You can pay for a funeral plan either in one lump sum or in regular instalments over a set period.
A funeral plan will also allow you to plan certain details of your funeral. Though this varies between providers and the type of plan you choose, most prepaid funeral plans will allow you to take care of the following arrangements:
After you die your funeral will already be paid for and all the major decisions will have been made. This means your family will have one less thing to worry about as they begin to cope with their loss.
No, there are no health restrictions. Your acceptance is guaranteed regardless of your health or lifestyle.
Unlike over-50s plans or other types of life insurance, anyone over the age of 18 can buy a funeral plan and your age does not affect how much you pay.
Funeral plans are regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA).
The FPA are the only organisation recognised by the government’s Money Advice Service and exist to help protect consumers’ interests when purchasing a funeral plan.
The costs covered by a prepaid funeral plan vary depending on the type of plan you choose. It is essential to understand exactly what your chosen funeral plan will cover once you die.
Most basic funeral plans will cover:
Basic funeral plans may not cover things such as burial or cremation fees, floral tributes, celebrant fees or other third-party costs, whereas other, more extensive plans will. Speak directly to your provider to find out what costs are covered.
A green funeral aims to minimise the environmental impact of a funeral service and burial. People who choose a green funeral for themselves or a loved one often do so in order to reduce their carbon footprint, conserve natural resources and cause minimal environmental damage.
There are various ways you can make your funeral more eco-friendly:
If you would prefer your funeral to be environmentally friendly, you can lay out your wishes and pay for some elements of the service in advance with a pre-paid funeral plan.
Some plan providers allow you to choose a green prepaid funeral plan. This means that the money you use to pre-pay for your own funeral is placed in a fund that only invests in green and ethical investments, both in the UK and globally.
Whether you want an entirely carbon-neutral green funeral, or simply wish to include elements that address environmental concerns, Funeral Guide recommends that you discuss your options with your plan provider.
If there are other expenses which are not covered by the funeral plan, the executor of your estate or your loved ones must pay for these by another means. This may include cash savings, the estate’s assets, or insurance policies.
After your death, your loved ones or the executor of your will should contact the funeral plan provider. This is why is it vital to tell your closest family and friends that you have taken out a funeral plan, as well as provide details in your will.
Most standard funeral plans do not cover the cost of repatriation (bringing your body back to the UK). Some holiday insurance may have repatriation coverage.
Some funeral plan providers offer repatriation funeral plans for specific countries. These are ideal for those who spend a lot of time in a foreign country, or those who have emigrated but wish to be laid to rest in the UK.
Cancellation policies can vary between providers, so it is essential that you check the terms and conditions before committing to a funeral plan.
Some funeral plan providers allow you to cancel and obtain a full refund within 30 days of taking out the plan. After this 30-day period you may be charged a cancellation fee, which will be deducted from the refund.
Payment options differ, but funeral plans usually offer the option to make monthly funeral plan payments. This could be over several months or years, depending on the provider and your preferences.
Bear in mind that paying upfront may be slightly less expensive than paying in instalments.
If you have not finished making payments when you die, most funeral plan providers will require your loved ones or executors to pay the balance before funeral arrangements can begin.
The alternative is to cancel the funeral plan. However, this may involve a cancellation fee, and some providers do not allow a plan to be cancelled after the death of the plan holder.
If you choose to take out a funeral plan with a national provider, you will usually have a choice of which funeral director you would like to oversee your funeral arrangements.
In the case that you move home, you should be able to update your plan with a new funeral director closer to your new location. Check with your plan provider that they have policies in place to deal with a change of address before committing to a plan.
Tailored funeral plans, which allow you to plan your funeral in detail, may allow you to amend or update the plan if you change your mind – for example, if you decide you would rather be cremated than buried. Check with your funeral plan provider, as some providers may require an administration fee for making amendments.
More basic funeral plans may not allow you to make substantial changes after taking out the plan. However, some providers do allow you to ‘upgrade’ your plan, which may give you greater flexibility.
Yes, you can buy a funeral plan for anyone, for example a parent or partner. You will be the plan purchaser, responsible for making payments, while your loved one will be the plan holder.
It is advisable to speak to your loved one before taking out a funeral plan for them, as they may already have a plan in place.
A joint funeral plan is designed for two people, usually a married couple or civil partners, used to pay for the funeral when one person dies. It differs from a standard funeral plan as it allows for two people to be named as the funeral policy holders.
Joint funeral plans will only pay out for one person’s funeral, usually the first plan holder that dies.
If you have taken out a joint funeral plan, it is usually not possible to change this to a single plan later. Cancellation fees and conditions may apply, so check the specific terms of your joint plan if you are worried about later changes in circumstances.
The money you use to pay for your funeral plan is not held by the funeral director or plan provider. It is either placed in a trust or used to buy an insurance policy on the life of the plan holder. The [Funeral Planning Authority (FPA)](http://funeralplanningauthority.co.uk/) helps regulate this process. This is done so that your money is safe, even if your provider or funeral director closes.
If your chosen funeral director goes out of business, most plan providers will offer to transfer your plan to another funeral director. It is advisable to ask your plan provider what their policy in case of closure before committing to a funeral plan.
If a funeral director or plan provider goes out of business and you have trouble getting replacement services, contact the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA).
There are many different types of funeral plan, from basic costs to fully-tailored. What you choose and pay for is what you receive upon your death. Be sure to read the terms and conditions before committing to a funeral plan so that you and your loved ones understand what is covered by the policy and what to expect from the funeral director.
If your loved ones feel that a funeral director or plan provider has not provided the services outlined in your funeral plan, they should contact the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) to lodge a complaint.