9 Tips for choosing and using prepaid funeral plans.
- Funeral plans are NOT all the same. Don’t buy from a pushy salesperson, get independent advice (which is where we come in!) and take your time to decide. Don’t do it over the phone without a great deal of thought and READING the terms and conditions.
- Some plans ONLY pay the Funeral Director, not all the other (substantial) essentials.
- Some Plans will PREVENT your family from being directly involved.
- Think twice about using little local companies which may not have national arrangements. Who knows if you might need to move one day, or where to? Or if they will still be in business.
- Never pay for a plan in cash – there is no trail to follow if things go wrong. You might be defrauded, or the plan documents may go astray.
- In our opinion, you should think more than twice about taking out a life insurance type plan. See our article on them here. They are often called Over 50s Plans.
- Make sure your family know that you have chosen and purchased a prepaid plan, what it covers and how to claim. When plans are purchased through us, we provide laminated documentation of the plan with copies for you and family members. “Cheap” plans may leave out many of the costs or impose very important restrictions. Make certain you understand what you have got.
- Failure to keep the funeral plan company up to date with your address with one major provider (whom we do not use) can lead to your plan being confiscated, believe it or not. But it is sensible to keep them up to date with your address to avoid issues when the plan is needed. Some companies have extra costs in different areas, and the amount allowed for third-party costs (especially crematorium and burial costs) can vary widely from area to area and over time.
- Going back to point 4, if the correct procedure on death is not followed, there could be substantial financial consequences. They all have 24 hour claim lines which must be called first. Do not call the undertaker first, as they may be under new ownership and not deal with the same plan provider. That applies even if they sold you the plan. Keep the plan paperwork with details of your other important documents. If they are (wisely) stored in special facilities, then the family should be aware of that and the procedure for access. They will still need details of the funeral plan company to call immediately on death.
- Some funeral plan providers will allow you to donate your plan for the use of a deceased friend or relative. Some will make a charge for it, but it can be a useful facility. It is certainly one we think just might be important to you one day.
We hope these tips on choosing and using prepaid funeral plans have been helpful. If you haven’t yet invested in a proper prepaid funeral plan, feel free to contact us on 0800 0588 240 or use the form to the right.