Funeral Plans – FAQ

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If you’re currently trying to decide whether a funeral plan is the right type of investment for you – or you simply want to know a little bit more – then it’s understandable that you’ll have a few questions you might want to ask.

In this article we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about funeral plans and what you might need to think about if you’re going to consider taking one out.

Q:  What does a funeral plan entail?

A funeral plan is basically a means of paying for your funeral in advance.

There are various ways of doing this – and numerous different options available (ranging from very basic plans right through to more bespoke offerings); but ultimately the concept is exactly the same.  It means that your funeral will be paid for in advance whilst also incorporating any specific requirements you might have – for example, how you wish your funeral to be conducted, where you’d like it to be held and so on.

Generally speaking, a funeral plan can be as basic or as detailed as you want it to be and this tends to vary between each individual.

Q:  How much do funeral plans cost?

Unfortunately, there’s no definite answer to this since funeral plans vary massively in terms of what they can offer and what you might wish to include.  Ultimately, of course, all of these considerations tend to dictate what sort of cost you can expect to pay for a good policy.

A good way of seeing what’s currently available on the market is to conduct an online search via an independent comparison website, or to speak with your local funeral directors for more advice and guidance.  Most funeral directors will offer free appointments where you can simply go along and discuss what you might have in mind so that they can give you an approximate cost and further details of what benefits each plan might entail.

As with any other type of purchase, it’s always a good idea to make a few cost comparisons before committing to anything – and not rushing into any impulsive decisions.

Q:  How do I go about paying for a funeral plan?

Funeral plans can either be paid for as one lump sum payment or you can spread the cost over monthly instalments.  However, do bear in mind that some providers charge an additional cost for the latter option and should you fail to make repayments on time then this might mean that your funeral is cancelled, with no refund payable.

Q:  What should I look for in a funeral plan provider?

As with any other type of financial product (for example, a mortgage, credit card or savings account) you should ensure that your funeral plan provider is fully regulated and that you’re happy with all the proposals put forward to you.

Always ask how your investment will be protected and don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as you feel necessary before choosing who to invest with.  After all, it’s a very important decision.

Q:  Will I have to attend a medical?

No.  Unlike some other types of policy (for example, health or life insurance), you won’t have to attend any type of medical examination in order to take out a funeral plan; nor will your age be of any restriction.

Q:  Can my family or loved ones contribute to my funeral plan?

Absolutely.  Whilst some people choose to keep the details of their funeral plan completely private until the time of their death, that’s certainly not to suggest that your loved ones shouldn’t contribute towards it – whether that’s in a financial capacity or simply in a supportive one.

It’s also advisable to tell at least one member of your family that you’ve taken out a funeral plan so that they’re aware of this when you pass away.  You can also mention this to your own solicitor or even have it incorporated into your Will for added peace of mind.

Q:  So do I need to make a Will if I take out funeral insurance?

No, that’s not a requirement.  However, it’s always advisable to make a Will so that your wishes are more specifically known and that there are no uncertainties about any element of your estate (or what should happen to it) when you pass away.

If you’re making a Will then it’s certainly a good idea to mention your funeral plan insurance and also to leave your Executors with full details about where it’s held.  They can then notify your chosen provider at the soonest opportunity to ensure your final wishes are upheld.

Q:  What happens if I die abroad?

Most funeral plans won’t include the cost of bringing your body back from a country outside of the UK (although this may well be covered by your own travel insurance).  If you intend to travel a lot (particularly as a part of any retirement plans) then it’s important to clarify what would happen in this eventuality and to ensure that arrangements could be made for you.

Q:  What happens if I want to change my funeral plan?

You should be able to change your funeral plan at any time and usually without any administration cost being incurred.  However, you should ensure that you ask about this when taking out your plan.  Ultimately, however, you won’t be bound by the exact terms of your funeral plan should you wish to amend it at any time; for example, if you wish it to take account of new personal circumstances etc.

Q:  How do I know my investment will be safe?

To ensure your investment is safe you should ensure that your insurance provider is regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority.

The Funeral Planning Authority is the industry body which regulates the operation of all funeral plan companies across the UK and they, themselves, are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Q:   Can I take out a funeral plan for my spouse?

Yes, you can.  You can take out a funeral plan for anyone else and this information should be kept strictly confidential.

Of course, should you have any further queries or concerns about your funeral plan then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.  We’d be delighted to assist you in any way that we possibly can.

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