Whatever your religious or philosophical beliefs, the chances are that you’d like to think that your family and friends will be free to concentrate on celebrating your life after you die.
Few of us would take any pleasure in the thought of those same people immediately becoming bogged down in financial and cost-related problems arising from our passing. Yet that’s exactly what can happen if insufficient advance thought is given to planning for the costs involved in a typical funeral.
Why costs spiral
Whatever might have been the case in past centuries with “pauper’s funerals”, within living memory funerals have always been expensive.
Yet over recent years, the costs have risen dramatically. Figures vary depending upon where in the UK you live but estimates of increases of 85% over the last 5 years are commonplace.
Some of this has been driven by local councils needing to raise money as a result of the economic background and some has been driven by inflation. Another important causative factor is that, of course, death isn’t something we can avoid – it comes to everybody and as a result, normal market forces just don’t apply in terms of consumer choice as to whether or not to purchase.
So, with ever-rising funeral costs, what can you do to ensure those you leave behind are not faced with financial difficulties when organising your funeral? One option may be to consider prepaid funeral plans.
The funeral plan
There is nothing unusual in the idea of a funeral plan. The idea historically involved simply saving money to help pay for elements of your eventual funeral costs. The problem there though, at least in more recent times, is that the costs were rising faster than people could save.
What makes the new prepaid funeral plans different is that they involve essentially freezing the cost of your funeral director at today’s rates and paying for them over the immediate future on a monthly instalment basis. The huge attraction here is that your funeral costs are basically inflation-proofed. So, if you die in say 10 years, however much prices might have gone up by then, you will already have paid at today’s rates.
Intuitively, this seems a sound idea and one that might remove the need for those we leave behind to struggle with paying the funeral bills. However, there are various plans and they have various cost implications.
For example, some might include your minister’s costs whereas others won’t and yet others might make a contribution towards them.
So, the plans are variable and that means that it’s important when comparing funeral plans that you understand what you are actually buying.
Prepaid funeral plans allow you flexibility in terms of the options you require and that can have a very significant impact on their cost.
Why this is important
There is another factor that should be considered here – and it’s more than about just freeing up our families from the bulk of the cost of our funerals.
One of the most distressing things that can happen when relatives are making funeral plans is needing to speculate whether the deceased would have wanted ‘A’ or ‘B’. Frequently the result is guesswork.
That’s why the benefits you select on prepaid funeral plans can be a great help in terms of making clear what sort of ceremony you wanted to see and were prepared to pay for. Combined with your will, they’ll be a very useful indication of how you wanted your funeral to go forward.
It’s worth finding out more from a specialist in the provision of such plans.
Author: Oliver Curtis
Hi there. I’m Oliver. I’m just a young boy from the outskirts of… Okay, that’s a lie, I’m not a young boy anymore, although I certainly feel that way at heart.