Prepaid funerals consultation

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Prepaid funerals

Proposals for regulation

Consumer Protection produces and amends legislation, codes of practice, guidelines, and general consumer information. Where public comment is being invited for state legislation, draft copies of the documents are placed on this page.

Status: Closed

Information on current legislation can be found at the State Law Publisher.

Prepaid funerals are not covered by specific legislation in WA. In this regard WA is out of step with the other jurisdictions which have enacted specific legislation as a result of consumer complaints and market failures, to regulate various aspects of the prepaid funerals sector. It is estimated that in Western Australia, around $24 million of consumers’ money is being held for prepaid funerals and it is anticipated that the amount will only increase as the population ages.

To facilitate discussion on this matter and to establish whether some form of regulation of the prepaid funerals sector is warranted, Consumer Protection has prepared a Consultation RIS and Discussion Paper. A previous consultation process conducted in 2006 resulted in a 2007 Final Report, which forms the basis for this Consultation RIS.

This paper canvasses five options

  1. Maintain the status quo.
  2. Introduce a Code of Practice under the Fair Trading Act 2010 (FTA 2010) to implement the recommendations of the 2007 Final Report.
  3. Introduce a code of practice under the FTA 2010 combining the 2007 final report recommendations and the Australian Funeral Directors Associations’ requirements.
  4. Amend the informal funeral directors Code of Practice applied by the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board.
  5. Introduce specific legislation for prepaid funerals.

Previous papers

A previous consultation process conducted in 2006 resulted in a 2007 Final Report, which forms the basis for this Consultation RIS.

Other Reports

Paying for funerals: How consumers decide to meet the costs. This ASIC report describes how some consumers try to make sure that there is sufficient money available to cover the cost of their funeral. One option available to consumers is to save, but this is not always a feasible option especially for those on limited incomes. Some people who have life insurance or enough superannuation know that the money will be available, although it is not necessarily accessible in time to pay the bills. Some people do not have life insurance or superannuation. Some consumers choose to purchase a funeral benefit product.

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