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lost plan

What is a Eulogy?



What is a Eulogy?


  • Over two fifths (42%) of people don’t know what a 
  • Four-fifths (81%) of those surveyed have never told a loved one which reading they would like at their funeral.
  • (This was a Coop Press Release, but we have added some rather more useful material at the end.)
  • As one of our bonuses, we currently offer a consultation with a professional celebrant to discuss and write up your funeral service plan FREE, and to work half price with you on creating a genuine eulogy.   They also offer Celebration of Life packages for birthdays or for people who don’t have too long to go.

When it comes to saying goodbye to loved ones, we often find ourselves lost for words. A eulogy refers to a tribute to someone in the form of a speech or a piece of writing, yet almost half (42%) of UK adults surveyed had no idea what a eulogy was. The new findings are based on both consumer research and internal insights from the UK’s leading Funeralcare provider, which undertakes almost 100,000 funerals every year.

With such a lack of awareness, it comes as no surprise that a huge 81% of the nation have never told their loved ones what eulogy they would like at their own funeral and half of us (52%) have never even thought about it.

The Co-op has also uncovered the significance of poetry as part of a eulogy, with over a third (35%) of UK adults claiming they last encountered a poem when saying goodbye to a loved one. Out of the 21% of UK adults who’ve had to deliver a eulogy, almost two thirds (66%) found it particularly hard due to it being such an emotional time or because they couldn’t find the right words, which is perhaps why turning to literature and poetry is such a popular choice.

The Co-op’s internal insights further confirms this, with three quarters of Funeral Directors agreeing that poems are the most common choice as part of a eulogy. When delving into the UK’s top funeral poetry choices, the Co-op found the 10 most popular are:

  1. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep – Mary Elizabeth Frye
  2. The Parting Glass – Irish Traditional.
  3. Funeral Blues/Stop All the Clocks – W.H. Auden.
  4. Life Goes On – Joyce Grenfell (Also known as ‘If I should go/If I should die.’)
  5. To Sleep – John Keats.
  6. Song – Christina Rossetti (Also known as ‘When I am dead, my dearest.’)
  7. Remember – Christina Rossetti.
  8. If I Should Go Tomorrow – Author Unknown.
  9. Remember me – David Harkins.
  10. Death is Nothing At All – Canon Henry Scott-Holland.

As well as the popularity of poetry at funerals, almost half (43%) of Co-op’s Funeral Directors have revealed that they’ve seen a rise in people leaving behind personal eulogies, allowing loved ones to deliver pre-written tributes and making it much easier for those bereaved to find the right words.

David Collingwood, Head of Operations for Co-op Funeralcare commented:

Funerals are very much about personal choice and reflecting the personality and interests of an individual. This is becoming increasingly evident through the growth we’ve seen in people choosing to pre-plan their own ceremonies using a funeral plan.

Eulogies play a huge role in making a ceremony personal, whether it’s a poem, a religious reading or memory of a life well lived. With over two fifths of people unable to define the term eulogy, it highlights how we struggle to talk about death with our loved ones but doing so makes it much easier for friends and family at what can be an incredibly difficult time.

Debbie McGee, Television Personality, commented:

When you experience the loss of a loved one you realise the true power of words, whether that’s through a eulogy or in the condolences from friends and family.

My own experience over the past year has really brought to light the importance of talking about death and how we shouldn’t see it as such a taboo topic. The Co-op’s study highlights the way loved ones can feel ‘lost for words’ at a time of bereavement and the ways in which discussing our wishes can help to prevent this.

Free Funeral Wishes Form (ours, not the Co-ops!)

At the Prepaid Funeral Review, we have a free form which you can use to set out your own funeral wishes.  Just contact us and we’ll be pleased to email you a copy.

Final Wishes – Does Anyone Know Yours

Half of UK adults risk taking final wishes to the grave


As this contribution from one of our own staff shows, it can be both painful and expensive when a family member dies and you don’t know what their final wishes were.  It can also be a financial problem too.   But this is an interesting study courtesy of Coop Funeralcare.

Lasting legacy of grief caused by loved ones second guessing funeral plans.

Final Wishes - cremation, burial?

Final Wishes

New research has found that a national fear of discussing death has burdened one in five of the bereaved with the extra distress and grief of second guessing their loved one’s final wishes and funeral plans.

Apparently 52% of UK adults are yet to express their final wishes.  Do they want burial or cremation, where, who should be invited.  Should there be a wake. Or a party.  In most cases, not even the next of kin knows (Ed: note to her indoors – cheap and cheerful with a party afterwards please!)

Four in ten of us know that they would like to be cremated. About one in six would prefer to be buried (do they understand the cost?) One in ten UK adults say fear of discussing death has stopped them from discussing their final wishes. Just under a third (30%) haven’t broached the subject because they just don’t know how to without upsetting their family.

The Coop found that as many as a fifth of UK adults have taken responsibility for arranging a funeral without any guidance left by the person who has passed away. A third of these individuals described the experience as being incredibly stressful or distressing, whilst almost half (47%) said that not being able to ask their loved one what they would have wanted caused the most distress.

Worse still, we would say, it often seems that every family member “knows” what the deceased would have wanted.   They all “know” something different, but which conflicts with the arrangements made by the person with the often thankless task of making the actual decisions. Family quarrels often follow.

Of those left to second guess a loved one’s final wishes issues include:

  • One in six still worry that they made the wrong decisions on behalf of their loved one.
  • Slightly more say they lost sleep as a result.
  • A third felt that the experience added to their grief.
  • One in five said that concerns about paying for the funeral caused further distress.
  • One in six experienced financial issues (Ed: we are surprised how low this figure was).

Amongst those who have expressed their funeral wishes or plans, the average age for doing this was 42, with those that haven’t yet made any plans saying that they expect to consider this by the age of 57. In spite of these intentions, as many as 37% of adults aged 55 and above are yet to communicate their final wishes in any way.

Commenting on the research, David Collingwood, Director of Operations for the Co-operative Funeralcare said,

“Talking about death is never easy and although you might have a clear idea about important final wishes, such as whether you’d like to be buried or cremated, it’s common to never feel like there’s a good time to bring the subject up.”

“There are many practical ways to communicate your final wishes and if you don’t feel comfortable having a direct conversation you can always leave details in writing for your loved ones, or articulate what you would want formally in a Will or funeral plan. So long as your next of kin know that these documents exist, this can be a good option for those who can’t seem to find the right time or the right words to tell those closest to them exactly what they’d want.”

Professor Douglas Davies, Director of the Centre for Death and Life Studies at Durham University said,

“Though some people think hard about planning their own funeral, many do not and with various options now open to those making arrangements, getting it right isn’t easy if we’ve never discussed this with family or close friends.”

“Our funeral may be remembered for a long time and it makes sense that people feel it was ‘what we wanted’ because we said so, rather than because they had guessed our wishes. Death is a fact of life, so it makes sense to think about the future in good time and bring comfort to our loved ones rather than adding further worries to their grief.”

Express Crusader on Over 50s Insurance

The Daily Expresses Crusader lays into Over 50’s “Funeral” Insurance Plans

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

Over 50s Insurance plans are the same, but many insurance based “funeral” plans can prove to be appalling value for money.  Here is a little of what the Crusader had to say (or read the whole article) followed by our recommendations.

“Funeral plan costs: Beware paying more than you will get back

Ageing parents by-and-large prefer not to rake over plans they made years ago to cover their funeral costs.
But their decisions can look very different to their offspring.

Two complaints to Crusader reveal the outrage adult children can feel on discovering how much their mum or dad is paying for a plan compared to the final sum due.

Paul W’s parents signed up to a policy 17 years ago when they were in their early 50s paying £30 a month. So far they have contributed over £12,000 but each plan will only pay £2,240 each when they die.

Andrew S’s mum Joan is in a similar position in that she agreed to a £10-a-month plan after his dad died in 2000.  Now 84 she cannot remember whether she saw an ad and contacted a company, or she was cold-called, but the sale involved a phone conversation after which she was sent papers that she signed and returned.

Joan has contributed £1,800 and when she dies it will pay £1,280.

If Paul’s parents or Joan cancel their premiums, all benefit is lost.

The terms are fixed too.

The policies’ descriptions, “whole-of-life, non-unit linked” mean little to the holders and scarcely more to their children who, perhaps understandably from their parents’ perspective, were not part of the decision-making.”   We at the Prepaid Funeral Review agree wholeheartedly with the Crusaders verdict on Over 50s Insurance.

We believe that a proper prepaid funeral plan is the best:

At the Prepaid Funeral Review, we strongly believe that a proper prepaid funeral plan is the best way to go if you can possibly afford it.   With starter plans available for less than £20 a month, most families can afford to start making at least some provision for a family funeral.  The beauty of that particular plan is that it can be used when any member of the family dies, so it is fully transferable.   It is not designed to pay for everything, but it will make a darn good contribution, and substantially cut the cost and worry to those left behind.

Buying Over 50s insurance may result in your paying in more than your family get out (never mind inflation) or losing the lot if you miss payments.  Prepaid plans are much better in every respect than poor value Over 50s life insurance.

Why not contact us today and find out more?

Flexible Funeral Plans Are Really Useful

Why Flexible Funeral Plans?

Firstly, the tragic story of Jodie Barden and her two daughters is just one example of the type of situation in which the flexibility of some funeral plans come be incredibly helpful.

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

Every day people die unexpectedly, or suffer illnesses which drain the family finances. Both can lead to serious financial hardship with no cash to pay for the funeral. Many undertakers have lost money so often that they now insist on advance payment before the funeral can take place.  That is where a truly flexible plan owned by a family member or friend can be a financial and moral support to the bereaved family.  Some prepaid plans are able to allow such a donation without fuss, others (if they will allow it) may allow the plan to be re-assigned but may charge hundreds of pounds for the privilege.

The alternatives for many families are stark:

  1. Go into debt.
  2. Ask the local Council to pay for a paupers funeral.  They may not be willing to do so in many circumstances, and they may want the family to repay them.

Moving Home with Funeral Plans.

Secondly far more people than you might expect move out of the area of their first retirement home.  The most common is moving nearer to children when health starts to fail and more support is needed.  Why spend a fortune on paid help or a care home, when the family can help if you move nearer to them?

The problems arise with some funeral plans if the firm doesn’t have an office in the area you have moved too.  You may have to pay extra transportation costs or have the funeral well away from where you now live.  Worse, you might need to ask for a refund from the old plan (which will usually just be the amount you put in all those years ago, with no interest) and use that as a deposit with the new undertaker.

We at the Prepaid Funeral Plan Review believe that most people are sold a funeral plan without a full and frank discussion of the advantages and disadvantages – which is where we come it, saving time, money and hassle for those left behind.  So why not contact us for an independent view today?   Flexible funeral plans may be just the right thing: no one can be certain what the future holds.

Family Funeral Plans for Couples or Joint Funeral Plans

Family Funeral Plans for couples

Joint Prepaid Funeral Plans

Family Funeral or joint funeral plans for couples (or even whole families) aren’t a problem, because we know where to look.  Some providers offer the option of a single joint plan which can be used by whoever dies first.   Some charge extra, some don’t. Even if you want two plans, a joint funeral plan is a good start if you can’t afford two in one go.  Or pay in full for one, with the second on instalments.  We also know which plans will enable you to use a Family Funeral Plan for any member of the extended family who may need the benefit of a funeral which has already been paid for.  When things go wrong unexpectedly, that can be a massive comfort. Much better to have a shared plan than none! Saves the credit card being brought into action – undertakers bills are the biggest single item on credit cards, we’re told.

We are not for a moment saying that individual plans are not better, just that we realise that not every family member (or common law family member) will be able to afford their own plan.   So it makes sense to invest in a plan which has that flexibility built in, just in case.  And that is one of the focuses of our research.

Joint Funeral Plans for Couples.

Partners, husband and wife, people living together etc can buy a single plan between them which is used to pay for the cremation/ burial of the first of the couple to die.   This lessens the financial issues for the first to go, as there often won’t usually be cash to pay the funeral. When the second person dies, the estate can bear the cost, though there would be pressure on family members to pay long before the finances of the estate are sorted out. With some shared funeral plans, the plan can be used for any family member – or even a friend.

A flexible or joint plan can be a real benefit when a family member dies unexpectedly; with many companies, it doesn’t need to be the original purchasers.

If you can afford the second funeral plan for couples later on – or perhaps by using instalment payments – so much the better.  But at least a joint funeral plan gets you protected.

In an ideal world, couples would each have a funeral plan, but that is twice the cost of a single plan, of course! At least we offer a best price guarantee and (in most cases) a substantial bonus. Call us and check what is available on 0800 0588 240 – leave a message out of hours or if we are on the line already, we will get back to you. Or use the enquiry form to the right —>

But as we said, some funeral plans have a special option not many people know about where a couple can take out just one plan.  They may be called joint funeral plans, couples funeral plans, first death funeral plans etc.  They are used when the first of them dies, so the surviving partner doesn’t have to worry about the funeral expenses.   If the cash is available, the survivor can then take out another funeral plan, but if not it can just be paid from the estate on the survivors’ death. Clearly, if there is a delay between buying the first (joint) plan and the second one, prices may well have risen substantially.

Family Funeral Plans.

Joint funeral plans can just be a single plan, but in close-knit families, multiple plans are ideal. It may well be a combination of one person buying a plan straight out, and others getting together to buy a plan in instalments.   At the time of writing a good basic prepaid family funeral plan can be bought for around £32 a month over 10 years – divided between 2 people, that is £16 a month.  For 4 people it is just £8.  Much better value than insurance products which may not have any inflation protection or where everything is lost if payments are missed. And older folk are less likely to spot banking problems in time.

Plans for Couples need NOT be twice the price.

We feel Family Funeral Plans are a really useful option for couples who can’t stretch to the cost of two separate plans.  So if it appeals, or you want to look to see if you can manage the cost of two separate plans, please get in touch.