With funeral costs rising year-on-year, pre-planning your own can give you—and your family—financial peace of mind
Whether you’re worried about being able to afford your funeral or don’t want to leave your family with a sizeable financial burden, funeral planning is becoming a popular choice among the elderly. Funeral plans can be bought from a provider or from a funeral director. Individuals will have the choice of either paying a lump sum (one-off payments are usually between £3,000 to £5,000) or in monthly installments over one to 10 years.
What’s included in a funeral plan?
Different plans will include different elements—though costs not traditionally met by a funeral director, such as the cost of flowers, may not be covered. Providers may cover viewings of the deceased, a limousine procession and a church service. It’s important to keep in mind that some costs may not be fully taken care of—check the details of your plan and make sure you know what you are buying before you make a final decision. For example, some providers may guarantee the price of cremation but will only pay a contribution towards burial costs. In order to safeguard the money that you pay into your plan, your chosen provider may opt to place it in a trust fund or invest it in an insurance policy that will cash out when you pass away. There are different types of protection when it comes to the money you spend on your funeral plan; these can range from credit card protection, Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) and the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
Five simple steps to buying a funeral plan
1. Consider how your family would cope
Your funeral can also be paid from your estate. If this is possible, or if your family has the money to cover it, a basic plan—or no plan at all—could be your best option.
2. Use a comparison site
Much like insurance, using comparison sites when shopping around for your funeral plan may help you get the best deal.
3. Know the cost breakdown
As funeral plans differ from provider to provider, check every cost for a clear breakdown of what is covered.
4. Pay it quick
Again, much like various types of insurance, paying in installments over a long period of time will inevitably end up costing you more. According to Which?, 12 monthly payments might cost the same, but paying over 60 months may add around 20 percent to the overall cost.
5. Study the fine print
Many items, such as funeral plots and headstones, may be excluded from your funeral plan. In some cases, costs may also be capped. Make sure you are fully aware of these limitations before you commit to a purchase.