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funeral plan quotes

Be Prepared for Death – Planning Ahead Pays Dividends

Be prepared for Death – it is inevitable!

Dying has never left a bigger hole in someone’s pocket than it does today – and it will only get worse. So being prepared for death makes more sense than ever. Costs, including things such as probate fees, funerals and headstones have risen by 20 per cent in the last four years, far more than inflation, and now (2017) stands at £8,802, roughly the equivalent of three months’ average UK salary before deductions, according to Axa Sun Life.   We can certainly help at least to ensure that the basic costs of the funeral are prepared for, but death can be far more complicated than “just” paying for the funeral

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

Equally worryingly, Sun Life says that 25% of us have made no whatsoever whatsoever for our demise, including making a Will. And almost half haven’t put a bean towards funeral costs, presumably on the vague assumption that the money will come out of their estate. Perhaps their friends and family will cover the costs. What a nice gift!

Everyone needs to prepare for their death, not least because failing to do so can leave their loved ones in the lurch. Worse still, it can divide the family in ways you won’t believe until like us at the Prepaid Funeral Review. you have experienced the pointless stupidity of family quarrels which could so easily have been prevented by a little advance planning.  Many families never recover from these quarrels, which at a less stressful time would never have happened.

Be Prepared for Death  – make a Will.

Firstly, make a Will. This is absolutely critical. A legally valid Will means that you can choose where the money goes to, how you want to be buried or cremated (though it is much better to actually make the arrangements as many Wills re not read until after the burial!) How is it going to be paid for and so on. Not making a Will, or having one that isn’t properly signed and witnessed, is lost, or has been inadvertently cancelled, means the unfair Rules of Intestacy will apply, and can cost your loved ones everything.

And there’s a real emotional cost involved in intestacy too. There’s nothing like a no-Will situation to open up a family rift. And the last thing your grieving family and dependants want to do is to have to get involved in the legal minutiae of someone dying intestate.

Having a Will is one thing. Ensuring it’s administered properly is another matter entirely. Most people opt to have professional help – something else that needs to be allowed in the Will – but it is possible, although extremely time-consuming, to do it yourself.  If you have a Will already (well done!) you might find it worthwhile to join Will Custodian Ltd to help keep it secure and up to date.  More details on their site.

Then try and plan ahead for your own funeral. It’s possible to either secure the cost of a future funeral by paying for it now, or by putting money into a plan that will pay out when the time comes, although this can be very expensive in the long run. Specialist life insurance plans are also available.  Deposit accounts almost never keep up with inflation, and will be counted as part of your estate for Social Security and Inheritance Tax calculations.

What type of funeral would you like? According to Sun Life Direct the average cost of a funeral was (2016) £3,897 and the extra expense of related costs such as flowers and memorials is nearly £1,900. Styles and costs vary enormously and you’ll need to factor in the expense to any Will provisions you might make.

The difference between a burial and a cremation, for example, is around £700.

Ultimately, the burden of organising a funeral rests with the living and if money is tight it’s possible to make some savings.

If you can bear it, shop around for the best price. Having a Wake at home can also save money.

And if it’s simply an issue of cash flow, many banks and building societies will release money on presentation of a death certificate.

Investigate whether you qualify for a grant from the Social Fund. If you’re on benefits and can prove you can’t afford to pay for the funeral, you could get up to £700 worth of help from the Department for Work and Pensions. We’re told that half of the applications are turned down, and they take months, so don’t rely on it!  If your do succeed in your application, it won’t cover everything, but it’s not a bad start.

Although it’s easy to think that dying is the end of the matter, for those left behind it can be a traumatic time. Leaving your finances in order can help to reduce the trauma just a little.

Ten things you need to know to be prepared for death – yours or anyone in the family:
1. The cost of dying has risen by 20 per cent in the last four years. More than inflation.

2. It now stands at more than £8,900, or three months average wage.

3. A recent survey suggests that a quarter of us have made no provision whatever for our demise.

4. And over half haven’t put any money aside for funeral costs. Many have put it somewhere which will be had for the family to access it.

5. It is essential to make a Will.

6. The financial and emotional costs of not doing so can be huge.

7. Ensure the Will is administered properly.

8. Take out a financial plan to pay for a funeral.

9. The average cost of a funeral is £3,000.

10. See if you can get a Government grant to pay for some of the costs. Most people will not qualify.

There are a series of articles and videos here which will help you review many aspects of your Legal Planning as part of being prepared for death.

Coop Funeral Plans Offer Epitath Help

What is an epitaph? An epitaph is a short text honouring a deceased person. Strictly speaking, it refers to text that is inscribed on a tombstone or plaque,  The term is often used my widely, 

Here are some examples of brief epitaphs:

A friend In deed.
True and constant.
A loving husband and father. Or wife and mother.
A sharing, caring person.
A person of grace and dignity.
A true gentleman/woman.
Always in our hearts
An inspiration to all.
An unforgettable person.
Asked for so little but gave so very much.
Because he (she) cared.
Brave in spirit, strong in love.
Constant in faith, generous of heart.
Devoted In love.
Everybody’s best friend.
Faith, hope and courage personified.
Faithful forever.
Forever In our hearts.
Forever missed.
Gone but never forgotten.
Someone who enriched our lives.
An inspiration to all.
Everyone else came first.
Touched the lives of everyone they met.
He (she) lived to help others.
He (she) touched the lives of many.
They will never be forgotten.
In God’s care
In loving memory.
In memoriam.

Coop Funeral Plan Press Release

coop prepaid funerals

Coop Prepaid Funerals

Coop funeral plans seem to consider this service unique. As we understand it, there is no reason why you can’t add in exactly the same service to other funeral plan providers if you wish to, but it makes a good Press Release! I guess the difference is that they don’t buy the memorial until you die.  Like every funeral plan, the Coop plan has its strengths and weaknesses.

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

We would always suggest that you download our enquiry form and let us help guide you towards choosing the most appropriate prepaid funeral plan for YOUR unique wishes and needs. You can always ask for our free Funeral Wishes form.

On with the Coop Funeral Plan Press Release.

Now you can really have the final say with the Coop Funeral Plans

A new funeral planning service which enables people to write and pay for their own epitaph in advance has been launched) by The Co-operative Funeralcare.

With more people electing to arrange a personalised funeral, The Co-operative Funeralcare, the UK’s largest provider of funeral planning products, is giving people the chance to say exactly how they would like to be remembered by choosing and writing their own lasting memorial.

The pioneering memorial masonry plan, the first of its kind, will give consumers the ability to choose the type of lasting memorial they want. There are many types of memorials available, from traditional headstones to slate sculptures.

This plan now means you can choose the material, colour, style, lettering and write the actual inscription for your memorial and pay for it in advance at today’s masonry prices, avoiding any future increases.

The cost of a memorial masonry plan will vary depending on the choice made and the geographical area as the plan will incorporate fees for your specific cemetery or remembrance garden. There is no limit to the length of an inscription, other than the space available on the memorial.

Ian Mackie of The Co-operative Funeral Planning, says:” With the new Memorial Masonry Plans we take paying in advance for a funeral one step further by enabling people to decide the memorial they want and what actually appears on it. Some local authorities do have restrictions on the type of memorial allowed, but our team will advise on the options available. The plan ensures family members are not left with the emotional and financial burden of making these decisions at a very difficult time.”

 

Coop funeral plans

Cost of Funeral Plans in 2018

Cost of Funeral Plans 2018.

The cost of funeral plans varies widely in the UK.  But so does what you get for your money! Some plans “save” on upfront costs by missing out essentials like THE FUNERAL.  Yes, you read it correctly, some funeral plans don’t even make a contribution towards the actual funeral.

At the time of writing, February 2018,  the average funeral plan costs around £3,300, pretty much the same as the average funeral.  But that disguises very wide variations.  Bear in mind that no funeral plan includes the cost of a burial plot itself.   They are set up primarily to cover the cost of a cremation. Alternatively, the allowance for the crematorium fees can be switched towards the cost of digging and refilling a grave which you already own.  Otherwise one will have to be purchased at the time.  The cost and availability of graves varies tremendously and there is no guarantee one will be available at all in some areas.

Do bear in mind that existing graves do not necessarily allow further burials in the same plot, and sometimes the lease on the grave will have run out. Burial plots are not normally sold freehold, but on a lease for a specific number of years.  That lease MAY include the right to additional burials in the same plot during its’ term – more often than not is does not, so please check.

As we were saying above, you can cut the cost of funeral plans dramatically by leaving out some of the basics.  That is fine as long as both you and your family understand that is what you are doing.  Sadly that is often not the case and people buy plans which are missing vital parts or which don’t allow for a service because they don’t understand the small print.  That is where our Research Team comes in.

Ways of reducing the cost of funeral plans.

Some examples:

  1. Plans which pay the funeral directors costs only, not the doctors fees, cost of cremation or the cost of the person conducting the funeral.  That makes a good start on planning, but leaves a good proportion of the cost to be found at the time.  At current rates, about a third. Some of the better plans will let you add more later one, but at the cost at the time, which will be higher.
  2. Either / Or Plans.  Here, a couple buy a single plan to start with.  That plan can be used by whichever of them dies first.  That is often the most financially difficult time.
  3. Buy Over 50s Life InsuranceTo us, this is very much a last resort as these are often appalling contracts with no value if you miss payments.
  4. Direct Cremation Plans can be bought for as little as £1,495. But they are very basic with `all the heartache and anger they can cause if everyone fails to understand there is no friend or family involvement once the deceased is collected, which is usually within hours.  They have their place, but very much with care.
  5. Buying on instalments. Most will let you pay over up to 10 years, fixing the price as at the date you first buy.  Most will offer 12 months interest-free instalments, some even 36 months.  Some will allow as much as 30 years to pay, depending on your age. But longer term means paying extra, but it should still save lots of money in due course.
  6. Our favourite for couples.  Buy two plans, both on an either / or basis, one for cash, or as big a deposit as possible, so it is paid off quickly. And add another plan on long-term instalments, to keep it affordable.

Whatever your needs and wishes are, we will chat things through with you and use our independent expertise to make a suitable recommendation.  We’ll post it to you to consider, along with some alternative quotes, check to see if you have any questions.  Then we’ll leave you to make up your own mind. Call us on 0800 0588 240.

 

 

Another 50% Rise in Funeral Costs. What to do?

Another 50% increase in funeral costs is on the way. What to do?

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

Cash poor local authorities are sometime dramatically increasing the cost of death.  This is leading to pay day loans, Facebook fundraising pages and people being left in freezers while the family try to scrape together the necessary funds.  In one case, the undertaker apparently refused to part with the ashes until the final bill had been paid. At death, there is a captive audience, who are pretty much forced to pay whatever is asked, and it is possible the commercially minded firms might use this as an opportunity to sell more expensive coffins and other non-essentials.  That’s fine if the family have the money, but an increasing number do not, which is an even strong reason for looking a prepaid funeral plans.

Don’t forget that funeral directors are not in business to be debt collectors – the last thing they want to do is chase people for money.  So increasingly, they want to be paid in advance, especially as they will be liable for payments to the crematorium etc which are starting to reach the £1,000 mark in many area in 2016 with Beckenham, Crawley, Chichester, Leatherhead and Nuneaton as near as makes no difference charging that much already.  For burials, some cemeteries in London are charging more than £3,200 just for the right to use a grave for 40 years.

Many people buy life insurance instead of  funeral plan, and we have set out our comments on the debate comparing Over 50s Insurance to prepaid funeral plans.

Apparently, the Work and Pensions Committee has called on the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate the prices being charged by the big funeral director chains.  Whilst some of the larger firms do have good quality prepaid schemes and good terms (which we can offer) the same is not true of all.  Whilst we have seen the damage that insensitive regulation does in other markets, we are very concerned that the so called Regulator (actually a club) of the funeral plan market is happy to accept practices which have no place in a modern society.

The perfect solution to these issues is not always available or indeed affordable, but a decent prepaid funeral plan takes away much of the stress and deals with most if not all of the financial issues.   So why not get started today, we’ll do the research for you, and maybe you can afford to shoulder the burden yourself, you may be surprised.

Catholic Funerals Update 2016

Catholic Funerals Update Summary followed by full text,

Catholic Funerals

Catholic Funerals

The Catholic Church recently updated its’ advice on cremations.  In summary, cremation is permitted (though burial is much preferred).  However, the practice of scattering ashes or keeping them at home is prohibited,  Nor is it allowed to incorporate ashes is jewellery or otherwise separate the ashes.   As a lay person, it seems that the essence is keeping the body together ready for resurrection – and clearly cremation is not ideal from that viewpoint.

Once cremated, the remains should be kept in the church, cemetery or other specially designated sacred area.

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

Below is the circular the Catholic Church sent out regarding Catholic funerals.  For more information on taking out a Catholic Funeral plan, click the link or use the form to the right. Leave it, and it will inevitably cost more, and may be arranged by people who don’t understand your faith as you do.

Instruction Ad resurgendum cum Christo regarding the burial of the deceased and the conservation of the ashes in the case of cremation, 25.10.2016

 

The following is the full text of the Instruction of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Ad resurgendum cum Christo”, regarding the burial of the deceased and the conservation of the ashes in the case of cremation, published today and signed by Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller and Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, respectively prefect and secretary of the dicastery.

1. To rise with Christ, we must die with Christ: we must “be away from the body and at home with the Lord”. With the Instruction Piam et Constantem of 5 July 1963, the then Holy Office established that “all necessary measures must be taken to preserve the practice of reverently burying the faithful departed”, adding however that cremation is not “opposed per se to the Christian religion” and that no longer should the sacraments and funeral rites be denied to those who have asked that they be cremated, under the condition that this choice has not been made through “a denial of Christian dogmas, the animosity of a secret society, or hatred of the Catholic religion and the Church”. Later this change in ecclesiastical discipline was incorporated into the Code of Canon Law (1983) and the Code of Canons of Oriental Churches (1990).

During the intervening years, the practice of cremation has notably increased in many countries, but simultaneously new ideas contrary to the Church’s faith have also become widespread. Having consulted the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and numerous Episcopal Conferences and Synods of Bishops of the Oriental Churches, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has deemed opportune the publication of a new Instruction, with the intention of underlining the doctrinal and pastoral reasons for the preference of the burial of the remains of the faithful and to set out norms pertaining to the conservation of ashes in the case of cremation.

2. The resurrection of Jesus is the culminating truth of the Christian faith, preached as an essential part of the Paschal Mystery from the very beginnings of Christianity: “For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures; that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve”.

Through his death and resurrection, Christ freed us from sin and gave us access to a new life, “so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life”. Furthermore, the risen Christ is the principle and source of our future resurrection: “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep […] For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive”.

It is true that Christ will raise us up on the last day; but it is also true that, in a certain way, we have already risen with Christ. In Baptism, actually, we are immersed in the death and resurrection of Christ and sacramentally assimilated to him: “You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead”. United with Christ by Baptism, we already truly participate in the life of the risen Christ.

Because of Christ, Christian death has a positive meaning. The Christian vision of death receives privileged expression in the liturgy of the Church: “Indeed for your faithful, Lord, life is changed not ended, and, when this earthly dwelling turns to dust, an eternal dwelling is made ready for them in heaven”. By death the soul is separated from the body, but in the resurrection God will give incorruptible life to our body, transformed by reunion with our soul. In our own day also, the Church is called to proclaim her faith in the resurrection: “The confidence of Christians is the resurrection of the dead; believing this we live”.

3. Following the most ancient Christian tradition, the Church insistently recommends that the bodies of the deceased be buried in cemeteries or other sacred places.

In memory of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord, the mystery that illumines the Christian meaning of death, burial is above all the most fitting way to express faith and hope in the resurrection of the body.

The Church who, as Mother, has accompanied the Christian during his earthly pilgrimage, offers to the Father, in Christ, the child of her grace, and she commits to the earth, in hope, the seed of the body that will rise in glory.

By burying the bodies of the faithful, the Church confirms her faith in the resurrection of the body, and intends to show the great dignity of the human body as an integral part of the human person whose body forms part of their identity. She cannot, therefore, condone attitudes or permit rites that involve erroneous ideas about death, such as considering death as the definitive annihilation of the person, or the moment of fusion with Mother Nature or the universe, or as a stage in the cycle of regeneration, or as the definitive liberation from the “prison” of the body.

Furthermore, burial in a cemetery or another sacred place adequately corresponds to the piety and respect owed to the bodies of the faithful departed who through Baptism have become temples of the Holy Spirit and in which “as instruments and vessels the Spirit has carried out so many good works”.

Tobias, the just, was praised for the merits he acquired in the sight of God for having buried the dead,  and the Church considers the burial of dead one of the corporal works of mercy.

Finally, the burial of the faithful departed in cemeteries or other sacred places encourages family members and the whole Christian community to pray for and remember the dead, while at the same time fostering the veneration of martyrs and saints.

Through the practice of burying the dead in cemeteries, in churches or their environs, Christian tradition has upheld the relationship between the living and the dead and has opposed any tendency to minimise, or relegate to the purely private sphere, the event of death and the meaning it has for Christians.

4. In circumstances when cremation is chosen because of sanitary, economic or social considerations, this choice must never violate the explicitly-stated or the reasonably inferable wishes of the deceased faithful. The Church raises no doctrinal objections to this practice, since cremation of the deceased’s body does not affect his or her soul, nor does it prevent God, in his omnipotence, from raising up the deceased body to new life. Thus cremation, in and of itself, objectively negates neither the Christian doctrine of the soul’s immortality nor that of the resurrection of the body.

The Church continues to prefer the practice of burying the bodies of the deceased, because this shows a greater esteem towards the deceased. Nevertheless, cremation is not prohibited, “unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine”.

In the absence of motives contrary to Christian doctrine, the Church, after the celebration of the funeral rite, accompanies the choice of cremation, providing the relevant liturgical and pastoral directives, and taking particular care to avoid every form of scandal or the appearance of religious indifferentism.

5. When, for legitimate motives, cremation of the body has been chosen, the ashes of the faithful must be laid to rest in a sacred place, that is, in a cemetery or, in certain cases, in a church or an area, which has been set aside for this purpose, and so dedicated by the competent ecclesial authority.

From the earliest times, Christians have desired that the faithful departed become the objects of the Christian community’s prayers and remembrance. Their tombs have become places of prayer, remembrance and reflection. The faithful departed remain part of the Church who believes “in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are being purified, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church”.

The reservation of the ashes of the departed in a sacred place ensures that they are not excluded from the prayers and remembrance of their family or the Christian community. It prevents the faithful departed from being forgotten, or their remains from being shown a lack of respect, which eventuality is possible, most especially once the immediately subsequent generation has too passed away. Also it prevents any unfitting or superstitious practices.

6. For the reasons given above, the conservation of the ashes of the departed in a domestic residence is not permitted. Only in grave and exceptional cases dependent on cultural conditions of a localized nature, may the Ordinary, in agreement with the Episcopal Conference or the Synod of Bishops of the Oriental Churches, concede permission for the conservation of the ashes of the departed in a domestic residence. Nonetheless, the ashes may not be divided among various family members and due respect must be maintained regarding the circumstances of such a conservation.

7. In order that every appearance of pantheism, naturalism or nihilism be avoided, it is not permitted to scatter the ashes of the faithful departed in the air, on land, at sea or in some other way, nor may they be preserved in mementos, pieces of jewellery or other objects. These courses of action cannot be legitimised by an appeal to the sanitary, social, or economic motives that may have occasioned the choice of cremation.

8. When the deceased notoriously has requested cremation and the scattering of their ashes for reasons contrary to the Christian faith, a Christian funeral must be denied to that person according to the norms of the law.

The Sovereign Pontiff Francis, in the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect on 18 March 2016, approved the present Instruction, adopted in the Ordinary Session of this Congregation on 2 March 2016, and ordered its publication.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 15 August 2016, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

 Catholic Funerals the Doctrine.