A pre-paid funeral plan means planning your funeral and paying for it in advance. It’s not morbid, but more of a financial decision and one that could save your family a lot of worry in the future.
Because that’s the primary reason for people taking out funeral plans in advance… to save their loved ones the hassle of dealing with a funeral at a time that may be distressing.
Pre-paying for your funeral means paying the funeral director’s costs at the price they are when you take out the plan, potentially saving you thousands against the costs for the same services in the future.
Some costs will change. The crematorium fees and those of the celebrant, for example, are two fees that are beyond the control of the funeral director. Most plans, however, will include an allowance for any third party costs. But the funeral director’s costs are effectively frozen in time.
How much your plan costs depends on what services you choose, but with most pre-paid plans the funeral director’s costs won’t increase any more than the price they are at the time of taking out the plan.
You can still have the funeral that you want, with the same services. It’s unique to you and will include all your personal choices. So if you want things like funeral vehicles or to arrange a viewing at the chapel of rest this can all be included. Things like flowers aren’t included, but the funeral director will go through any additional costs and ensure you are happy with your choices.
Who Can Take Out a Funeral Plan?
Anyone can take out a funeral plan, regardless of age or health. Depending on your age there may be restrictions on the payment plan you choose, but there are no age restrictions on taking out the plan itself.
For example, with the country’s leading funeral plan provider, Golden Charter, you must be under 78 years old to pay using their low cost instalments plan. Also if you were to pay using their fixed monthly payments option, life assurance would be included, which can have applicant restrictions of being 50 to 80 years of age.
Typically paying for your plan will be one of four options:
You pay a single one-off price based on your funeral choices
Choose your services, pay a deposit and the rest in instalments over the next year.
Low cost instalments
A longer term option where you pay a deposit and a monthly figure, that includes a small charge for the instalment plan.
Fixed monthly payments
You pay a fixed amount each month until a fixed date (usually your 90th birthday) or you pass away, whichever of the two is sooner. Normally you’ll be fully covered after two years of continuous payment and if you die before the initial fixed period you’ll receive money back.
Changing Your Plan
You may find your views on how you want to be sent off change after a few years. You can change your plan to reflect this and you’ll need to cover any extra costs this involves. There will also be options to cancel the plan, which your funeral director will set out.
What Happens Now?
Once you’ve arranged it all just keep your documents somewhere safe, and let those closest to you know where they are. Some people find it’s worthwhile to discuss their choices with loved ones so there are no surprises later on.
Peace of mind is the real benefit of taking out a funeral plan. You know that it’s covered and you’ll save your loved ones the stress and worry of arranging a funeral at what is a difficult time. But you’ll save money too. By choosing a pre-paid funeral plan you get today’s prices for the funeral director’s services, regardless of how far in the future you need them.