What you should know before planning your funeral

One of the few certainties in life is that we’ll all need a funeral one day, and while it’s not something we need to dwell on, it can be a good idea to plan ahead.

Why plan your funeral?

Planning your own funeral gives you a chance to have a say in how your family and friends will see you off. For instance, you can specify whether you want a burial or a cremation, or whether you would like a religious service. You can also let family know where you would like to be buried or have your ashes scattered.

You can be as specific as you like, right down to choosing the music, prayers or readings. You may want particular flowers or prefer people donate to a cause close to your heart.

Most importantly, planning your funeral in advance can be a beautiful gift to your loved ones at a difficult time. With the preparations all done, they can feel confident knowing they’re honouring your memory the way you want them to.

What you need to know

Things you need to consider before planning your funeral include:

  • Whether your wishes will be respected when you die, which is why writing a Will is so important.
  • The types of funerals available to Australians today.
  • How much your funeral will cost – not just today but in the future when prices have increased due to inflation. This means taking into account whether you or your family will have sufficient funds to pay for your funeral, and this is where Funeral Insurance can help.

Make a Will

Perhaps the best way to ensure you get the funeral you would like is to put your instructions in your Will, so they can be easily found when you pass away.

Things your Will should contain usually include:

  • Your Executor – this is the person you nominate to carry out your final wishes, as outlined in your Will. It could be a friend, family member, legal representative or a State Trustee if there is no one suitable for the role.
  • Your Assets – a list of all the things you own and their approximate value at the time of writing your Will.
  • Your Beneficiaries – the people you wish to benefit from your Will. Each beneficiary’s share is normally expressed as a percentage of your residuary estate (what’s left after the payment of any debts, funeral and testamentary expenses).
  • Your Power of Attorney – another person appointed by you to make decisions about your medical treatment and aged care if you become unable to make them for yourself.
  • Your Funeral Instructions – an outline of your preferred funeral arrangements to ensure those close to you and the Executor of your Will are aware of your wishes.

Decide on the type of funeral you want

When outlining your preferred funeral arrangements in your Will, you will need to consider a number of things including:

  • A funeral director
  • A funeral location
  • Whether to be buried or cremated
    • If burial is chosen, where the plot will be, which coffin will be chosen, and what the headstone or monument will be.
    • If cremation is chosen, which crematorium it will be, which cremation urn, who will participate in the service, and what will be done with the ashes (i.e. scattered or buried).
  • All the other components of a funeral including minister, hearse, flowers, catering, death notices, death certificate etc.

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Planning for the cost of your funeral

As well as making your wishes clear in your Will, it’s also important to plan ahead for the cost of your funeral, which will depend heavily on the choices you make as outlined above.

Funerals in Australia can cost anywhere between $4,000 and $15,000. That’s a lot of money to come up with at once, and the last thing a grieving family needs to be worried about.

To determine how much money your family may need available to cover the cost of your funeral, try our funeral cost calculator today.

Funeral insurance can help

Funeral insurance can help to cover these costs, with a simple, lump sum payout when it’s needed most. Having funeral insurance ensures your loved ones are not left with unmanageable costs when you die.

Seniors Funeral Insurance offers a range of benefits, including:

  • A lump sum payout of up to $15,000 to help cover funeral costs and other immediate expenses.
  • 100% paid to you if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness1
  • Bonus cover – at age 85, your cover will increase by 25% and you’ll no longer have to pay to stay covered.
  • A quick claims payout, usually within 1 day of receiving completed documents. 
  • Triple payout if your death is the result of an accident.
  • Australian residents aged between 40 and 79 are guaranteed acceptance.

It only takes a few minutes to get your funeral costs covered


  1. Cover is for accidental serious injury and accidental death only in the first 12 months. Terminal illness with diagnosis of 12 months or less to live.