Before the customer signs a pre-paid funeral contract, you must disclose in writing:
- where and how you will invest the customer’s funeral money
- any terms or conditions that apply to the investment
- any administration fee or brokerage fee payable.
The contract must be in writing and specify:
- the funeral service to be supplied
- any goods to be supplied in connection with the funeral service
- the total cost of the funeral service
- that money paid under the contract (other than the administration brokerage fee and any GST payable) must be invested, unless it is being paid to cemetery trustees (see Pre-payments below).
After you and the customer sign the contract, you must give a copy to the customer and any other parties to the contract.
You must invest all pre-payments, except administrative or brokerage fees and any GST payable. The Act restricts investments to:
- funeral benefit funds established under the Friendly Societies (Victoria) Code
- certain policies or investment funds offered by companies registered under the Commonwealth Life Insurance Act 1945, and based in Victoria.
You must invest cash payments within three business days, and other payments within seven business days.
If the contract includes any fees to be paid to cemetery trustees on a customer's behalf, money from a customer's pre-payments can be paid directly to the cemetery trustees for that purpose.
You cannot ask the customer for further pre-payments, or other amounts that are not set out in the contract.
Receipts and documentation
You must give the customer:
- receipts for any money paid by the customer under the pre-paid funeral contract
- a copy of any documents relating to the investment.
Register and records
You must keep a register of all pre-paid funeral contracts, including:
- the names of all parties to the contract
- the name of each person to be provided with a funeral under the contract
- the amount paid for each funeral
- how the pre-paid funeral money has been invested
- details of the funeral service to be provided.
You must retain the records of documents relating to the contract, investment of money, and receipt, for three years after the funeral service.
You must also keep accounting and other records which correctly record and explain the transactions and financial position of your pre-paid funeral business.
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