How to choose a funeral plan.
We all know that funeral costs are rising far faster than normal retail prices. But how to choose a funeral plan? They are more complicated than meets the eye, and it is very easy to mistake a plan with vital parts missing for a bargain. As our professional advice is available without cost, it makes sense to at least talk to us. Very often, we can offer a useful discount on plans too. SO what have you got to lose by having a 5 minute chat with us?
How to choose a funeral plan step 1. What do you want your plan to do?
Most funeral plans guarantee to cover the cost of the funeral director’s services. Many also provide an indexed contribution of £840 to £1,200 (as at October 2016) towards third party costs. These are ministers and doctor’s fees, and cremation costs. The cost of digging and re-filling a grave is included, but not the cost of buying a burial plot.
How to choose a funeral Plan Step 2. What type of plan do you want?
- Life insurance plans are not funeral plans and should not be considered as such.
- Direct cremation where the family have no involvement? These are the cheapest complete plans, but are likely to upset family and friends who are not aware of the severe restrictions.
- Basic plans which cover only the funeral directors fee. They are much better than nothing, but leave the family to find the doctors, ministers and cremation or burial costs. It is often hard for the public to tell which type of plan it is.
- Full plans covering the funeral director, doctor, minister, ceremony at the crematorium and cremation or cost of digging and refilling grave, but NOT the cost of the grave. Church services, burial plots, extra mileage for the undertaker would cost more. No cars are provided for the family, just the hearse.
- As above, plus limousine/s for the family, posher or alternative coffins. You can make pretty much any sort of arrangement.
How to choose a funeral Plan Step 3. Costs and payment options.
If you can pay in full at once, that is great. Most providers offer interest free installments over a year, sometimes more. For longer periods, you will be paying some interest. But the chances are that the interest will be a lot less than the increase in funeral plan prices over the period. Typically, you can pay a deposit then pay the rest off over up to 10 years in set monthly installments.
How to choose a funeral Plan Step 4. Flexibility.
Many local undertakers offer their own plans. However, you may have difficulty if you move to a different area, perhaps to be near children when you are old. Some prepaid plans are “sold” to undertakers local to you, and that can slow down the process of arranging your funeral. The more flexible the plan from that point of view the better. You don’t want a plan where the nearest undertaker in the chain is 100 miles away! Some plans will also allow you to donate your plan to be used by a family member who dies unexpectedly, perhaps in a car accident. This can be a real boon, even if it does mean you need to buy a new plan.
How to choose a funeral Plan Step 5. Family and Friends.
Have you allowed for the level of involvement they would wish to have? Have you made your wishes clear? Does your executor know what they are? You can change your wishes at any time, but it is as well to put them in writing. Ask for our Guide to Funeral Wishes.
How to choose a funeral Plan Step 6 – read our reviews.
Our series of reviews are clearly not personalised for you, but they will give you a good insight into the pros and cons of each funeral plan provider.
How to choose a funeral Plan Step 7 – get independent advice.
That’s where we come in. Avoid the pitfalls, save money and make sure you do get the right plan. There is a lot more to it than cost! We always send multiple quotes, but with a recommendation as to which plan we think is the best value for your unique circumstances.
PS Don’t wait too long as prices rise every few months – why not contact us today?