Pay Now, Die Later

By: Michael Lynch – Tobin Brothers Funerals
Monday, July 14, 2014

The latest edition of Money Smart, published under the auspices of theAustralian Securities Commission ASIC, points out that depending upon the kind of service required, the cost of a funeral today, can be anything from $4.000 to $15,000.

The booklet provides a timely analysis of the ways in which we can ‘pay now and die later’ -  Savings; Fixed Price Funeral Plans; Funeral Bonds; or Funeral Insurance.

While a separate Savings Account may appear to be the simplest option, MoneySmart says it’s important to know whether this entails fees and charges; what the interest rate is, and how easily the funds in the account can be accessed upon the death of the account holder.

A Fixed Price Funeral Plan enables the purchaser to sit down with a funeral director and plan the service, cost every available option, including the coffin or casket selection. The balance, at today’s prices can be paid there and then, or alternatively a deposit can be made followed by regular interest free installments with Tobin Brothers Funerals.

Unlike funeral insurance, the payments made on a Fixed Price Funeral Plan  do not increase over time and even if the purchaser were to live another ten to fifteen years, just as the name states…the price is fixed forever.

Funeral Bonds, purchased from a Funeral Director, a Friendly Society or Life Insurance Company, requires the owner to make regular payments over time. The funds invested do attract good interest, butMoneySmart says those considering this option would be wise to establish how much they have to pay up front; what the fees and charges are, and when they must be paid.

Funeral Insurance

Sometimes, erroneously called a funeral plan, readers of the MoneySmart booklet may come to the conclusion that despite a heavy TV advertising campaign, funeral insurance is the least attractive option.

MoneySmart points out that those who purchase funeral insurance will make regular ongoing payments called ‘premiums’ that will usually increase over time. This means you don’t know how much you will be paying ten years down the track and that you could end up paying more in insurance premiums than the amount you will receive to assist with funeral expenses.

The other thing to be aware of, says MoneySmart is that if financial hardship prevents you from keeping up payments on your premiums, your insurance will be cancelled and you won’t get a refund or even a part payment for the funeral. There are some insurance plans that will allow you to cease paying premiums once your balance reaches the sum you said you needed for the funeral. The problem is though, that unlike a Fixed Price Funeral Plan, the sum you settled on at the time you took out funeral insurance may well not cover the cost of the funeral, ten years later.

In 1984 Tobin Brothers Funerals became the first funeral company to actively market the availability of a pre-need funeral. Managing Director James MacLeod says at the time the hope was that the interest earned on the funeral plan money invested, would keep up with the increasing costs of funerals. It did, and thus, for the client family and the company, it was, and continues to be, a win-win experience.

In the thirty years since Tobin Brothers Funerals introduced the Fixed Price Funeral Plan, thousands of our client families have taken out funeral plans and other companies have followed suit with similar pre-paid schemes. In 1993, all such funeral plans became protected by the Pre-Paid Monies Act, so that even if a company were to go out of business, the monies invested in Fixed Price Funeral Plans are totally secure.

Our staff are trained and able to assist with questions about pre-payment of funerals.

Helpful independent advice can be obtained from “Money Smart” an ASIC initiative.

More information about our Fixed Price Funeral Plans is available online:

Or telephone our Funeral Advice Line: (03) 9373 7000.

Leave a comment
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.


Please wait

Previous Posts

Tobin Brothers are here to help

  Funerals are an important time for family and friends to come together as a community to express our love and process our thoughts and feelings about the death of someone we love. The funer...

Coronavirus Assistance

On 30 January 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. ...

Tobin Brothers Foundation Awards the Forgotten & Ignored

There are so many people in our community who are repeatedly ignored, unacknowledged or forgotten and the many small organisations striving to help them are fighting an uphill battle to obtain fund...

Black Saturday Fires 10 Years On

Ten years on and this is the first time we have shared reflections on Tobin Brothers involvement in the Black Saturday fires and their aftermath. The 7th of February is my wife Louise’s birthday.&...

Funerals Are Too Important To Leave To Just Anyone

As Managing Director of Australia’s largest owned family funeral company, Tobin Brothers Funerals, I would like to make the following comments on the widely reported alleged coffin swapping by Hart...

It’s your funeral, an investigation of death care in the Funeral Industry in Australia Comment

  As Managing Director of Tobin Brothers I’d like to make the following comments on a recently released paper “It’s your funeral, an investigation of death care in the Funeral Industry...

Statement of Wishes (for the celebration of my life)

“Oh Gosh – there’s just so much to think about and organise.” That’s a fairly typical reaction of families who suddenly find themselves having to arrange the funeral of a loved one. Not only are t...

Sunshine ‘Legacy of Life’ Chapel

Built in 1927, the old Sunshine Metropolitan Fire Station is significant to the City of Brimbank as one of the more ornate and well-preserved public buildings in the City. Along with other historic...

It’s Not Easy Being Green…Or Perhaps It Is

With the environment moving to the front of society’s conscience, many people are now planning their funerals with future generations in mind and looking for more environmentally friendly options. ...

A Night At The Museum

Just as Ben Stiller described his experience in the 2006 film Night at the Museum as "freakin’ awesome", so too was the official opening of the Tobin Brothers Funerals Museum on Thursday 9th Octobe...