From a basic service to an elaborate funeral, a funeral plan can help you pay for the following in advance;
If you would like to find out more about funeral payment plans, take a look at our Guide to Pre-Paid Funeral Plans here.
Support for your family can also be organised through your funeral plan. Some providers will offer your loved ones bereavement counselling through professional organisations. This may come in very handy to certain family members. Further, your plan may be able to help your family understand when they can visit you in the run up to your funeral. Chapels of rest often allow family visitors, and this may be something that your family members may be interested in.
Yes, if you would prefer something like a woodland burial, you can find a plan which includes these provisions. Woodland burials require slightly different arrangements. And so, a pre-paid plan can make planning a woodland burial that much easier for your loved ones to organise. As they will have the support of experts to help them prepare accordingly.
Each provider will outline their plan’s exclusions when you buy. However, some things that may be excluded from some plans may include;
Probate is the legal process that is actioned after someone’s death. It deals with closing off any outstanding debts, like a mortgage. It also deals with distributing any inheritance to the deceased’s will beneficiaries. This can sometimes be a lengthy process, taking up to a few months to complete.
When a person dies, their money, property, stocks etc. forms what is known as their ‘estate’. The process of closing debts and distributing what is left in the deceased’s will is known as estate administration. If the deceased does not have a will, the deceased’s next of kin can apply for probate or ‘grant of representation’. This will give the next of kin access to the deceased’s estate. If this is successful, the next of kin can collect the estate’s assets and pay any debts or utility bills.
Power of attorney is a legal process where management of financial affairs is passed to another person. Typically, this will be the policyholder's next of kin. Ordinary Power of Attorney grants power to another for a set amount of time. This may be done to cover financial management at a time when the person is ill. Or there is Lasting Power of Attorney, which will give control over to another for the rest of the person’s life. Power of Attorney may become a factor if the owner of the plan has a condition where normal cognitive faculties are compromised. For example, in cases where the policyholder develops Dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Each funeral plan provider will have differing terms and conditions. However, it could mean that the appointed attorney will have to ensure that the payments for the plan are kept up with.
When writing your will, you may include a paragraph on how you would like your funeral to be conducted. This would, therefore, be an appropriate place to list the details of your funeral payment plan.
Once you have decided to take out a funeral plan it is highly recommended that you inform your next of kin of your decision. On your death, all they would need to do is call your director, who can collect the funds from your provider and organise your service.
If you have provisions for your own funeral, through a life insurance policy, or if you have savings, these funds can be used to pay for your funeral. The advantage of taking out a funeral plan is that, if you go through a reputable company, you can fix funeral costs to today’s prices. Pre-paid funeral plans also fall outside of the deceased’s estate, another advantage to taking out a plan. Further, in your funeral plan, or within your will, you may outline your wishes for your funeral. Therefore, the choice to take out a funeral plan lies with you and your financial situation.
To find out more about Life Insurance, take a look at our Guide to Life Insurance Types, here.
Some providers may place age restrictions for taking out a plan. For instance, you may need to be under the age of 80 years old when the final funeral payment instalment is made. You may also need to be over the age of 18 to take out a plan.
In many cases with pre-paid funeral plans, you will not have to undergo a medical for acceptance onto the plan. Some providers may ask if you have a medical condition when taking out the plan, but in most cases, there will be no medically- based restrictions.
In many cases, you may add your partner onto your funeral plan to make it a joint funeral plan. Please do check this with your provider. In many cases of joint applications, the payout may be sent when the first person dies.
If you die whilst you are not in the UK, in most cases, your family or will beneficiaries will have to pay towards repatriation. If you have travel insurance for your trip, repatriation costs may be included in your plan. If you die in the UK, far from your nominated funeral director, your family may have to pay for the transportation of your remains to their premises.
Many reputable funeral plan providers are registered with the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA). Funds paid into these plans are held in a trust which is maintained by trustees, away from the funeral planning provider. Reputable providers work to ensure your money is kept safe, even if your funeral director goes out of business. If this is the case, another provider can be nominated, usually without charge to the policyholder. However, this may not always be the case, so do make sure your check with your provider.
Many providers will let you change your funeral plan after you have begun paying your premiums. You may or may not be charged for these amendments (that will depend on the provider’s rules). If these, however, involve extra services, you may be asked to pay for these add-ons, in full, at the time you add them. Some providers may have ‘set’ plans, in which case you may not be able to amend the services paid for.
If you pass away before you have paid your premiums, the named executor of your wishes may have to pay the balance. They may do this using the proceeds of your estate. This can be done as a single payment, but in many cases, the funeral arrangements cannot be actioned until the payment is made. Some providers may, however, place further restrictions. For example, if you die within six months of paying your premiums, your provider may not honour your funeral plan. This is because the policy may not have enough funds to pay for the service you want. You will need to check your individual policy for full terms and conditions.
If you are interested in finding out more about Pre-paid funeral Plans, get in touch with an expert advisor. They can offer you advice and a free, no-obligation quote.
I was sceptical about the service but having used it the various plans were explained in detail and the decision to buy was mine. Good result.
Bob Thornton, Cardiff
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* Prepaid Funeral Plans from 75p per day is an illustrative figure only and may not be available to you. The figure is based off of the Value Plan provided by Golden Charter. Figure accurate as of 03/08/2017.
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