Category Archives: Your Questions

How Much Does a Prepaid Funeral Plan Cost in 2019?

how much does a funeral plan cost?

Cost of Funeral Plans

How Much Does a Funeral Plan Cost? It depends what you are looking for! The cheapest form of funeral plan is a Direct Cremation Plan – no ceremony just straight of to the crematorium.  Around £1600 will set one of those up, a little less for some – but with good reason!.

Just remember that costs are only going to go up, and a recent enquirer who died withing days could have saved on the £1,500 or so and used exactly the same undertaker when she died a few days later had she gone ahead with a funeral plan – but cost is not the main reason most people buy funeral plans.

What we would consider to be a proper funeral plan allowing for a family service at the crematorium would start at around £3000, averaging about £3,500.  But they are all a little different.  If it is much less than that, chances are it is one which pays just the undertaker and not crematorium, celebrant / minister or doctor.  Good schemes allow an index-linked £1,200 or so for those.  Some are “fully guaranteed” but you need to be aware that the meaning is not what you might think! So quietly ignore those can make a poor scheme look financially very attractive. And they do suck in a lot of people, so contact us on 0800 0588 240 before making a decision.

Upgrades are measured by the number of limousines required for the family.

A standard plan assumes the family can drive themselves.

A mid range plan adds one family limousine, a slightly possher coffin and maybe a few trimmings adding £300 to £400 to the funeral plan cost.

A top range plan allows 2 limousines, even posher coffin and more trimmings and adds another £300 to £400 to the cost of the funeral plan.

Of course, the sky is the limit and you can add to the cost of the funeral plan towards other extras, should you wish to do so. Be aware that Church Services and burials complicate matters – make sure you advise us of this so we can be sure that the cost of the funeral plan allows for them.

As Independent funeral plan advisers, it is our job to find the right plan for your needs and wishes at the right price.   We discuss the options and recommend the plan which we feel is the most suitable for you from across the market.  It takes about 5 minutes to chat things through, then we can tell you exactly “How Much Does a Funeral Plan Cost.”  Not just any old plan, but the one which we feel is best suited to your needs, location and pocket.

How Much Does a Funeral Plan Cost?

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

A good average price in July 2019 for a “normal” funeral plan is around the £3,300 mark, and sometimes we can give you a discount (where we can – please ask).

In terms of monthly payments over 10 years the cheapest (proper) funeral plan costs less than £20 a month.  An average simple plan a little under £35, with a small deposit.  “HOW MUCH!” we hear you exclaim!!  “We see that nice man on TV saying just a few pounds a month!”

Yes indeed, but those sort of plans are payable for many, many years, and they usually pay a fixed sum, with no inflation proofing at all.  They have other serious disadvantages too.   See our information on these plans, and if you want our expert advice, don’t buy one if you can possibly afford not too. Contact us to get advice on a proper prepaid funeral plan.

But the cost of the prepaid funeral plan isn’t everything…..

The cheaper end of the funeral plan market is dangerous water for those who are not experts. You can easily buy a plan which either upsets your whole family because they don’t get a chance to say goodbye.  Or you can saddle them with a large bill where you buy a so-called funeral plan which ONLY covers the funeral directors costs.  The cost of burial or cremation is then an extra, and that can be very substantial.   No funeral plan covers every possible expense, but a good one will cover the basic things so that any extras are not really essential.  If you consider limousines, flowers, memorial masonry, burial plots, printing etc etc. essential, we can include those, but the cost of the funeral plan will rise.

Direct Cremation Funeral Plans are low cost. But they just whisk you away, possibly hundreds of miles, and only the undertaker may be present at your cremation.

How Much Does a Funeral Plan Cost? Is a great question, but you need expert advice to get the RIGHT answer to the REAL question: “How much is the most suitable plan for me?”

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.)

Direct Cremation – a personal view

Direct Cremation – a personal view.

A market place that is becoming more and more acceptable to clients and their families is that of Cremation Direct Packages. (click For information on prepaid direct cremation plans.)

In their bluntest form, the deceased is picked up from wherever they pass away and the company will arrange for a cremation to take place. Nothing more.

This is even easier and sometimes cheaper if they pass away in a hospital as the company (usually National) will pick them up directly from the Hospital Mortuary and take them to be cremated with no family or friends in attendance. Where a client passes away at home or in a nursing home etc. where a body cannot be stored then there may (with some firms)  be an extra cost of around £250 as a local Funeral Director may need to arrange collection and storage.

These disposal services are increasingly available as a prepaid or even a monthly paid funeral plan. The prices are usually around half the cost of a normal cremation with a service.  There are some extra costs such as return of ashes etc.

The Crematorium direct services will often be conducted well away from the clients home, for example, one firm’s service is at Croydon Crematorium and the family does not know when it is going to happen.

The cost is not the only element that has seen the rise in these types of funerals. Other reasons include:-

–        Difficulty getting a family together from around the world (A service or family event, party etc. can be arranged much later) and the deceased may even attend as ashes.

–        The client wishes to be sent abroad (much easier to travel as hand luggage than be shipped with a coffin!)

–        The client did not want a formal service or funeral, perhaps believing their body is of no value on death.

–        The client’s family would find it difficult to be in the same room, with many families splitting up a funeral could be a trial too far for spouses, step-families and children.

–        It is fashionable with the likes of David Bowie having a no service cremation, it is increasingly acceptable and possibly even fashionable.

–        No family or very few mourners likely to attend.  This could even be the very elderly who are the last of a family to pass away, ironically as we become more connected through social media etc. we are often more and more disconnected from friends and relatives

–        Religious reasons can sometimes be a factor with a Direct to cremation funeral fitting with religious requirements such as same day (Or very quick) cremation.

–        The method of passing can also mean that a Cremation Direct is right, such as passing away whilst being involved in a crime of some notoriety or some families may decide that a suicide or a person not being discovered for some weeks may be a reason to consider a cremation of this type.

These types of funeral however often need to be sympathetically organised as not all family members are in agreement that this course of action is respectful to those that have passed away and their relatives.

Some people will not have the closure that a funeral can help them with and it is possible that this will have a lasting effect on their lives. I would suggest that this is not organised lightly, but soberly and after much considerate thought to quote the marriage service. I know from my experience writing Wills clients often quip that they want their funeral to be as cheap as possible or stick them in the wheelie bin, well this is not necessarily a trigger to arrange a Cremation Direct Funeral Plan. The family needs to be in agreement as a funeral is usually as much for those left behind as those who have died.

Just remember when the state or local authority organise a funeral for those with no relatives or no money for a funeral, they are afforded a proper funeral with flowers, a coffin, a celebrant and an advertised funeral with a marker for ashes or in some cases a burial. With a Crem Direct often none of these will be present.

As Crematorium Direct Packages grow in popularity there will be some families where this is not the right answer for their loved one. Just one close family member who does not agree with this as the right way to mark a loved one’s passing can lead to family breakdown and possibly a lifetime of grief and heartache, not to mention lawyers sharpening their pencils as they represent children taking on step-parents who arrange a non-funeral for their Mother or Father. Organising the right Funeral plan is not just about price, it is about organising the right funeral for both the client and their family.

Peter Brown

Our comments: we respect Peters views, but these sort of plans do have a place, and with our expertise, we can find the most suitable one in the prepaid direct cremation market – or in the main market where Peter primarily works.

Monthly Funeral Plans: What Are The Options?

Monthly Prepaid Funeral Plans.

pay funeral plan monthly

Monthly Funeral plans

Not everyone can afford to pay for a funeral plan in one go, so most plans offer some sort of monthly payment plan.  You can, of course, go for the Over 50s style insurance which we dislike intensely.  But proper prepaid funeral can also be paid for on a monthly basis. With most prepaid funeral plans, monthly contributions only go on for a maximum of 10 years – then the plan is fully paid.  Even if you miss installments you rarely lose everything unless it is very early on. Contrast that with monthly premiums for Over 50s Plans which typically have to be paid until you are 85 or 90 and where you do lose every penny if you miss payments.

Ideally, you should be able to put down some money as a deposit, to reduce the monthly cost, but not all providers insist on one.  So what are the normal offers available?

Low cost monthly funeral plans.

Most plans can be paid in monthly instalments.

  1.  The cheapest type is the Direct Cremation Plan.  They are not really ideal, but some of them will allow you to upgrade them to a more normal plan allowing for a service later on.   That option allows for dramatically lower monthly payments.  But we need to make sure that you have a plan which can be upgraded.  In some cases upgrades can be done at almost the last minute.
  2. The next lowest in monthly cost is the group of plans which pay only the funeral directors fees.  The crematorium or burial costs have to be found elsewhere, as do ministers and doctors fees.  But again, the plans can be upgraded later. These can be used as a way of topping up one of the Over 50s life plans as they lose out to inflation – if you already have one.
  3. Moving up slightly are the new breed of cut down plans.   They are typically only perhaps £5 a month cheaper, but they seriously restrict where and when the funeral is held.  But if that fiver is more than you can stretch too, many can be topped up to the normal full plans below.
  4. The we get to standard funeral plans which cover the basics.  Typically, the funeral director is paid in full.  A substantial allowance is put aside (and inflation linked) to cover crematorium fees, ministers or celebrants fees and the doctors fees.  You can allow for limousines for the family and all sorts of fancy things if you wish. But we believe that the main thing is to cover the basics as far as you are able, and keep the monthly payments at a reasonable level!

We’re happy to chat through the options, without obligation, so why not give us a call!

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.