Increasing numbers of people are looking to remove the financial burden of their funeral arrangements from their children and grandchildren.
Here’s a quick overview of prepaid funeral plans and how to compare them.
For a number of reasons, funeral costs in the UK have rocketed over recent years.
Some analysis suggests they’ve risen by 60-80% in the past five years alone. The cost of a typical funeral is now around £4,000 and figures of £7-10,000 are far from unknown.
If you’ve left a lot of cash to your family, which is earmarked for your funeral expenses, then you might be able to relax. If you haven’t then they’ll need to try and find the money for your funeral from their own finances – unless you have a prepaid funeral plan in place to help them cope with the expenses.
How the plan works
In principle, nothing could be simpler:
- you agree a funeral package and the costs involved with a funeral director;
- a one-off or monthly payments are made over an agreed period (typically over a year for the latter but it can be longer) until such time as the agreed sum is paid;
- eventually, upon your death, your funeral will already have been paid for – up to an including those components included in your prepaid funeral plan;
- so your future will then have been paid for at today’s prices rather than those that might be in place at the time you die.
It’s elegant and a great way of reducing the impact of inflation on your future funeral expenses, as well as freeing your family from any financial worries that might otherwise arise as a result of the cost of your funeral arrangements.
Different plans, different options
There are, of course, different types of plan and it’s important to compare funeral plans carefully before deciding which one to opt for.
Here are a few examples of why that might be important:
- some plans may provide a limousine for family and friends whereas others do not;
- some plan providers include the minister’s fees – other don’t;
- you might find that some plans include a contribution (which increases each year) towards your actual funeral costs but others offer nothing in that respect;
- in certain cases, these funeral contributions can be spent on any other funeral related expenses if elements are left over. By contrast, some plans may simply say anything left over from the contributions component is simply ‘lost’; etc.
If these differences sound modest, then that would be misleading because the sums
involved in their contribution (or lack of it) could amount to thousands of pounds. That’s why it is very important to compare funeral plans because once again, the plan selected could make a very big difference to your family after your death.
Should you compare funeral plans with a view to taking one out?
Ultimately, only you can make that decision based upon your knowledge of your own financial circumstances and those of your immediate family. If you hate the thought of your family struggling to pay for your funeral arrangements though, it might be worth finding out more.