How do I join?
You can start the application process online here, or make an appointment with your selected Funeral Director.
Who can join?
Anyone can join the Funeral Trust regardless of their age or state of health.
Can I arrange a plan for somebody else?
Yes. It is common to preplan a funeral for a family member or loved one. Confidentiality is assured – all correspondence will be sent to the person arranging the plan.
How much money will I have to pay?
The money you prepay towards your funeral can be discussed with your Funeral Director who will help you tailor a final farewell to suit your budget.
Do I have to pay for this in one payment?
Most people do prepay their funeral in a single payment but you do not have to. You are able to make payments in instalments if that suits you better.
What is the minimum payment?
The minimum initial prepayment is $200 including an entry fee. The minimum amount of the ongoing instalments is $20 per fortnight if instalments are made by regular automatic payment. If ongoing instalments are not automated and regular the minimum payment is $500 per instalment.
What is the maximum payment?
There is no maximum amount you are able to make. However, only the first $10,000 is excluded from asset testing (under current government policy) when accessing eligibility for a subsidy for long term residential care.
Can I join with my spouse/ partner?
Yes – this is called ‘Joint Participation’. If you want to, both you and your spouse/partner can preplan your funerals. When the first one of you dies the prepaid amount will be used to make payment towards the cost of the funeral. If there are any remaining funds these can either be left in the Funeral Trust or returned to the Estate at that time.
What happens once I’ve applied?
You will receive a letter confirming receipt of your application along with a Certificate detailing the amount you have prepaid towards your funeral. This will contain all the information you will need, plus a second copy of the details for your relatives or executor along with simple instructions on how to claim when the time comes.
What happens when I die?
When you die your family will arrange your funeral with your Funeral Director in accordance with the plans you have made. Your Funeral Director will arrange for the costs of the funeral to be paid from your prepayment.
If any money remains after the cost of the funeral has been met this will be returned to your estate. If your prepayment doesn’t cover the cost of your funeral your Funeral Director will make arrangements with your family or estate for the balance.
If you are a Joint Participant, further options will be discussed with your surviving spouse/partner taking into account any instructions provided when the joint preplan was put in place.
What services will be provided as part of my preplan?
The services provided to you will be in accordance with the preplan you have made with your Funeral Director.
While the money set aside for prepayment may cover the cost of these services, be aware costs can change and it is recommended that when the time comes, family check the preplan details against the funds available.
Where does the money go?
The Trustees of the Funeral Trust hold your money in trust for you until it is needed. The funds held in the Funeral Trust may earn interest which the Trustees are able to allocate to your prepayment. Any funds the Trustees invest will be placed with a reputable financial institution.
What happens if my Funeral Director goes out of business?
No matter what happens in the future to the Funeral Director you arrange your plan through, you will be protected because the money you prepay is held in trust in the separate Funeral Trust. The funds you have set aside are not held by an individual Funeral Director or their bank.
Are costs of the funeral inflation proofed?
No, however, any interest allocated to your prepayment will help to offset any increases in the cost of your funeral as a result of inflation.
Can I change my mind?
If you change your mind about the details of your preplan, simply contact your Funeral Director and make the necessary changes.
If for any reason you are not satisfied with the provisions of the Trust you may, within 21 days from application, cancel the agreement and receive a full refund of all amounts paid.
Can I withdraw my prepayment before I die?
The purpose of the plan is to set money aside towards the cost of your funeral. For this reason it is not possible to withdraw your prepayment unless:
- You have permanently emigrated from New Zealand; or
- In the case of extreme financial hardship the Trustee (at its sole discretion) may allow for prepaid funds to be returned.
What are the fees?
The fees you pay are outlined on the Application Form and the letter you receive after you join the Trust. Fees may be adjusted from time to time depending on inflation or other factors that influence the costs of managing the plan.
What happens if I die in another town?
If the funeral is not conducted by the Funeral Director with whom the prearrangement was completed, but is conducted by another Funeral Director, that firm will be able to use the prepaid funds to make payment towards the cost of the funeral.
If the funeral is subsequently conducted by a firm that is not a member of the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand, the Executor of the Estate may apply to the Trustee for the funds to make payment towards the funeral account.
Have you made a will?
Your planning should include the completion of a will. If you do not have a will we recommend you get advice or assistance to have a will put in place.