A funeral plan gives you the chance to decide what arrangements you want to be made when you die, including the likely cost of the services you require. By paying for that plan in advance, at today’s prices, you also steal a march on the significant increases currently seen in the cost of funeral services.
With very good reasons for buying a funeral plan, therefore, how do you set about choosing the most suitable plan? The following brief funeral plan guide is designed to help:
- a funeral plan is a significant purchase – and, like any significant purchase, it pays to do your homework before making the necessary commitment
- the internet offers one of the more accessible ways of finding out as much as possible about the prepaid funeral plans that are available – and there are many of them, offered by a whole host of providers
- the sheer range of choice might prove an obstacle in itself, especially when it comes to judging the reliability and independence of any particular provider – some may not be as independent as they claim to be, for example
What you get
- at the risk of stating the obvious, it is clearly important to understand exactly what you are buying – just what services are provided for the price you pay
- research conducted by national funeral plan providers Dignity – and reported by the BBC on the 7th of July 2017 – for example, suggested that thousands of customers, amongst an estimated 1.2 million, may have been sold plans by less scrupulous providers who failed to explain just what was covered in the purchase price
- a mistaken belief that certain elements of a funeral are covered, when in fact they are not, has meant that some customers paying the average price of £4,000 for their plan are still left with a shortfall of £2,000 – to be met by surviving relatives and friends – when the time eventually comes
- a case in point is the allowance made in any given funeral plan for burial fees – this might vary quite widely and is one of the reasons why, here at Simply Funeral Plans, we recommend the Dignity Plan, as they offer one of the highest allowances of £1,200 for burial funerals, compared to, say, Golden Charter’s allowance of £940; and for cremation funerals Dignity don't offer an allowance as they guarantee these costs no matter how much they cost
- for a more detailed comparison of the range of services offered by different funeral plans, take a look at our reviews section
- when comparing the range of services covered by competing prepaid funeral plans, it is also important to examine just what costs are guaranteed
- unless you give clear and specific instructions beforehand, any funeral plan is able to guarantee only the funeral director’s immediate costs – and not ancillary elements such as headstones, flowers, reception costs and the like
- selected providers – such as Dignity and the Co-op – however, also guarantee cremation fees and those of the minister conducting the funeral service
- since you are likely to be paying several thousands of pounds for any prepaid funeral plan, it is also important to consider the payment options offered by any provider
- some may require the entire payment upfront, in a single sum, for example, whilst others may offer instalment plans with monthly payments
Funeral Planning Authority
- Finally, ensure that any prepaid funeral plan you intend to buy from a provider registered by the Funeral Planning Authority – the industry’s regulator of such services.
With the help of this brief funeral plan guide, you may gain greater confidence in choosing the suitable prepaid funeral plan appropriate to your needs and requirements.