What is a funeral plan?

Funeral Planning Options

Around 22% of those who recently arranged a funeral did so without knowing whether the person who died had any wishes for the way it should be carried out. Funeral pre-planning, however, is a service now being provided by the major funeral companies. Whether you think this service may be of use to you, or if you know someone who may benefit from it, here’s the lowdown on what a funeral plan can mean.

What’s a pre-paid funeral plan?

Essentially, it is shopping around for your own funeral. And, like a package holiday you won’t go on, you can pick and choose a combination of services within your price range. Once you have chosen the right plan, you’ll pay off the costs in a lump sum or in monthly instalments, usually over a period of one to ten years.

Why should I take out a funeral plan?

You’ll help your family out

You’ll have reduced the stress put on your relatives to decide what kind of ceremony you would have wanted, along with sorting out a large amount of the financial strains involved in funeral arranging. It’s best to keep them sweet: that way, they might even forgive you for dying.

You’ll stick to a budget

Pre-paid funeral plans are usually separated by price. This gives you the satisfaction of knowing that the cost of your death didn’t, or unapologetically did, succeed the cost of your living arrangements.

You’ll beat inflation

This could be your last chance to get one over on the economy. Most providers of funeral plans guarantee to cover the cost of a funeral director’s services, meaning you can ‘lock in’ these costs at today’s prices. It’s a neat set up for both companies and you as it means that the sooner you take out a plan, the more money you’re likely to save.

What should I expect from a funeral plan?

Extra costs

A pre-paid funeral doesn’t necessarily cover everything. A burial plot, for example, isn’t able to be covered by a plan due to the varying costs of plots – a plot in London can cost twice as much as one in South Wales. This will need to be covered by your relatives, using their own means or money from your estate.

A straightforward funeral

Pre-paid plans aren’t for those who are looking for a non-traditional or non-conventional funeral. A plan offered by Dignity won’t include a jaunt to Margate in an old Ford Anglia in order for your ashes to be scattered from a ferris wheel.

Small print

Some plans may cover church service fees and others may not. It may be that a plan won’t cover transport costs, headstones or memorials either. It’s best to be clear about what is included in some plans and not in others.

What to think about before you buy a funeral plan

    • How much time and how many instalments will you need in order to fully pay for the plan?
    • Do you have to pay interest on the unpaid balance?
    • How will you keep track of the amount of instalments you’ve paid?
  • If you die before all the instalments are paid, who will pay for the rest?

Other ways to save for your funeral

    • Take out a Life Insurance plan
    • Invest money into a high interest savings account
  • Place money in a trust that can be accessed by relatives after your death

A prepaid funeral plan isn’t an essential part of your death, but it’s most useful feature is the reassurance you’ll get knowing you’ll have covered most of the costs of your own funeral. However, a basic prepaid funeral plan won’t accommodate any personal extras or details you think important in order to go out in style.

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