Families Could Risk Paying Twice for a Funeral.
“Why risk paying twice for a funeral?” say leading funeral director Deric Scott, urging people to be open and talk to their families if they take out a pre-paid funeral plan, as instances where funeral plans are discovered to have been unused has risen sharply. This means families just could end up paying for a funeral unnecessarily.
Julie, head researcher at the Prepaid Funeral Review say “It is true that families can pay again if they don’t realise the deceased had tried to save them the trouble by buying a prepaid funeral plan. But we take two precautions against this for our clients:
- We recommend only funeral plans which will refund at least the value of the plan in these circumstances, rather than just keep the whole lot.
- We provide tasteful laminated funeral plan certificates for the client and their family which are sure to be found easily. Normally they are just given to family members.”
Deric Scott continues: Pre-paid funeral plans are a relatively recent development and allow you to cover the cost of your funeral at current prices, and make your own wishes clear.
The purchaser is encouraged to tell all the relevant folk but there have been more instances recently where relatives have begun organising the funeral, not realising that a funeral plan existed. So some families could pay twice for the funeral. The owner may have listed their requests as to how the the funeral should be run which could save much argument.
Stephen Pett of the Prepaid Funeral Review says “There is an even bigger problem with Over 50’s Insurance Plans – these often lapse because people are ill. More policies are lost because families don’t know they exist, and may be even stop payments to them without realising they won’t get a bean back, even if more than the cost of the funeral has been paid in. And even if those hurdles have been overcome, the death benefit is often paid to the deceased, so no one can touch it until probate has been granted between 3 and 9 months after the funeral. And it gets worse: if the money goes to the estate, the Care Home or Local Authority may take the lot after the Taxman has finished with it!”
Deric Scott said, “It can be quite hard talking about the subject of your own funeral with friends and family, so we understand how this situation can occur. We do check all the plans we have on file on a regular basis, and if we discover the plan holder has died, then we do all we can to track down any relatives. However, in some circumstances this can prove difficult, particularly if they have not left us with any next of kin details.
“We want to encourage people to talk to their families to ensure when the time comes they know all the arrangements have been thought of. We can help them to decide how to broach the subject, and talk through their preferences. If a relative gets in contact having discovered its existence at a later date, having made their own arrangements, then we ensure they are fully refunded.”