What is a prepaid funeral plan?
A prepaid funeral plan is a way you can arrange and pay for your funeral in advance. It allows you to choose the funeral service you want and pay the way you prefer. However, one of the main benefits of a prepaid funeral plan is that you pay today’s prices.
Planning your funeral in advance this way is a wise decision for two extremely important reasons:
Smart with your money
The average cost of a funeral in the UK is currently £4,417, having risen by over 100% since 2004; but this could increase to almost £7,000 in just 10 years time if costs continue to rise at a similar rate.
With a prepaid plan, your funeral services are fixed at today’s prices. This means you avoid future inflation and will never need to worry about rising costs again.
Kind to your family
In addition to saving money, a simple funeral plan can be a huge relief for families as it means they won’t have the worry of arranging and paying for a funeral.
Instead, everything is done for them; all they need to do is make one call and the funeral director will take care of everything as detailed in the plan.
Who are Simply Funeral Plans: We have over 20 years experience in funeral planning and want to help you choose the right plan. We have teamed up with leading Funeral Planning Authority companies to ensure that you receive good value for money.
How do funeral plans work?
Funeral plans let you arrange and pay for your funeral in advance. You simply choose the type of funeral you want, pay at today’s prices with either a one off payment or monthly instalments and the funeral director will take care of everything when the time comes.
All plans guarantee to cover the funeral director’s costs, so once you’ve bought your plan, you will never have to pay a penny more for those services. This includes their help and guidance, a coffin, the hearse, limousines (depending on the plan you choose), use of the chapel of rest and their services on the day.
However, the majority of UK prepaid funeral plans only include a contribution towards the third party fees.
Third party funeral costs, also known as disbursements are essential fees beyond the control of the funeral director. This includes the cremation or burial costs, minister's fees and doctor’s fees if a second death certificate if required.
This contribution usually increases in value annually in line with either RPI or CPI but at the same time, the third party costs will also become more expensive too. So if there isn’t enough money in the ‘contribution pot’ to pay for these fees when the time comes, the family will have to pay the difference; which is why it is so important to check which are the best funeral plans before you buy.
So the big question here is why would you buy a prepaid funeral plan that only guarantees some of the services when you can choose one that for a similar price, guarantees absolutely everything included in the plan?
The cost of a funeral plan ranges from £2,900 to £4,300 depending on the funeral services included. The most expensive funeral plan will usually include a superior coffin and two limousines; whereas a funeral plan with one car will cost £3,700, or £3,300 for a standard plan with no car.
Some companies also offer a simple funeral plan with costs starting from as little as £2,900 however they usually come with some restrictions such as the time of the funeral service.
The plan we recommend starts from £3,095 or £38.25 a month
How can I pay for a funeral plan?
You can pay for a funeral plan in full or monthly and your money is held in a trust fund or life insurance policy. The cheapest way to pay is either by single payment, or over 12 months as most funeral plan providers won’t charge extra for this payment option. If you prefer to spread the cost of your funeral plan, then a monthly funeral plan may be a more suitable option.
Are funeral plans safe?
When you pay for a funeral plan your money is held securely in either a trust fund or life insurance plan, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Therefore, although Funeral Plans themselves aren’t regulated by the FCA, the way your money is handled is safe and tightly managed.
If your chosen funeral plan provider were to go out of business, your money is protected and ringfenced, ready to pay for your chosen funeral services when the time comes.
In addition, many leading UK plan providers are registered with and regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority, the regulatory body for Funeral Plans. To become an FPA registered company you need to prove that you comply with their strict rules on how the money is held and the service you receive.
Are funeral plans a good idea?
A funeral plan could be a good idea if you want to arrange and pay for your funeral in advance; have the funds available and understand exactly how your chosen funeral plan works. To be safe it’s important to choose a guaranteed plan from a Funeral Planning Authority registered company.
Having compared the market for the best funeral plans, we are happy to recommend Dignity as the one that for us, stands out from the crowd. This is simply because it offers more guarantees than most plan providers. With Dignity you get a full guarantee for your funeral directors costs PLUS a full guarantee for the cremation fees and minister’s fees too.
And with awards and recognition for good service coming out of their ears, you can trust that you are in safe hands too.
If however you prefer a cremation only plan with no funeral service, then take a look at our recommendations for direct cremation funeral plans.
Prepaid funeral plans pros and cons
Understanding Prepaid funeral plans pros and cons is key to making an informed decision on buying a funeral plan. With approximately 1.4 million plans already purchased in the UK and demand increasing every year, being aware of the pros and cons of prepaid funeral plans is more important than ever.
Pre-paid funeral plan pros
- Save money by avoiding funeral inflation
- Remove the worry of making funeral arrangements from your family
- Choose the type of funeral you want at a price you are happy paying
- Flexibility if you move within the UK (with national funeral planning companies)
- Affordable with flexible payment options to choose from
- Reduces your liability for inheritance tax
Pre-paid funeral plan cons
- There may be additional funeral costs to pay for when the time comes
- Not all providers are Funeral Planning Authority registered
- Your money will be tied up
- You won’t be able to use the plan if you move abroad (unless it’s a European funeral plan)
What is funeral insurance?
Funeral insurance is a term frequently used to describe prepaid funeral plans. Whilst some plans hold your money safe in a life insurance policy until it is needed to pay for your chosen services, a funeral plan or indeed funeral insurance should not be confused with life insurance.
Whole of life insurance and over 50 life insurance plans offer an alternative solution for helping with funeral costs. Policies are designed to pay out a cash sum when you die that your family can use how they wish.
For more information on life insurance vs funeral plans, read our useful guide.
Why choose a Simply Plan?
The team at Simply Funeral Plans are a bit geeky when it comes to funeral plans. With over 10 years experience, we are experts when it comes to routing out the truth and finding the best funeral plans for our customers.
We believe you should have complete confidence in your prepaid plan, knowing that when the time comes, it will provide the services as promised in the plan, with no nasty surprises and no hidden costs.
Quite simply, we believe in a funeral plan that you can trust. Why not request a brochure today.
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