Prepaid funeral trusts

What is a prepaid funeral trust?

A prepaid funeral trust allows you to set money aside now to pay for your funeral expenses when you’re gone. The money is held in a specially created trust and when the time comes to use it, it is available immediately.

Why do I need a prepaid funeral trust?

A prepaid funeral trust is a great way to prepare for the future and make things easier on your loved ones by reducing financial stress during a difficult time.

Funeral costs generally start at about $4,000 and can go up to $10,000 or more depending on your wishes. With a prepaid funeral trust you can take comfort knowing that your funeral expenses are taken care of. This includes funeral direction and registration of death, costs of a casket and hearse, cremation or burial, headstone or plaque, flowers, a minister or celebrant, newspaper notices and the reception.

The value of a prepaid funeral trust up to $10,000 is currently excluded as an asset by Work and Income when applying for a Residential Care Subsidy.

How does a prepaid funeral trust work?

When you set up a prepaid funeral trust, you'll get a trust certificate to keep and you can record your wishes on this. You can review and update your wishes at any time - it’s also a good idea to capture these in your will too.

You can open your prepaid funeral trust with as little as $500 or more if you’d like. You, or anyone else, can add lump sums or make regular contributions at any time. You’ll be sent an annual statement regarding your funds to keep you updated. View current interest rates online, or call us on 0800 371 471.

Once you’ve passed away, we’ll use the trust funds to pay for your funeral expenses and any money left over will be transferred to your estate.

How much does a prepaid funeral trust cost?

There is a fee when your prepaid funeral trust is opened and closed – the setup fee is discounted if you have a Public Trust Will and Enduring Powers of Attorney (for both Property, and Personal Care and Welfare). The initial contribution to your trust must be at least $500 (plus the setup fee).

For full details please see our fees and charges.

Where is my money kept?

Your money will be held aside in Public Trust’s Funeral Trust Cash Fund, and is protected by a government guarantee.

The Pre-Paid Funeral Trust is structured to have funds immediately available to the executor/family when they need to arrange a funeral. Money can only be accessed for funeral expenses (unless under exceptional circumstances), and any remaining money is paid to your estate.

Important information

Your prepaid funeral trust is held in accordance with the master trust deed – the Prepaid Funeral Trust Declaration of Trust 2017, dated 3 April 2017.

Read the Declaration of Trust (PDF 532KB).


Read how Public Trust helped Zoe and her family.

Get sorted today or speak to our experts

If you’re ready to make things easier for your loved ones with a prepaid funeral trust, complete our prepaid funeral trust application form (PDF 1215KB) and post or email it to us.

If you would like to find out more, our experts are here to help. Call us on 0800 371 471 or get in touch online to arrange an appointment.’