You probably want your funeral to go just as you want it – rather than leaving it to chance. Or to decisions made at the last minute by your grief-stricken family or friends.
But how do you ensure that all the arrangements you have in mind are going to be followed in accordance with your last wishes?
This might be just where the importance of funeral plans comes in – leaving nothing to chance but ensuring that the arrangements and the costs are all neatly finalised the way you intend.
A detailed discussion not only of the importance of such prepaid funeral plans but also the way in which they work may be found online at http://www.over50choices.co.uk/funeral-planning/funeral-plans.
Funeral planning not only helps to ensure that the ceremony goes as you wish, but also has distinct financial benefits.
When you are happy with the arrangements you have made, you pay for all the relevant services at today’s prices (an average funeral currently costs £3,600) – which, of course, are likely to be considerably lower than at the time of your death in the future. You are able to rest assured that the financial arrangements have also been made.
You might want to satisfy yourself about the experience and competence of any particular firm of undertakers and the government website suggests the professional associations to which established firms of funeral directors belong.
Your local funeral parlour is likely to offer prepaid funeral plans. You pay over the money, knowing that is has gone to the service provider of your choice. There is one potential problem, however. What if this firm of funeral directors goes bankrupt before they have the opportunity to conduct your funeral? You and your relatives stand to lose the money that has been paid upfront.
This points to the advantage in making your advance funeral arrangements through a national prepaid funeral plan provider. Here, your money is typically safely and securely invested as a hedge against increasing costs and if your chosen firm of undertakers does face a financial crisis, the cash is still there to pay for alternative arrangements with a different firm.
It may be tempting to think that a life insurance policy achieves the same result as a prepaid funeral plan. Historically, life insurance was designed precisely for that purpose – to ensure that relatives had sufficient cash to arrange your funeral.
But the settlement of the sum assured under the life insurance policy was paid out to the surviving relatives. Therefore, the principal customer had little say in the arrangements made for the funeral service or even whether sufficient funds were going to be able to pay for it. The costs themselves, of course, needed to be met at the time of the person’s death – without any advantage of prepayment.
The role of funeral plans
Prepaid funeral plans give you an opportunity to plan the service you want in advance, and satisfy yourself that the arrangements for the ceremony are just as you wished.
You have the financial benefit that comes by paying for the undertakers in advance – at today’s prices, rather than those in the future. With the cost of dying rising seven times faster than the rate of inflation, paying for your funeral now can save your family money in the future.