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There are rules for funeral directors to follow to help consumers compare funeral packages or manage a pre-paid funeral contract.
Funeral directors must:
Consumers must be able to access prices for all funeral services and packages available from a funeral director so they can easily compare costs of a funeral.
The funeral checklist will help you organise a funeral service. It is not an exhaustive list but a helpful guide.
A pre-paid funeral is a funeral contract plan paid for in advance with a selected funeral director. A pre-paid funeral contract covers all the details of the funeral service and costs.
Any pre-paid funeral contract entered into after 1 March 2021 must comply with the Pre-paid Funerals Code of Practice. The following information covers some of the rules funerals directors have to follow under the code.
What should be covered in the contract?
The contract should cover how much and when you will need to make payments. Check how much the product will cost you over the long term. Find out what the rules are if you stop paying, and when the company will not make a pay-out.
What happens if the:
A funeral director must forward payments (excluding any fees) to an investment manager within 16 days of receipt of the payment.
Investment managers can be:
The funeral investment must be in the client’s name and can only be released after funeral agreed to in the pre-paid funeral contract has been carried out.
No. The cost is fixed unless both parties to the contract agree to vary it, for example if an additional service is required.
If someone requests additional services after the pre-paid funeral recipient has passed away, this will be separate to the original contract and may incur additional costs.
No, the code will only apply contracts entered into from 1 March 2021.
If you do not want to use a funeral director to organise the funeral, you can apply for a single funeral permit, see the Metropolitan Cemetery Board (MCB) for more information.
If you have a complaint with a funeral director and cannot resolve it directly with them, you can contact MCB by phoning 1300 793 109 or email.
When contacting MCB, have the following information ready:
If you are having problems with a pre-paid funeral product you have bought, talk to a financial counsellor. They offer a free service to help you sort out money problems.
You can also email the Consumer Protection contact centre or call 1300 304 054.