Planning your funeral in advance can be as straight forward as having a discussion with your immediate family. Doing preparation in advance of your passing makes sense and makes a significant difference to those you leave behind. Planning will give your family confidence that they are following your wishes and may give you peace of mind.
Firstly you will need to prepare a will and express your wishes verbally or in writing.
Secondly, we recommend you seek professional advice on all money matters.
Consider making a will
If you are over 18 years of age it is time to make a Will. You can download templates or go to a solicitor or the Public Trust office. The contents of your will should accurately reflect your wishes. Often a will needs to be updated as your circumstances and requirements change.
Organise a power of attorney. An ordinary power of attorney is when the donor gives another person the authority to act for them on certain matters: for example, if they are temporarily overseas and need someone to look after a property.
Organise an Enduring Power of Attorney. An EPA for personal care and welfare gives someone you trust the power to make decisions about your health and welfare if you’re unable to. They’re often a family member or a trusted friend.
Secure your records
Using a secure online vault is an outstanding way to collate all your information. You can keep secure your information of yourself, digital details, your financial information, medical, legal, elderly care and any wishes you have. See: LifeLot Your digital life stores in one place, accessible anytime, and taken care of after you’ve passed on. Remember to advise your PIN number to your mobile phone and all photos can be saved and cherished into the future.
Here is an overview of some of the ways to pay for your funeral:
2. You pre-pay your funeral costs in advance
3. You take funeral insurance to cover your expenses.
4. Personal savings in your own bank account
5. Kiwisaver, Superannuation
Preplan and prepay your funeral
The Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand operate a pre-paid funeral scheme where in planning for your funeral you meet with a discuss your arrangements and you pay the price of the funeral into a special trust account. Here is a 4 minute video produced by the Funeral Directors Association about funeral and their advance planning scheme, You receive interest on your money and any left over will be returned to your estate.
Check: Is there going to be enough to cover the expenses of a future funeral and is it a long term financial commitment that I may want to get out of
See: The Funeral Trust
Funeral insurance is an insurance product that pays a set amount when you pass to cover your funeral expenses. Funeral insurance will pay your family an immediate lump sum payout.
Check: Premiums can be more expensive than premiums on term life insurance. A medical exam is usually not required. Suited to people with health issues who struggle to get affordable life insurance.
Check: If you stop paying premiums, will you be able to reclaim any of the money you have paid in. Will you pay more in premiums that you would on a funeral.
Opening a savings account and making regular contributions could be a good option to ensure you have enough money for your funeral. You have direct control To ensure your bank accounts are accessible by a spouse or partner, it is best to place your bank accounts into joint names.
To withdraw all your money in one go, you need to be 65 years of age and a member of KiwiSaver for at least five years. Get financial advice on your finances for retirement and see if you have enough to live on and to earmark for your funeral.
Also, you can withdraw funds from your KiwiSaver early if you need to pay funeral expenses when a dependent family member passes away.