Don't put off end-of-life planning

Planning – it’s either something that you’re good at or you’re quite happy to leave things to chance. But when it comes preparing for your end of life, there are some things that shouldn’t be put off any longer.

In our recent survey, Your Final Farewell, there was an overwhelming number of respondents (92.6 per cent) who said that they had taken the time to making a will. And when it comes to ensuring that your financial affairs well managed, 51 per cent of respondents have taken the time to appoint a power of attorney.

However, when it comes to what happens once you die, only 37 per cent of respondents have considered planning their own funeral and just 17.3 per cent have actually taken steps to doing so. Why such a disparity? Amazingly, 42.4 per cent simply don’t feel ready to yet to actually plan their final farewell.

So, how can this reluctance be overcome? Firstly, the focus on having a funeral needs to be switched – it shouldn’t really be about death, but rather celebrating your life, your achievements and the memories that you shared with your family and friends. It’s also the chance for you to have the send off that you want, not something planned by others when emotions are high. Think of it as your chance to say goodbye to your loved ones.

For those who are more pragmatic, the financial benefits can’t be ignored. Planning and prepaying your own funeral enables you to secure the services you want at today’s prices – a clever way to make your dollars go further. There is also the ability to pay for your funeral in installments, to make it easier on those with limited funds. Finally a prepaid funeral plan may be excluded from assessment (limit of $12,500 applies to funeral bonds) under the Age Pension asset test rules, so there may also be a positive impact on your Age Pension payments.

The best starting point for these conversations are with your family and friends, however if you would like to talk to a professional then Guardian Plan can help. Guardian Plan is one of Australia’s leading providers of funeral plans and has been working with some of the top funeral directors in the country for over 20 years. To find out more, visit www.guardianplan.com.au or call them on 1800 773 752.

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