Don’t delay funeral planning

Arranging a funeral can be a highly stressful and expensive exercise for anyone who has lost someone dear to them. So don’t delay. Prepare now for the inevitable.

Last year Statistics South Africa revealed that funeral services costs grew by 12% year-on-year between August 2016 and August 2017. At the time, the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) indicated that fuel and labour were the biggest related expenses. This was over-and-above costs such as seating, gazebos, PA systems and catering.

The NFDA is a not-for-profit organisation, and the oldest professional body of funeral directors in Southern Africa. Ahead of its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in George from 20 to 21 February 2018, current NFDA President, Dr Lawrence Konyana, says funeral directors are there to help and support Don't Delay Funeral Planningmourners before, and during, and after the passing of a loved one.

Don’t delay – Pre-planning 

“Funeral arrangements entail making several decisions at a highly emotional time. It is a good idea to pre-plan; that is, to prepare for the event well before it happens.

“Having a plan in place when someone passes away offers great emotional and financial peace of mind to the bereaved.

“Be wary of fly-by-night operators. Only consult a registered and credible funeral director who is underwritten by a registered insurance underwriter. They can assist to make informed decisions about arrangements that will suit your needs and budget. A full list of NFDA accredited funeral service providers is available on our website: or by contacting our office on 011 825 4404.”

Dr Konyana advises that you keep signed documents – such as funeral plans – in a safe place.

“It is also wise to tell a trusted relative or friend where you keep these documents.”

Don’t Delay – Other benefits of a funeral plan 

Registered insurance underwriter, African Unity Life (AUL) says benefits do vary from one funeral plan to the next; this depends on the level of cover the policyholder selects.

“Many individuals choose to include benefits that will ensure that those left behind are taken care of well after their passing,” says AUL CEO, Sonja Visser. “For example, a payout that is sufficient to cover the funeral costs as well as groceries, utility bills or even school fees.”

Visser agrees with Dr Konyana that you should do any pre-planning with an accredited provider, and they should clearly explain what you are committing to.

“Read each document very carefully – including the terms and conditions – before you fill in any information or put your signature on it. Make sure that you understand the benefits that you will receive; that you know what the monthly payment is and when it is due; and if and when there will be any increases. Ask questions if anything is not clear, or is not what you understood it to be.”

“Ensure that you receive copies of every document that you have completed and signed. And insist that you are given a participation certificate which will indicate who is covered on the policy that you have taken out.”

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All info was correct at time of publishing