Considering a Pre-Paid Funeral Plan? What you need to know.
Date posted March 2021
Knowing that your funeral costs are covered, and that your relatives will not have unexpected bills when you die, can provide great peace of mind to both you and your family. It means that you can decide in advance what type of ceremony you would like, relieving your family of the worry of planning your funeral. Your close family do not have to guess what you would have wanted, or make decisions at an emotional, stressful time for them when grieving.
Your preferences will be recorded alongside your plan. Some providers will give you a form or checklist, but it is fine to just write down what you would like when you take the plan out, or you can talk through your plans with the provider and they will record your wishes.
This guide explains what a pre-paid funeral plan is; how to pay for your funeral plan, and the important things you should consider when paying in advance for your funeral.
What is a Pre-Paid Funeral Plan?
A pre-paid funeral plan allows you to pay for your funeral at today’s prices by paying an agreed amount to cover the ceremony you require. This means there are no price rises or inflation to account for. You can pay in a lump sum, or in instalments, usually over a range of time periods to suit your personal circumstances. There are different plans available so please ask questions to check that the funeral plan you have chosen will cover any specific requirements that you may have.
When you die, the funeral plan provider is responsible for arranging your funeral. They will cover the costs of everything detailed in your plan. All pre-paid funeral plan providers will be able to advise you about what is included in the plans that they offer. You could write down some questions before you contact the plan provider, or perhaps ask a friend or relative to accompany you to help you choose.
Once you have decided to purchase your funeral plan, ensure that the people close to you know who the plan provider is and exactly what is covered. This will help them when the time comes to arrange your funeral. You will receive a folder containing full details of your plan and a contact information card from your plan provider.
Things to Consider when Choosing a Funeral Plan
I Don’t Want a Traditional Ceremony – will a Pre-Paid Funeral Plan be Suitable?
Pre-paid funeral plans vary in price and allow you to pay in advance for exactly the type of ceremony you want. Almost all plan providers allow you to choose a low-key cremation or burial plan with additional cover at different price points. You can also select from a range of plans that can usually be tailored to cover most choices – such as a traditional religious service and burial, cremation and woodland or outdoor burial, or an alternative funeral. Please note that the price of your burial plot is not normally covered and needs to be arranged separately in most cases.
You can often select and pay for your headstone or cremation memorial stone in advance; with details organised down to the style of stone or the colour of the lettering. You may also decide to pre-pay for an alternative hearse, – for example, a horse drawn or motorcycle hearse – floral tributes, and even decide the order of service. Most plan providers will provide you with a quotation for things that aren’t included in their range of standard plans and these can be added for you to give you complete peace of mind that the expense of your funeral is covered.
Before taking out your pre-paid funeral plan, make some notes or have a think about what type of ceremony you would like. It’s a good time to discuss the subject with your family. It may feel awkward at first, but telling your spouse, children, or a close trusted friend that you are considering a funeral plan and perhaps asking for their assistance or input, is a great way of broaching a delicate subject.
Do I need a Pre-Paid Funeral Plan?
The right pre-paid funeral plan can provide you and your family with valuable peace of mind and fixes the cost of your funeral at today’s prices. Many people take great satisfaction in knowing that they have everything in order. These are the big benefits of a pre-paid plan and the main reasons for paying for your funeral in advance.
There are alternatives – for example, the costs can come straight out of your estate, or a life policy, or you could keep money aside in a savings account to cover the costs of your funeral – but the alternatives available do not usually provide the inflation proofing benefits and peace of mind of a pre-paid scheme.
Is My Money Safe in a Funeral Plan?
To make sure the money put aside for your funeral is safe, ensure that the plan provider is registered with the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA). Providers sign up to a code and your money is set always aside in a trust or policy – which means it is kept separately from the provider company and can only be used to pay for your funeral. Providers who have signed up to the FPA scheme have their arrangements scrutinised annually and are bound by a full code of conduct. It is a voluntary scheme that gives you great reassurance and protection that your money will be available for its intended purpose.
Can I Choose my own Funeral Director with a Pre-Paid Funeral Plan?
This is an important consideration for many people. When you purchase your funeral plan, you can specify your preferred Funeral Director. In addition, a pre-paid plan often provides a degree of flexibility: If you move away from your local area, your funeral plan can usually be transferred if required. Please check with your plan provider if this flexibility is a feature you may need.
What if I Die Overseas?
If you are in another country at the time of your death, it is important to know that your pre-paid funeral plan will not cover repatriation expenses back to the UK. Please make sure that your travel insurance includes repatriation cover – your funeral plan will cover transportation to the funeral director’s premises from the repatriation airport or seaport.
Can I Transfer my Pre-Paid Funeral Plan to Someone Else?
With many plans, you can transfer the plan benefits to someone who dies before you. This is subject to terms and conditions, so if you feel that this might be something you would like to do, please ask your plan provider if this feature is included. A transfer is normally only available if the total cost of the plan has been paid.
Our team of local funeral directors are always on hand to help advise and support you. For more information simply call or email us.