on once
you’re gone.

There are also schemes that help pay for the costs of your funeral, such as a funeral bond or pre-paid funeral. While each of these products has a number of advantages, they are generally designed to only allow for funeral costs, so they may not cover any outstanding debts that you’ve left behind. That could mean your bills could eat away your family’s precious inheritance.

Have you considered Funeral Insurance?

Another way you can help is by taking out Real Funeral Insurance. Unlike pre-paid funerals or funeral bonds, your loved ones can use the payment for any purpose — from paying for your funeral costs, to paying off your credit card or other outstanding bills.

Claims are generally paid quickly so your family isn’t left struggling to pay expenses while they’re grieving. And because they’ll have money on hand to take care of any unpaid bills, more of your hard-earned savings will be left to help take care of them, even when you’re no longer around.

Find out more

To find out more about your insurance options, request an information pack or request a quick quote.

The benefits and limitations outlined on this page are based on general features of each product class and actual features may vary per product. There are also other features to some products that have not been mentioned above. You should consider the actual benefits and limitations of a product before making a decision to purchase. In addition there are other options and financial strategies available for funding your funeral not considered in detail here.

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