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When it comes to comparing the many different funeral plans on offer across the market, there are certainly various ways of doing it and of course, it’s not a decision you’ll want to take lightly. After all, a funeral plan will incorporate your very last wishes and it therefore needs to be managed with both dignity and respect.
Who offers funeral plans?
There are a wide range of funeral plans available and these can generally be sourced from either your local funeral director or even on one of the many comparison sites which you’ll readily find online.
Whoever you might decide to take a plan out with then it’s important to do your research whilst also ensuring that they’re fully regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority .
Who are the Funeral Planning Authority?
The Funeral Planning Authority aims to regulate all providers in the UK pre-paid funeral plan industry; whether that’s your local funeral director or someone you might find on one of the many online searches available. However, if you’re in any doubt, never be afraid to research and/or take additional advice (perhaps from your local solicitor) if you feel you need to.
Remember, as with any other type of investment, a funeral plan needs to be carefully considered and should never be entered into lightly. In fact, the more information you can gather, the better.
What sort of things do I need to think about when comparing funeral plans?
Choosing the right funeral plan is an extremely important decision and you need to ensure that all your specific requests are carefully taken care of with someone you can trust implicitly.
There are a few important steps you should consider when taking out a funeral plan (regardless of the budget you might have in mind).
Here we take a look at the more specific issues you might want to think about and perhaps discuss with your intended or chosen provider:-
- Is your intended provider fully regulated and do you fully understand how your investment will be taken of and protected once you enter into it?
- What sort of plan do you want to enter into? For example, do you want a very specific and bespoke funeral plan (to take ALL aspects of your funeral into account); or do you simply want to cover the basic costs, i.e. the funeral director and cremation or burial costs?
Many people find the latter option to be quite beneficial given that this allows their family and loved ones to add their own personal touches, as they see fit, rather than being ‘restricted’ to more specific requests (although, on the flip side, this can also take some of the stress of funeral planning away from family members who might not know ‘what to do for, for the best’.
If you consider it appropriate, then another suggestion is to speak with your loved ones about what they’d want and then compare their thoughts with your own ideas and wishes. Of course, it all depends on your circumstances at the time and whether you feel comfortable doing this. There’s certainly no right or wrong answer, by any means, so never feel pressurised into doing something you’re not completely happy with.
- In the longer term, you might want to consider the actual geographic of your intended funeral plan. For example, what would happen if you decided to move (or retire) to another part of the UK? Would your funeral plan still be able to take account of this eventuality – particularly if you’d chosen a very specific funeral director – or would you be happy for a more local director to simply pick up the plans and execute them on your behalf? Lots of people fail to take account of this particular scenario but it’s certainly very important to consider and bear in mind.
How do I compare plans in terms of price?
When it comes to choosing a funeral plan it’s important not to compare ‘like with like’ on headline price. Each and every provider will have very different criteria attached to their plans so it’s important you research them fully, ask as many questions as you need to and then take the time to ensure you’ve entered into the right plan for YOU.
How do I pay for a funeral plan?
Funeral plans can either be paid for upfront or by way of monthly instalments – it really depends of your own personal preference.
How do monthly funeral plans work?
If you want to spread the cost of your funeral plan then this can easily be achieved through a monthly funeral plan.
A monthly funeral plan is exactly what it says – it enables you to make contributions towards your funeral on a monthly basis. However, do bear in mind that most providers tend to add an instalment charge should you choose to spread the cost over 12 months or more. Again, this will vary between each provider.
You should also be aware that some instalment arrangements will ordinarily require payment of any outstanding instalments to be paid by your family should you pass away before the arrangement has been satisfied in full. These are all the types of questions you need to ask your potential providers before you enter into any type of agreement with them.
What happens my funeral costs more than I’ve paid into my plan?
The vast majority of funeral plans will provide adequate protection against the inflation of funeral costs. However, some plans might exclude certain disbursements (which would then have to be met by your family or friends) so it’s important to understand what these might be and you might then want to consider covering them as an added extra.
How will anyone know about my funeral plan?
Once you’ve compared and selected the right funeral plan then it’s advisable to make someone aware of it – perhaps your family or friends. Alternatively, you can include details of the plan into your Will (and/or make your solicitor aware of it).
Whilst the issue of funeral plans can certainly be a sensitive issue, it’s important to make others aware of the plan so that your final wishes can be taken of in exactly the way you want them to be handled.
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