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How to deal with rising funeral costs - Are funeral plans a viable option?
Funerals in the UK arranged in the “usual” way currently cost an average of £4,257, but this figure is expected to rise rapidly in coming years. In fact, by 2031, the average cost is expected to top the £10,000 mark. Even if you have been ill or your loved ones have had some time to think about and plan your funeral, unexpected costs can still arise.
Guide to Funeral Plans
The Truth About The Funeral Plan Market
In only 2 decades the average funeral could cost up to £7,000!
In the last 10 years, basic funeral costs have increased by a staggering 88%. Statistics from the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) have shown that the number of funeral plans sold between 2006 and 2016 tripled, meaning more and more people are taking steps to put in place arrangements for their end of life celebrations.
Estimated Funeral Costs By 2031?
Families are already cutting costs when it comes to funeral bills, currently individual funeral debt is around £1,601, which accounts for £147 million nationally, according to latest figures published by Royal London.
This is perhaps in no small part due to the fact that the cost of funerals has also risen, and if unaccounted for, these costs can leave your loved ones out of pocket and struggling after you’re gone.
Your funeral should be the ultimate celebration of your life, so why leave any aspect of it to chance?
Leaving funeral planning to loved ones can not only mean that your wishes are not adhered to, but it can also cause them a great deal of undue stress and financial worry at an already upsetting time. So what can be done about it?The easiest way to alleviate fears about how to pay for a funeral is to buy a prepaid plan.
Putting in place a burial or cremation plan enables you to make a one-off purchase/or a low monthly payment, and secure a plan that gives you control over your wishes whilst alleviating your loved ones of any financial burden.
This can provide you with peace of mind, and protect your family from incurring unanticipated bills.
Many families who are faced with the cost of a funeral they simply cannot afford may be forced to choose other options such as Direct Disposal, which can be upsetting for all involved if this was not your intention.
Not to mention that after the passing of a loved one, there are many other things to consider beyond burial plans, such as the will, what to do with property and inheritance, how to divide assets, closing accounts, notifying banks and creditors, and so much more.
On top of all of this, the cost and time associated with planning a funeral should not weigh heavy on the shoulders of your loved ones.
Finances shouldn’t dictate your final farewell:
The importance of planning ahead for your funeral…
At FuneralGuide.co.uk, we understand how personal a funeral is. That’s why we make it easy for you to view and compare funeral plans to help you make the most informed choice possible.We appreciate that for many people, planning a funeral can be a distressing thought, and we don’t want to compound any stress or pressure.
All of our information is free to access and jargon free, helping you weigh your options with no obligation whatsoever.
FuneralGuide.co.uk also offers a number of additional resources that can be of use during the planning process.
For example, our checklist is ideal for those who are not sure where to start when it comes to organising a funeral.
If finances are a barrier, we can present some low cost options to help ease the cost of a funeral.
There’s no one-size-fits-all burial plan, and we understand that the wishes of families and individuals are different. That’s why we take the time to put together our 100% FREE guides, giving you the information to select something that is most suitable for you.
- Your preferences
Making clear your preferences for the event can reduce any tension or conflicts about what you would have wanted, which can also make things easier on your family.
By planning ahead, you can ease the burden on your loved ones left behind, ensure you have the ceremony you want, and can assume some self assurance over your final wishes being met.
- Planning your funeral ahead of time is about so much more than looking at just the financial aspects.
It provides you the opportunity to reflect and put in place plans that will ensure you have the meaningful send off you deserve.
Everyone’s vision of what exactly this entails is different, and so by clearly outlining your preferences, you can be sure that you are remembered in the way you wish.
- Make it YOUR Choice
For some people, less is more, while others would prefer a large get-together to offer family and friends a chance to congregate and celebrate. Whatever you choose, make sure that choice is indeed yours by investing the small amount of required time to plan ahead so your loved one’s don’t have to.
- For some people, less is more, while others would prefer a large get-together to offer family and friends a chance to congregate and celebrate.
Whatever you choose, make sure that choice is indeed yours by investing the small amount of required time to plan ahead so your loved one’s don’t have to. People quickly realise how little they know about organising a funeral ceremony.
- Not many people leave behind a blueprint or indication of what they would have wanted, which often leaves the family in the difficult position of having to plan their wishes for their final goodbye themselves.
- On top of all this stress and heartbreak, there is often financial pressure to deal with. A large proportion don’t put anything aside for this purpose. Most don’t expect to begin estate planning until much later in life. Especially if there’s no history of early deaths in the family.
- Trying to organise everything from the physical burial process itself to the accompanying ceremony, invitees, flowers, food and the location is very difficult. Sleepless nights and arguments with family about how things should be dealt with are not uncommon.
- Often, the financial aspect of funeral planning is a source of conflict; many resort to using credit cards, and even selling the odd item here and there to raise extra funds. Choosing to have a small funeral due to costs being so high, and yet we still faced a struggle. Sometimes, family and friends offer to chip in to cover the cost.
The average age of death in the UK is officially 81.5 years of age, but it’s never too early to start estate planning and having a look at funeral plans before it’s too late.
Extra Funeral Questions?
- How to make a funeral/final farewell extra special?
There are now a number of touches you can add to a funeral to make it extra special, which is yet another reason you may want to plan ahead. For example, filming, photography and video services are rising in popularity, especially during “end of life” celebrations.
- Some people plan to have music or even entertainment like fireworks at their funeral, to really leave loved ones with a lasting memory! The rise in natural burials and tree planting ceremonies also gives people more options beyond the standard, conventional funeral. With all of this to consider, why leave the finer details up to someone else – get a quote now!
Other options & alternative ways to pay for a funeral
- Putting Savings Aside
Just as you prepare for retirement, you can over time put savings aside in a designated funeral fund to help your loved ones cover the costs. Alternatively, you could compare funeral plans to see which one suits you best.
But, this could be in a high interest savings account to help you accrue more money over the long term, for example. It may be possible to save for a funeral, and use the lump sum, or, if an ISA can be utilised for this purpose it may also be worth it.
Saving a set amount every month could then be used by family members to pay for the funeral. Downside: With a cash ISA, you won’t be able to get the money out until your executors have probate.
- Withdraw equity to pay for a funeral
Withdraw equity from a property – If you are over 55, you may be eligible to withdraw equity from your home and use this money towards the cost of your funeral. Many people use this strategy to fund retirement, but you could use some of the equity released for your funeral costs as well.
- Sell items
It should not be this way, but it may be that your family may have to sell possessions from the family home in order to raise money for the funeral costs, parting with items that may hold sentimental value during a difficult time. This could be through a private sale or through an auction.You don’t have to sell off family heirlooms – click here to speak to us first as we will help if we can.
- Life Insurance
If you are under 50 years old, life insurance cover may be a better option.
- Home Burial
Although not traditional, home burials can be an option, if your home meets certain criteria, including informing your local police, local authority and environmental health authority. Downside: Don’t forget that it will probably impact property resale value if and when you come to sell, and desirability also.