The Bereavement Advice Centre highlights the difficulty your family and loved ones may find in choosing between the options for different services and funeral arrangements, and the price to be paid for each. Making this type of decision is likely to come at a particularly difficult time so soon after your death.
Prepaid funeral plans offer a way of making those decisions in your own good time before you die, so saving the difficulty faced by your relatives, and gives the further bonus of allowing you to pay in advance at today’s prices for services you will need in the future – when the inevitable effects of inflation are likely to have increased the costs beyond your family’s easy reach.
When buying a prepaid funeral plan, there are a number of considerations you may want to take into account and here are just five of them.
- The service
By planning ahead, you have the freedom not only to choose the firm of funeral directors you want to take charge of the arrangements, but also to decide exactly how you want everything to go.
Your ability to do just this, therefore, may be an important consideration before buying your plan.
- What is included
Before buying your plan, you also need to determine exactly what is covered.
A prepaid funeral plan may guarantee the price you are paying for the funeral itself, but there are traditionally many other aspects for which payment needs to be found – such as flowers, cars and reception or wake.
Most plans give you protection against the cost of the funeral directors’ fees only.
- What is the price?
Whether you want a basic funeral or something altogether more elaborate, price is clearly a consideration.
The advantage with a prepaid funeral plan, of course, is that you are paying at today’s prices and not those being charged when the time eventually comes.
Of course, different funeral plans may offer slightly different features and benefits, so it does make sense to compare funeral plans to ensure you get the most appropriate solution for you.
- Is your money safe?
Whenever you are making a prepayment, it is only natural to be concerned about the goods or services being delivered when promised.
Many funeral directors, for instance, may offer the option of paying for their services in advance – but if they should go out of business before they are needed, the money you paid might be at risk.
A prepaid funeral plan guards against this possibility by making sure that the money you pay is kept safely in trust or is used to purchase a whole of life insurance policy in your name.
- Funeral Planning Authority
Is your chosen funeral plan provided by a company registered with and authorised by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA).
This is the industry’s own regulator, set up to ensure that any money you have paid is independently secured in a trust fund or life insurance policy with a settlement value guaranteed to equal the amount you agreed with the funeral plan provider;
If your chosen firm of funeral directors goes out of business during the interval until your death, the FPA also requires its members to make every effort in ensuring that suitable alternative undertakers in your area may be appointed.