What are funeral plans, Your guide

A funeral plan allows you to easily arrange and pay for your funeral in advance; protecting your loved ones from having to make the financial and emotional decisions when it comes to your time.

A funeral plan provider will be affiliated with a network of chosen funeral directors, each that will provide different levels of service. Therefore, if you have a preferred funeral director, then you may wish to find a provider who works with that particular director.

Quite often funeral plan providers will offer a number of set plans that are tiered in terms of price.

Each plan will include all the necessary services needed to carry out a funeral, but the more expensive plan will offer the most choice and flexibility.

The right plan for you will depend on your personal preference and budget. It can be tempting to opt for the cheapest service; however, it is important to check that this includes everything you and your family will need.

Like with other financial products, the cost of a plan can usually be spread into monthly instalments, or can be paid upfront, depending on the provider.

Rising funeral costs

Research in 2018 has brought to our attention that the cost of funerals has continually risen since 2004, and likely to continue this way into the future.

A funeral plan could be taken out to freeze the current price of a funeral and avoid the rising costs.

This can be done at any age, but the longer you wait, the more expensive your funeral will be when you pass away.

So why are we paying 122.5% more for a funeral today than in 2004? According to funeral directors there are a number of reasons why costs have increased, some being the following;

  • Cuts to local authority budgets and funding
  • Lack of space for new graves
  • Rise in fuel prices.

The cost of dying

The grand total is currently a staggering £9,204. This means the cost of dying in the UK has increased by 57% since 2007, and in five years’ time is projected to cost more than £10,000.

Of course, the most expensive element of the cost of dying is holding a funeral. Across the UK, a funeral costs on average £4,271 – this covering the most basic services required for the occasion.

Having a cremation instead of a burial could save you thousands, particularly if you live in London and the average cost of a funeral with a burial is £7,538.

Rising funeral costs are well illustrated by this infographic from life insurance broker; Reassured.

Cost breakdown

The cost of dying has been broken down into the following;

  • £4,798 for the average basic funeral with a burial cost. This includes fees for the burial, funeral director services and doctor/minister fees
  • £3,744 for the average basic funeral with cremation cost. This includes fees for the cremation, funeral director services and doctor/minister fees
  • £2,061 for the average amount spent on the send-off, which includes the memorial, flowers, transport, catering, order sheets and venue hire
  • £2,872 for the average amount spent on professional fees, such as hiring a professional to administer the estate (the process of probate).

Prepaid funeral plans

Ultimately, securing a funeral plan today will not only save your family from having to make arrangements at a difficult time, but it also means that you pay today’s prices as opposed to the inflated costs at the time of death.

Our wages are not increasing in line with the cost of dying, placing many people in debt after paying off expensive funeral bills.

To find the best possible plan for you, at the best price, it may be sensible to use a price comparison site, or to contact a broker who can search and compare plans on your behalf.

It is also recommended to use a provider that is regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) for extra peace of mind that you and your money are protected.

References

SunLife (2018), Cost of Dying Report, sunlife.co.uk/costofdying2018

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