The average cost of a funeral in the UK is now above £4,000 – and the chances are the figures will continue to grow over the next decade.
Many people, as they get older, start to fret about how they are going to pay for their funeral, not wanting to be a burden on their loved ones.
It is now possible to take out a pre-paid funeral plan, although figures suggest that only 16 per cent of Brits aged 45 and over have one in place.
Here is a Q&A to help you understand the process which can be affordable and easy to set up:
Q: Do I have to undergo a medical?
A: No, unlike life insurance, pre-paid funeral plans aren’t subject to medical exams, health questions or age. Most pre-paid funeral plan providers will accept anyone over the age of 18.
Q: What guarantees are there that the money I pay in does not disappear?
A: The money will usually be held securely, in line with all current legislation, in a ring-fenced specialist trust fund.
The Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) is an independent voluntary regulator of the funeral planning industry. Most companies offering pre-paid funeral plans are FPA members.
The FPA ensures all providers follow certain rules and a Code of Practice, meaning you’ll receive the funeral you’ve paid for when the time comes. It also helps customers who wish to complain about their plan or provider.
Q: Do I have to pay the money up front?
A: With many providers, you will find a wide range of payment options from paying in full to arranging monthly payments over a number of years, although the longer the period is, the more likely it is to find a handling charge applied.
Q: Can I decide how my funeral will be conducted?
A: Yes, whether you’re looking to hold a traditional religious funeral or a contemporary celebration of your life, your funeral plan and funeral director will be able to accommodate this.
Q: Do I have to worry about inflation or increased costs, even if I live for a number of years?
A: Many providers will freeze the funeral director’s fees at current prices, so your family won’t encounter any unexpected price hikes when the times comes to activate your funeral plan.
It’s always a good idea to check whether the provider is freezing funeral director costs, cremation fees as well as minister fees, or just the funeral director’s fee.
Q: What happens after my death?
A: Executing a pre-paid funeral plan is quite straightforward. It involves a single phone call to a local funeral director, who will then put your plan into action. The funeral director will be on-hand to assist your family every step of the way.
Q: Do my friends and family have to get involved?
A: Only to the extent you want them to be. There’s no way of preventing the grief caused by the passing of a loved one, but a pre-paid plan means at least they won’t have the stress of trying to find the funds to pay for a funeral.
With a plan already in place, family and friends will have more time to grieve and process their emotions, as well as celebrate the life of their loved one and share happy memories together.