Whilst no-one relishes the prospect of organising their own funeral, it remains an established fact that there are certainly many benefits of doing so.
Unfortunately, according to The Money Advice Service (an organisation established with cross Government party support), the current average cost of a funeral based on 2018 figures is already in the region of £4,078.00; or even double that for funerals further down south – for example, in the central London area. 
For this reason, increasingly more of the UK population – and especially those over the age of 50 who might also be considering other types of protection, such as life assurance and pension plans – are now looking towards bespoke funeral plans (and cheap funeral plans) to help them plan ahead and ultimately protect their finances.
In this article we take a closer look at the many benefits surrounding all types of funeral plans, how they can help and above all else, how they can offer peace of mind for all concerned.
What exactly is a funeral plan?
A funeral plan basically aims to provide peace and reassurance for both the policyholder, their family and friends.
By opting into a pre-paid funeral plan, the policyholder can simply pay an affordable amount on a regular basis (for example, weekly or monthly) to ensure that, when they pass away, the cost of their funeral will be paid in full and without their family having to worry about finding funds at an already stressful and upsetting time in their lives.
The real beauty of a funeral plan, however, lies in the fact that by taking out a prepaid plan, the cost of the funeral will also be protected against any future price increases; whilst the service itself can be conducted on much more specific terms.
More often than not, funerals don’t tend to be pre-planned unless someone has perhaps taken ill, or the person has very specific requests about what they’d like to happen (or even ‘not happen’) at their funeral. Typical examples of this include a person specifically choosing a burial or cremation – a particular reading or hymn they’d like to have at their service or even their method of transport for (quite literally) getting to the Church on time! Whatever the request or reason, final wishes are certainly very important and should never be underestimated.
Consequently, by taking out a funeral plan, a person can be put in complete control of their own funeral whilst also leaving loved ones safe in the knowledge that everything has been taken care of just the way they’d have wanted.
What’s included in a funeral plan?
A funeral plan can basically entail anything you want it to – whether it’s a very elaborate affair or simply a cheap funeral plan, just to cover the very basics (whilst perhaps leaving loved ones to add their own personal touch at their own discretion).
In essence, then, a funeral plan can either be:
- A very bespoke package, to include the cost of the funeral director, the actual service, a wake (or ‘celebration of life’ as some prefer to call it) including a venue and refreshments for friends and loved ones, flowers/wreaths, funeral transportation and the cremation or burial fees
- A cheap funeral plan; purely to cover the actual cost of the funeral (for example, simply the cremation and burial fees).
What sort of things should I think about when making a funeral plan?
Any type of funeral plan is extremely personal so it’s important that you consider what you may (or may not) need to ensure your funeral goes without a hitch.
Some of the key considerations you might wish to consider when making a plan are:
- What sort of budget you’d like to set? For example, do you want a very bespoke funeral event, or would you like a cheap funeral plan; just to cover the basics?
- Would you like to choose a particular funeral director? (Perhaps someone you might have used in the past for other funerals, or someone who might have been recommended to you through their own experience?)
The role of the funeral director can be quite complex – from transferring the deceased from the place of death to a funeral home, providing facilities for loved ones to view prior to the burial or cremation and then managing the actual service itself. It’s certainly not a role to be underestimated so always be sure to give very careful consideration as to who you’d entrust this particular role to and don’t be afraid to meet with them and discuss any specific requirements you might have prior to entering into any type of funeral plan – whatever the budget you might have in mind.
- Although it’s not a particularly nice thought or event to plan, think very carefully about how you’d like your funeral to be conducted. For example, how would you like to be transported to your final resting place? Where would you like the service to be conducted and would you like it to be conducted by any specific person? Are there any readings you’d like to have and would you choose a specific style of flower (or, indeed, ‘any’ type of flower?)
A good way of answering some of these many questions is to think about what’s been significant in your own life up until the point you decide to enter into a funeral plan and then perhaps incorporate them, either quite significantly or even just subtly. And don’t forget, you can always change your wishes as time passes on – they’re certainly not set in stone. Speaking of which, what about the wording on your headstone? … There really is so much to think about, so it’s vital to get it right.
Do funeral plans have to be expensive?
Absolutely not. A funeral plan is basically about making a contribution to your funeral – not necessarily paying for the entire thing. Many people find that a basic, cheap funeral plan is more than sufficient for their purposes and of course, any excess costs can always be taken from your estate if needed. The main about funeral planning is to contribute whatever you can, whilst you can and (where applicable) set down any specific wishes you might have.
There are lots of different funeral plans available, whether through local funeral directors or even online, so it’s a good idea to shop around, give your own wishes due consideration and then give it more thought before putting pen to paper and committing yourself to anything.
Of course, should you need any help or advice then you’re more than welcome to give us a call and we’ll certainly help you in any way that we can – and naturally at a budget to suit.