Preplanning your funeral can help lighten the load for family and friends

LOOKING AHEAD: Preplanning your funeral can help your family and friends in a difficult time. Photos: Shutterstock
LOOKING AHEAD: Preplanning your funeral can help your family and friends in a difficult time. Photos: Shutterstock

THE death of a loved one can be devastating for family and friends, and while grief alone can be painful, trying to plan and pay for a funeral only adds to the stress and emotions during such a difficult time. While cost certainly is a big worry for people when it comes to funerals, making sure you celebrate a loved ones life and bidding farewell in a way they would have wanted, is equally as important.

To help ease the stress put on family and friends during these times, people are looking at preplanning their own funeral, and Stacey Patterson from Patterson Brothers Funerals, said it is an increasing trend. "Preplanning your funeral has been around for a while, however there has definitely been an increase over the past few years, especially with younger people looking more at preplanning," she said. "It is a very simple process but there a lots of benefits to it."

BEST APPROACH: Talking about funerals isn't always easy, but being upfront and honest is a great start.

BEST APPROACH: Talking about funerals isn't always easy, but being upfront and honest is a great start.

When looking at preplanning a funeral there are many things to take into account such as your final wishes, location, service size, cremation or burial, coffins, flowers, headstones, and of course cost. A recent study by the government website 'Moneysmart', showed that the average funeral costs approximately $10,000, with prices ranging from basic cremations and services available from $4,000, up to $20,000 for a more elaborate burial.

Stacey said that while cost is a big factor, it's not usually the thing people worry about most. "Costs of a funeral can influence people's decisions but as part of preplanning a funeral, you can also prepay which not only saves your family paying for things in the future, but also locks in details at current prices meaning you could save thousands of dollars in the long run," she said. "The main benefits of a preplanned funeral though is you get exactly what you would like, from the type of service to way you are celebrated, you can be very specific and help remove any confusion for those left to organise things."

While preplanning doesn't have to be a formal process, it can be as simple as sitting down with your family and writing out a list of things for people to do and things you would like, Stacey said meeting with a funeral director can help eliminate any confusion and assist in better decision making. "If you want things to be well planned, have accurate costing and know all bases are covered, it's worthwhile making an appointment to sit down with us, go over any questions you might have, and remove any concerns by preplanning your funeral."

For more information, call Stacey or Daniel from Patterson Brothers Funerals on 02 6382 5217, or visit their website at www.pattersonbrothersfunerals.com.au.

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