It seems that everything just continues to increase in price nowadays and it’s no different for anyone thinking about making arrangements for their funeral. While death and dying don’t feature at the top of everyone’s list of interesting topics to talk about, they can’t be avoided.
The rise in funeral costs has outstripped inflation in recent years and there’s no guarantee that when the time comes, your savings will be sufficient to cover the cost of your funeral. Your family may need to make up the difference, wait until assets from your estate are available, or turn to loans or credit cards to cover the cost of your funeral.
If you don’t want your family to face money worries in the future, particularly when trying to deal with the loss of a loved one, funeral plans let you fix the cost of a funeral director’s services at today’s prices.
Even if prices rise in the future, as soon as your funeral plan is paid for, you’ve got the reassurance of knowing that there’ll be nothing more to pay and that’s guaranteed.
But that’s not the only reason to consider taking out a funeral plan.
What is a Funeral Plan?
A funeral plan is a simple and easy way you can pre-arrange the funeral you want and pay for the funeral director’s services at today’s prices.
It can help save your family from the worry and expense of organising your funeral and help make things easier for your loved ones when the time comes.
How Does a Funeral Plan Work?
Funeral plans come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but with a standard funeral plan, you pay for your funeral in advance at today’s prices. You usually get the choice between paying the plan provider in either a lump sum or instalments. You can buy a plan from most funeral directors.
Funeral plans vary in terms of what’s included. However, all plans include the services of a funeral director who takes care of the deceased, arranges the funeral, and organises transport.
The differences are in the extra services individual plans offer. Some might provide high-quality coffins, access to view the deceased in a chapel of rest, or limousines to transport guests to the funeral. On the other hand, a plan might be more basic and simply cover the cost of your cremation or burial.
As well as the main costs of a funeral director and coffin, some funeral plans also include or make provisions for third-party costs. These might include the cost of using a crematorium, doctor’s fees, and the cost of a celebrant or minister. These third-party costs are usually called disbursements.
Cremation Funeral Plan
If you’re considering a cremation funeral plan, you should be aware that it probably won’t cover the cost of disbursements in full. These are usually covered by an allowance that rises in line with inflation.
However, there is a risk that funeral costs rise faster than inflation and there won’t be quite enough money in the plan to cover the costs. It would mean your loved ones or your estate have to pay any extra when you die.
There are funeral plans which offer a guarantee to cover all third-party costs.
Burial Funeral Plan
If you’re considering a burial funeral plan, it usually includes the cost of digging the grave, but the cost of the burial plot and extras such as headstones, tend not to be included.
The cost of funeral flowers or organising a wake is never included in a funeral plan. However, some plans allow you to put aside some extra money to cover such costs.
Reasons to Take Out a Funeral Plan
While the idea of planning your own funeral may feel daunting, it’s a simple process that can take a massive amount of weight off your family’s shoulders. There are several other reasons why you should consider one.
Funerals Aren’t Cheap, Even a Simple One
Funerals can be very expensive and the cost goes up every year. If there’s no money set aside for a funeral it can lead to financial stress for loved ones left behind. With a funeral plan, you pay in full or by monthly instalments and ensure that the cost of your funeral is covered.
You Want Your Final Wishes to be Granted
If you’ve got specific preferences for the nature of your funeral, you can express these in your funeral plan.
Funeral Planning Can Protect Against Inflation
Many funeral directors will guarantee in writing that the funeral services stated in the plan will be covered by the plan’s benefits at the time of death.
Prepaid Funeral Funds Are Available Immediately
The funds in a funeral plan are available when needed. It can be set up that they are transferred directly to the funeral director, avoiding probate court and unexpected delays.
Peace of Mind for You and Your Family
No one can predict what the future holds but denying the reality of death doesn’t make it any less true. In many ways, the most caring thing you can do for your loved ones is to take care of as much as possible in advance. While the future is uncertain, if you plan ahead, you’re making a difference in the lives of the loved ones that you leave behind.