How do I choose the right prepaid funeral plan?

How do I choose the right prepaid funeral plan?


Choosing the right prepaid funeral plan depends on your choice of the following main components:

 

  • Whether the plan pays all, some, or none of the third party cremation or burial costs as well as the funeral director’s fees
  • The quality of the coffin
  • The number of limousines, or some other suitable vehicle needed to transport family and friends to the funeral
  • Viewing in the chapel of rest

 

There are five types of pre-paid funeral plan to suit all budgets.

 

1.  The funeral director fees only plan – no mourners present
Just the funeral director’s fees for carrying out the funeral are covered, and the funeral will take place on a date and time suitable to the funeral director.  No mourners are present at the funeral service. All third party cremation or burial costs and doctors’ fees (where applicable) will need to be paid for when the plan is activated.

 

Cost rating: £

 

2.  The funeral director fees only plan – mourners present
Just the funeral director’s fees for carrying out the funeral are covered.  Mourners are present at the funeral. All third party cremation or burial costs, and where applicable, doctors’ fees and minister or officiant’s fees will need to be paid for when the plan is activated.

 

Cost rating: £ – ££

 

3.  The contribution plan
This pays the funeral director’s fees and makes a contribution towards third party cremation or burial costs, and where applicable, doctors’ fees and minister or officiant’s fees.  Although the contribution rises in line with RPI or increases through some other investment vehicle, the growth is not guaranteed to cover the third party costs at the time of need. This means there may be more to pay when the plan is surrendered. The level of contribution differs between prepaid plan providers. To help you budget more easily there are some providers that allow you to decide the amount you want to set aside for these third party costs.

 

Cost rating: ££ – £££

 

4. The guaranteed plan
This plan ensures the funeral director’s fees and necessary third party costs for cremation or burial, and where applicable, doctors’ fees and minister or officiant’s fees are covered. There will be nothing more for relatives to pay when the plan is surrendered apart from extras, such as flowers and order of service.

 

Cost rating: £££ – ££££

 

5. The bespoke plan
This fully flexible prepaid plan allows you to tailor the funeral service to your exact needs.  It covers the cost of the funeral director’s fees and may include some or all of the third party costs for cremation or burial, and where applicable, doctors’ fees and minister or officiant’s fees.

 

Cost rating: £££££

 

A funeral plan specifically excludes the purchase of a grave and headstone.  Extras such as funeral flowers, order of service and newspaper funeral notices are also excluded, but depending on the flexibility of the plan you choose, can either be added to the plan (extra fees will apply) or provided for by topping up the third party contribution amount.

 

About the Funeral only compares prepaid funeral plans from providers that guarantee to pay the funeral director’s fees as a minimum.

 

Did you know?
Some funeral plan providers have a wider choice of funeral directors in their network than others.  If you have a specific funeral director in mind to carry out your funeral, check that the funeral plan provider allows you to specify your choice.  Also check whether there’s an extra charge should your preferred funeral director fall outside their usual network.

Editor

Kim Bird is the founder of the comparison and review site About the Funeral and Editor of the bereavement support and funeral planning magazine, Day by Day.

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