Some people may shy away from planning and paying for their own funeral. It’s a subject few of us like to consider. However, it can have distinct advantages for your family and also offer peace of mind for you that the future is taken care of.
In this post we consider the pros and cons of arranging a prepaid funeral, and look at whether it might be right for you.
The first two questions to ask when you are considering a prepaid funeral are these:
- What is the cost of a funeral today?
- What was the cost of a funeral 10 years ago?
Well the cost of a funeral 10 years ago was between £1800-2000, today’s cost is between £4,500-5000 and the cost is continuing to rise on a year-by-year basis.
One of the ways to avoid this increase in costs is to plan and prepay for a funeral.
What Does Putting a Funeral Plan in Place Mean?
A funeral plan will guarantee a level of service for a fixed cost. But what exactly does a ‘level of service’ mean in this context?
It will guarantee you’re going to get the full funeral director services. Including:
- The chapel of rest.
- The coffin.
- The hearse and/or a limousine.
- The necessary doctors’ and ministers’ signatures.
- Transports of the deceased from wherever they died to the funeral home.
- Cremation or burial fees.
- And any other requirements that you discuss at the time of creating the arrangement.
Peace of mind comes from the fact that the cost will be fixed at the time you pay for the funeral plan. No matter how much the cost of a funeral rises between the time you put the plan in place and when you need to call on its services, there will be no additional charge to pay. Even if there is a 20 year or more gap, or the actual cost has risen say £6,000 or more by the time the funeral is needed, your family will not be asked to make any contributions or payments toward it.
The three key reasons to take out a funeral plan are:
1) it takes away any requirement for a family to make any arrangements at a difficult time of bereavement.
2) it stops the cost from rising.
3) it creates a scenario where the family will not be asked for money.
Many people believe that money can be taken directly from an estate to pay for a funeral, or that they can arrange the funeral at the time of the bereavement and then pay for it later. However, the fact is that when a family books a funeral, if a funeral plan is not in place, they will need to pay a deposit on the day – at least for disbursements – and this can average between £1200 and £2000.
The deceased may in fact have money in their account to pay for their funeral, but as soon as the bank has been informed of the death then the accounts will be frozen and it is unlikely that money can be withdrawn, even for funeral expenses, and particularly in time for the initial deposit. Occasionally banks will release funds from the deceased’s accounts to help pay for the funeral, if requested with the right documentation, but this is not a given and is very much at the discretion of the local bank, the manager, and their overall policy. With many banks now being much more centralised it is likely that this will happen less and less often.
When someone passes away, the funeral has to be arranged pretty quickly and a family will meet with a funeral director usually within 4 to 5 days of the person passing. Without the money in place to pay at least the deposit, or sometimes the full cost, this can be a lot of money for a family to find quickly.
Therefore, putting a funeral plan in place prevents any future difficulties for your family having to find several thousands of pounds in a very short time span, particularly when it will also be a very distressing and sad time for them. In addition, a prepaid plan fixes the cost, so it doesn’t get out of control; it makes sure you can plan the type of funeral you would like; and that your wishes are going to be followed. Perhaps the biggest factor of all is that you are going to be easing the stress for your family at their time of loss.
The main con of putting a prepaid funeral arrangement in place is that you have to face a subject that you would rather not consider. However, when you weigh that against the peace of mind you are generating for both yourself and your family; the fact that you are fixing costs so that they never rise; you are guaranteeing a level of service and that your wishes will be carried out; and that most importantly you are relieving your family of both emotional stress and a financial burden, you can see that the pros of arranging a prepaid funeral definitely outweigh the cons.
The information provided here is for informational purposes only and not intended or to be taken as legal advice. To make sure this is appropriate for you please seek advice and contact us.