News & Articles

New Crematorium Opens

Planning for Ipswich’s future not only includes infrastructure – but also how to best manage the city’s cemeteries. Ipswich Cemeteries, operated by Norwood Park Ltd opened the new Ipswich Crematorium with its first cremation taking place in January 2014.

Over the next few years we will see the development of the crematorium facilities to include an onsite funeral chapel and catering room. In the meantime, we encourage families to use our Funeral Home Chapel located at 22 Warwick Road, Ipswich which features a large and comfy, air-conditioned chapel, with a catering and refreshments room incorporated into the facility so that all services can be provided in the one location.

Funeral Bond vs Bank Account

Source: Sureplan Friendly Society (Published: April 16, 2013)

The danger of using a bank account to provide for funeral expenses

Earlier this year controversial legislation was rushed through parliament that allows the federal government to claim money as “unclaimed moneys” from bank accounts that have been inactive for three years.

From May 31 the government will be able to claim money from accounts that have not had a withdrawal or a deposit made within three years (previously it was seven years) and it will be transferred to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

While the new law has been criticized as a cash grab, the government says that if anyone can prove ownership of the funds from the inactive accounts, the money can be reclaimed from ASIC but this is a process that could take months.

Critics have further pointed out that some of the inactive bank accounts have been set up for rainy day scenarios such as for inheritance purposes, or for a child’s education or to cover funeral expenses.

In effect the tightening of the time frame for inactive bank accounts means people wanting to plan ahead for their funeral arrangements need to find an alternative funding method otherwise they could leave their family with the headache of reclaiming the bank account balance from ASIC. Considering this, anyone wishing to put some money away for their funeral arrangements, the purchasing of a funeral bond such as our Sureplan Gold is a wise option as funeral bonds are not caught up under this government legislation.

A funeral bond such as Sureplan Gold could be considered as a sort of funeral saving plan. It delivers a return (bonus) that historically has been as good as a bank and people can either pay a lump sum or make regular deposits.

Sureplan Gold is a conservative, low risk fund as it is invests only in A and AA rated fixed interest securities and cash. A bonus can be credited to members’ policies annually from any surplus (growth) generated in the fund.

Unlike bank interest, any annual bonus if paid is not part of a member’s tax assessable income. Also Sureplan Gold has no contribution or application fees.

The bonds are also useful for people on Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs pensions. Funeral bonds are considered an exempt asset for pension purposes up to a maximum threshold (which changes each July 1, currently it is $11,500). This allows an individual to put away $11,500, or in the case of a couple they can put away $23,000 and have it not income or asset tested. This can assist people who are on a part-pension or can help others who are just outside the pension threshold to qualify for a part-pension and the associated fringe benefits.

Also, should people need to undertake an asset assessment to determine their eligibility for a government subsidy when entering an aged care facility a funeral bond may also be considered as an exempt asset.

After the expiration of the 30 day cooling off period the funds held in a funeral bond cannot be withdrawn until required for payment of funeral expenses.

To set up a funeral bond through Sylvan Funerals, please contact us on (07) 3812 4000 or click here for more information

New LoveUrns Cremation Urns

As the needs of our client families are always changing, it is important that we continue to source new products to offer them. We are proud to now supply the beautiful range provided by LoveUrns.

All the products within the LoveUrns range are produced in associated factories, where workers and artisans take pride in what they do, each product is Lovingly crafted, engraved, hand polished and packed. We are proud to be associated with such artisans and other workers. It is their dedication and passion for their work that gives us the ability to bring you, LoveUrns® – Handcrafted with Love.

To view the LoveUrns range, click here.

, ,

Donating your body for science

Some families ask whether it is possible to donate one’s body to science. The University of Queensland (School of Biomedical Science) offers a Body Donor Program in which individuals may do this. You must apply to become a donor prior to your death by registering your interest through UQ’s Body Donor Program Coordinator. Please note that not everyone is accepted, depending upon criteria set out by the University of Queensland.

Whilst the body of the deceased must be transported promptly to the University following death, families often need to still have a time of reflection and remembrance which a traditional funeral service provided. Therefore it is possible to have a funeral or memorial service without the deceased present, and our staff can arrange and conduct this service for family as normal. Our staff are available 24 hours on (07) 3812 4000.

For more detailed information on the Body Donor Program or to register your interest with the University of Queensland, please click here to be directed to their website.

Funeral Insurance Mistakes

Leaving funeral insurance too late can be a costly mistake

In July the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) released a study they commissioned into the decision process undertaken by consumers when choosing how to fund their future funeral expenses.

The research found that many people undertake very little research and therefore are not aware of all the options available. Those who take out funeral insurance with some of the highly advertised plans are often not aware of the escalating premiums, the total cost of their policy and the consequences of not paying premiums.

This again highlights the cost savings for consumers who obtain cover with Sureplan Family Fund earlier in life.

So if your friends or family who are aged 55 or younger either currently have a policy with another company, or are now considering purchasing funeral insurance, Sureplan Family Fund will be a far more cost-effective option for them because,

  • Premiums are fixed
  • Premiums are payable only until age 60.

Premiums with many other funeral insurers regularly increase and are payable until age 90. This means that the total cost for a $10,000 policy with one of these highly advertised funeral insurers could be $25,000 – $30,000 (depending at which age the policy is commenced). Compare this to Sureplan Family Fund where for a 40 year old the total cost for $10,000 cover is just under $5,000.

The ASIC report can be found on the following link;…nsf/…/rep292-published-19-July-2012.pdf




How to Reduce Funeral Costs

Our goal at Sylvan Funerals is to help families keep funeral costs within their means, while planning a beautiful tribute to a life that’s been important to them. The following section will show you ways of dramatically reducing funeral costs. We are committed to ensure you only pay for services that you have deemed valuable and necessary.

Funeral Expenses can be divided into two main categories. These being Funeral Director Fees (eg: Service Fee, Transfer Fee if any and Coffin/Casket) and Disbursement Costs.

How can i reduce the Funeral Director Fees?

Should you not require any form of ceremony, or perhaps you wish to personally arrange a Memorial Service’ at a later date, you could select a direct committal service. This type of service refers to the funeral director delivering the deceased to the crematorium/cemetery privately, with no mourners in attendance. Potential Saving (Approx) $1,000

Coffin Choice – How much should be spent?

As with all the questions relating to planning a funeral, this is a very personal issue. We will ensure you are presented with a wide range of coffin options and are given the absolute freedom to make a choice that is appropriate. The cost of an appropriately lined coffin is on average is below $1000. To view our standard range of coffins,click here.

Burial or Cremation. Is there a major cost difference?

In most major cemeteries, the cost of purchasing a lawn cemetery plot, interment fee and plaque will always cost more than a cremation fee.

The difference could easily be as much as $1,700 more for the burial option. If required, we can provide cost comparisons on all cemetery and cremation options available to you. Please contact us. Potential Saving (Approx) $1,700 (if selecting Cremation over Burial)

Funeral Notices, is it a requirement?

Most families decide to place a notice inserted in their local or national paper, however a notice in the paper is not compulsory. The cost of a funeral notice varies between newspapers and is calculated according to the number or words. As a guide, we recommend an allowance of $300 for most large, daily newspapers for a standard length notice. If there are only a small number of family and friends to contact, perhaps using the phone would be more cost effective. Potential Saving (Approx) $300

Do I need an organist if we aren’t singing any hymns?

You may choose to have CD music played as people arrive, and as they leave the church/chapel. Should you require assistance accessing certain tracks, we have a large music library to select from or we can source the specific track on your behalf.Potential Saving $55-99

Order of Service Booklets – Can I prepare my own?

Yes. If you have allowed yourself time, with the access of a computer and printer, you may prepare your own service sheets. Of course, if you are including an order of service it is advisable to allow your clergy or celebrant to check a proof before hitting the print button. You should also seek advice to ensure you do not infringe copyright laws. Of course if you feel this task is too great of a task, we have an in-house design and printing service with the appripriate copyright licenses. Potential Saving (Approx) $250

Floral Tributes – Can I arrange this myself?

Yes. You may have a favourite florist or have a close friend or family member who has a flare for floristry who may be able to prepare a floral tribute to be placed on top of the coffin. Potential Saving (Approx) $150-200

Catering Costs – what should I allow?

The wake or gathering after the funeral can be a very beneficial time. You can engage professional caterers who may also provide the venue. You may choose to invite family & friends to your home. Friends at this time are always looking for practical ways to show their care. If a friend can coordinate the catering needs for you, there is an obvious saving here. Potential Saving (Approx) $480-640 (Based on 80 people)

Is there a discount for early settlement of the account?

Yes. At Sylvan Funerals a substantial discount is offered to families who are able to settle the account prior to the funeral, or within the agreed time period stated on the funeral account. Potential Saving $220

Are you aware of Compassionate Airfares?

For family that are travelling by air to attend the funeral, it is worth knowing that most major airlines will offer a discounted rate for such circumstances. These fares are known as “compassionate airfares”. When booking the airline tickets, state that you are seeking a compassionate airfare for travel to a funeral. They will require verification by fax from the funeral director. Contact us with the flight details and direct fax number and we will forward the necessary verification.


This report has outlined more than $3000 worth of savings. Of course no one family will save that entire amount. because your needs are individual, your requirements will be individual. The point is that our goal is to support families and to allow them to be in control when planning a funeral. This ensures you only pay for services that are valuable to you and require.

We thank you for taking the time to read this section and trust it has been informative to you. Should you wish to discuss your personal funeral needs, a meeting in your home or at our office can be arranged without obligation by contacting us on (07) 3812 4000 or filling out our Enquiry Form.

Welcome to our website

When a new year begins, there also comes fresh outlook and perspective. With this in mind, we would like to introduce you to our new website which went live on 1st January 2013.

This new website has many features, which include:

  • Cremation Urn Catalogue (and online ordering)
  • Product galleries
  • Online Funeral Notices
  • Ability to send families condolence messages
  • In-depth information about funerals and preplanning
  • and more…

Please take the time to browse through our new website, and if you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact our staff on 3812 4000 (24 hours).