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sun life plan review

How to Find A Lost Funeral Plan

find lost insurance policy

How do I find a lost funeral insurance?

Finding a lost funeral plan after death is not straightforward. Much better to get the ducks in a row earlier, as actions you take after death just could invalidate an otherwise perfectly good plan. But if you are looking at this, it is probably too late. 

Typically, the aged parent has said that they have a plan, but no one has pinned them down as to what it was – or they just can’t remember.

Here is what to do to find details of that elusive lost funeral plan, ideally in advance:

  1. Obviously, check through the paperwork for a funeral plan (or more likely for older people, an insurance policy).
  2. Check bank statements for payments to funeral plan or insurance companies. For funeral plans, payment may have been in one go, many years ago.   For insurance policies, the older type pre-regulation policies may have been made paid up with a value, so payments could have stopped decades ago.   For the awful post regulation policies often with no cash value, a policy may well be valueless if it is a non-profit whole of life, and a few missed payments mean everything is lost.  But still worth asking.
  3. For lost funeral plans, the only central point to check is the Funeral Planning Authority, but not all funeral plan companies are members. However, you could cross check against their members and the list of companies we review.
  4. If that fails, you can check for lost insurance policies (etc) on the Unclaimed Assets Register https://www.uar.co.uk/ or ring 0333 000 0182 – you may even turn up some other assets! The biggest seller of Over 50’s Plans is Axa Sun Life on  0800 008 6060 though there are dozens of others as over 500,000 a year take out these insurances.  See our review.

How to avoid having a lost Funeral Plan:

    • Make sure your family knows about your plan, whether it be a proper prepaid plan or a life insurance policy, and how to claim on it as doing the wrong thing may invalidate it.
    • Ensure both you and your family fully understand what is paid for and what is not covered.  We never cease to be amazed by the number of people buying plans over the phone without seeing the full terms and conditions.
    • Always have the paperwork with other important documents in a designated folder that the family can find easily.
      • Never pay for a funeral plan in cash as there is less of a record of payment.
    • When moving house, tell your funeral plan provider. The cost may vary in the new area with some plans.

Funeral Planning Options

Your Funeral Planning Options:

We all think about how our funeral will end up being paid for, so here are some options for you to consider:

1) Keep cash in the bank to pay for the funeral.

Over the last 5 years, your original £2000 might have grown to £2,308.59 if it some emergency hasn’t caused it to be spent, and it hasn’t gone on Care Fees. There are other issues too


Client review.

I can’t thank The Prepaid Funeral Review team enough. They asked me what I wanted and then sent me the details of companies that could offer just what I was looking for. A thoroughly professional, friendly and stress-free experience, and they hold your hand every step of the way. No question is too silly or small. They really do understand and take the time to help. 


2) Take out a typical over 50s life insurance.

Your £2000 plan taken out 5 years ago would still pay out £2000, or nothing at all if you miss a couple of payments. Non-profit whole of life is the technical name, and it is usually only the insurance company that makes the profit, so as far as your family is concerned it will probably be no profit and no interest on many years “savings”!

3) A funeral costing £2000 then would already cost :

According to Sun Life, costs have risen by 36.53% in just 5 years – and it gets worse. They have risen from £1,230 in 1997 to nearly £4000 today  (2017). Conservative estimates suggest that by 2024 a funeral will cost, on average, between £7,000 and £8000.

4) Take out a Prepaid Funeral Plan.

At least that way the major burden of costs will be taken care of.

Not everyone can afford to pay for the whole lot in one go, so there are all sorts of different ways of easing the inevitable problems. Different providers offer their own options, so a chat with us may mean you discover options you had no idea existed.   Or you can invite all their salesmen round to sell to you! At least ask us for a Free copy of our Final Wishes booklet so you can leave some guidance behind even if there is no money for a plan.

So what to do next…

It makes sense to minimise the financial and emotional strain on those left behind. The majority of prepaid funeral plans are paid for in one go, but monthly instalment terms are available too, so most people can afford one.

Just give us a call on 0800 0588 240, or use the enquiry form if it is out of office hours (we have lives!), and we will be pleased to discuss the issues with you, give you any advice and guidance we can, and send you written recommendations (if you wish.)

Buy The Right Funeral Plan

How to Buy the Right Funeral Plan.

Funeral Plans are all the same aren’t they?  NO, absolutely not!

Our Research Team spends hour and hours going over how prepaid funeral plans are set up.   Indeed, we very often know more about them than the sales teams who are selling them.  We also regularly point out to the funeral plan companies mistakes in their marketing material which could lead people to think they are getting benefits which they will not.  In the last week, that has happened on three occasions, which is pretty shocking.

When someone is trying to sell you a specific plan you have to assume that they are not going to tell you that plan has major disadvantages. With our research capability, we usually find the flaws pretty quickly.  Some of them are so bad that in our opinion, the plans should not be on the market.

Here are some ways you can avoid buying the wrong funeral plan.

  1. Don’t even consider a non-profit whole of life plan such as the Sun Life plan touted by  Michael Parkinson.  Read about the disadvantages here.  Unless you have talked to us and there is no way you can afford even the most basic of funeral plans.  Then they do have a place if – and only if – your finances are stable.
  2. Buy from a pushy funeral plan salesman, perhaps over the phone.  You can’t possibly grasp the full details without sitting down quietly reading the brochure and Terms and Conditions.  With us, we have a brief chat (typically minutes) then send you a written recommendation with the prices of alternative plans.
  3. Funeral Plans which pay the undertaker but not the third party expenses which are typically between half and a third of the final cost.  That could be a nasty shock when your family believe you have a proper funeral plan.   They do have their place, perhaps topping up one of the Over 50s insurances.  They are also much better than nothing, but the family need to understand their limitations.
  4. Not comparing the brochure with the terms and conditions, which hardly anyone reads.  The two documents surprisingly often do not agree with each other!
  5. Direct Cremation plans are relatively inexpensive – but they will upset those left behind if they are not aware of how they work.  Very few people will really be happy to advise friends and family, which is essential.   They are great, in the right circumstances, and thought through.
  6. Burial Plans do NOT include the cost of the burial plot/grave.  They can cost upwards of £1,000 or even £2,000.  That is if there are any available in your area when you expire.
  7. Avoid comparison sites unless you are certain they are independent.  Even the recent Fairer Finance Report list several “independent” review sites which were not independent (we are INDEPENDENT, and fiercely so – our mission is to find the right funeral plan for our clients.) No cost to you,

These are just some of the reason for having a chat with us and getting some independent advice on choosing the right funeral plan.  Out of hours, please do use the enquiry form, or you can leave a message on our free phone number 0800 0588 240 if you prefer. We will not pressure you, we’ll leave you to make up your own mind.  All we ask is that you use the form we supply if you decide to take our advice. And did we mention the bonuses we offer?

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.

Bright Side of Life

The Final Countdown: Funerals march to a different tune as Brits “look on the bright side of life”

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quote

Funerals are marching to a different tune as Brits “look on the bright side of life” and pick music from personal playlists when the curtain closes and it’s time to say goodbye, new research from The Co-operative Funeralcare reveals.

For the first time, Monty Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life tops the chart while the most popular group is Queen with nine tracks requested including Who Wants to Live Forever and Don’t Stop Me Now. Elvis Presley is the most requested solo singer.

The research, carried out by the UK’s largest funeral director, is based on over 30,000 funerals and charts the tunes of choice being played at services to celebrate and remember the lives of loved ones.

Data shows how humour, anthems from the football terraces, film and TV scores and, poignant pop songs are evoking emotions and providing the soundtrack to people’s lives, making up 60% of the ten most popular choices and ahead of many traditional hymns and classical compositions.

For the first time in over a decade, Frank Sinatra’s My Way has been toppled from the top of popular choices by Always Look on the Bright Side of Life from The Meaning of Life by Monty Python – a comedy troupe that said farewell themselves this year after a series of reunion concerts. Only Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings has achieved this feat before in 2002.

Technology is bringing about another significant change with almost one in five funeral homes highlighting the use of original music either penned by or performed by the deceased.

More than 84% of Funeral Directors say that hymns or classics are declining in popularity quicker than any other music or performance type. The most requested hymn is The Lord is My Shepherd, followed by Abide with Me. The most popular classical piece remains Elgar’s Nimrod – Enigma Variations.

David Collingwood, Operations Director, The Co-operative Funeralcare, said:

“We think we may be seeing a generational shift in attitudes towards funerals, and the choice of music being requested. Music plays such an important part in people’s lives that it now acts as the theme tune to their passing.  Modern funerals are very much about personal choice, which can be reflected in the choice of music, dress, coffin, flowers, hearses or memorials.

“We provide families with a wide range of options and choices to help them to plan and create a fitting tribute, and to ensure that final wishes are fulfilled. We will accommodate any individual request – no matter how unusual, providing it is legal and decent. Lyrics provide poignant words as well as a reminder of a hobby, pastime or sense of humour – the variety of songs played at funerals today illustrates how more and more people are choosing to personalise funerals, and celebrate their loved one’s life with a fitting farewell.”

Fewer songs are also being refused on the grounds of taste. In 2012 one in four funeral homes reported a declined music request while the figure has now dropped to 16% nationwide, with Scotland only having one in ten songs refused.

TV talent show winners have fared their best ever with Susan Boyle, One Direction and Sam Bailey all featuring in the lower reaches of the charts. Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera, and Lily Allen’s Christmas hit Somewhere Only We Know, both appear for the first time. While ever-presents include, Robbie Williams, Angels (Number 2), Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bochelli, Time to Say Goodbye (Number 3) and Celine Dion, My Heart Will Go On (Number 13).

The football league of mourners playing their club’s music at a funeral is topped by You’ll Never Walk Alone (adopted by fans of Liverpool FC, Celtic FC), followed by Simply The Best (Rangers FC), I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles (West Ham United) and, Blue Moon (Manchester City).

While Frank Sinatra still tops the pop, rock and golden oldies genre, notable new entries in this top 20 include Ellie Goulding – with her first appearance since breaking through in 2010 – with How Long Will I Love You (12), and Sarah McLachlan, with Angel (10).

And, Queen (with nine), followed by Elvis Presley (6), Eva Cassidy (4) and Westlife (4) are the artists with the most tracks requested. However, a number of performers have two or more tracks listed with Coldplay (Fix You, Paradise), Adele (Someone Like You, Make You Feel My Love), Pink Floyd (Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Another Brick in the Wall) and Snow Patrol (Run, Chasing Cars) alongside more traditional numbers by Vera Lynn, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole (each with three tracks).

The top TV Soap theme is Coronation Street, while music from Downton Abbey and Strictly Come Dancing appears for the first time.

All the Charts, and Other Key Findings:

  • Songs refused on the grounds of taste or inappropriate lyric include: Imagine, John Lennon; My Way, Frank Sinatra; Bat out of Hell, Meat Loaf; various Black Sabbath tracks; Eminem; Another one bites the dust, Queen; Relax, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and God Save the Queen by The Sex Pistols
  • Performances by singers / musicians (other than organist) remain popular: The most common requests are for pipers / bagpipes in Scotland (25%), and male voice choirs in Wales (33%)
  • Around a third of funeral homes have received unusual or quirky requests, including: mourners to wear fancy-dress such as : Abba theme, Beach Boys / surf theme, Elvis Presley theme, Blues Brother theme, Star Wars music and dress: a request for One direction t-shirts to be worn, football strips to be worn, and guitar shaped floral tributes

Overall Chart:

PositionTrackArtist/ Composer
1Always Look on the Bright Side of LifeEric Idle – From Monty Python’s 1983 film “Meaning of Life”
2The Lord is My Shepherd(Psalm 23/Crimond) Traditional
3Abide with MeTraditional
4Match of the Day themeTheme Tune
5My WayFrank Sinatra
6 All Things Bright and BeautifulTraditional
7AngelsRobbie Williams
8Enigma VariationsNimrod Elgar
9You’ll Never Walk AloneGerry and the Pacemakers (Adopted by fans of Liverpool FC, and Celtic)
10Cricket Theme / Soul LimboTest Match TV Theme / Booker T. & the MG’s
11 Canon in DPachelbel
12Love Theme from Titanic / My Heart Will Go OnCeline Dion
13=Last of the Summer WineTheme Tune
13=Only Fools and HorsesTheme Tune
14Time to Say GoodbyeSarah Brightman & Andrea Bochelli
15Four SeasonsVivaldi
16 Ave MariaSchubert
17Coronation Street TV ThemeTheme Tune
18=You Raise Me UpWestlife
18=Over the Rainbow Eva Cassidy
19Rugby Theme / World in UnionDame Kiri Te Kanawa (and other versions)
20=Nessun DormaPuccini
20=AdagioBizet/Albinoni

Classical:

PositionPieceComposer
1Enigma VariationsNimrod Elgar
2Canon in DPachelbel
3Time to Say GoodbyeSarah Brightman & Andrea Bochelli / Katherine Jenkins
4Four SeasonsVivaldi
5Ave MariaSchubert
6=Nessun DormaPuccini
6=AdagioBizet/Albinoni
7Pie JesuFaure
8Air on a G StringBach
9Clair De LuneClaude De Bussy
10Cavalleria Rusticanna IntermezzoMascagni
  • Nimrod has remained the most popular classical piece over the last decade
  • In Wales, Katherine Jenkins’ Time to Say Goodbye is the most popular classical piece

Hymns:

PositionPiece
1The Lord’s My Shepherd (Psalm 23/Crimond)
2Abide with Me
3All Things Bright and Beautiful
4How Great Thou Art
5Amazing Grace
6Jerusalem
7Old Rugged Cross
8Morning Has Broken
9=The Day Thou Gavest Lord Has Ended
9=I Watch the Sunrise
10Ave Maria
  • The Lord is My Shepherd has regained the top spot from Abide With Me, it has occupied the number one position in all but one listing since 2005

Pop, Rock and Golden Oldies:

PositionTrackArtist/Composer
1My WayFrank Sinatra
2AngelsRobbie Williams
3Time to Say GoodbyeSarah Brightman & Andrea Bochelli / Katherine Jenkins
4You Raise Me UpWestlife
5Over the RainbowEva Cassidy
6Wind Beneath My WingsBette Midler
7Simply the BestTina Turner
8You’ll Never Walk AloneGerry & The Pacemakers
9I Will Always Love YouWhitney Houston/Dolly Parton
10AngelSarah McLachlan
11UnforgettableNat King Cole
12How long will I love youEllie Goulding
13My Heart Will Go OnCeline Dion
14 Stairway to heavenLed Zeppelin
15We’ll Meet AgainVera Lynn
16Flying Without WingsWestlife
17Dancing QueenAbba
18Fields of GoldEva Cassidy
19Who wants to live foreverQueen
20Smile NatKing Cole
  • Artists with the most tracks listed are: Queen (9); Elvis Presley (6); Eva Cassidy (4): Westlife (4); Frank Sinatra (3); Susan Boyle (3); Elton John (3); Vera Lynn (3)
  • This is Ellie Goulding’s first appearance since her breakthrough in 2010.

Sport:

PositionPieceArtist / Composer/Sport or Team
1Match of the Day themeTheme Tune
2You’ll Never Walk AloneGerry and the Pacemakers (Adopted by supporters of Liverpool FC, and Celtic FC)
3Cricket Theme / Soul LimboBooker T. & the MG’s (Test Match TV Theme)
4Rugby Theme / World in UnionDame Kiri Te Kanawa (and other versions)
5Nessun DormaLuciano Pavarotti / Puccini (BBC Coverage of 1990 FIFA World Cup)
6The ChainFleetwood Mac (Synomous with Motor Racing)
7Simply The BestTina Turner (Adopted by supporters of Glasgow Rangers FC)
8I’m Forever Blowing BubblesWest Ham Utd
9Blue MoonManchester City FC
10Grandstand(TV Theme) Theme Tune
  • Other football club’s outside the top 10 include: Chelsea, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur, Swansea City, Cardiff City, Kilmarnock, Bristol Rovers and Everton’s “Z Cars” Theme.

Humour:

PositionTrackArtist/Composer
1Always Look on the Bright Side of LifeEric Idle – From Monty Python’s 1983 film “Meaning of Life”
2Bring me SunshineSynonymous with Morecambe & Wise
3Another one bites the dustQueen
4Ring of fireJohnny Cash
5Don’t worry be happyBobby McFerrin
6Great balls of fireJerry Lee Lewis
7Wish me luck (as you wave me goodbye)Gracie Fields
8Drink up thee ziderThe Wurzles
9Bat out of hellMeat Loaf
10Disco InfernoThe Trammps
  • Countdown and The Great Escape appear in both the humour and TV and Film lists

Film and Television:

PositionTV/FilmArtist / Track
1Monty Python / Meaning of Life Eric Idle / Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
2Match of the DayTheme Tune
3TitanicCeline Dion / My Heart Will Go On
4= Last of the Summer WineTheme Tune
4=Only Fools and HorsesTheme Tune
5Coronation StreetTheme Tune
6Morecambe & WiseBring me Sunshine
7The Dam Busters (Film)The Dam Busters March
8EastendersTheme Tune
9EmmerdaleTheme Tune
10The BodyguardWhitney Houston / I will always Love You
  • Coronation Street is the top TV soap theme tune requested
  • Requests for Downton Abbey and Strictly Come Dancing have been recorded for the first time
  • The Archers is the only Radio show to feature, although outside the top 10.