What are prepaid funeral plans?
A funeral plan is a way of deciding in advance precisely the arrangements you want to be made when the inevitable time comes for your funeral. The better you are able to plan in advance, the greater your chance of those arrangements being made exactly as you intended. Prepayment, of course, simply means that you are paying for your planned arrangements, in advance, ahead of time.
In a nutshell, this describes the two components of prepaid funeral plans – planning and prepayment:
- practically everyone has a keen sense of how their passing might be marked;
- from elaborate ceremonies to quite simple and modest acts of commemoration, a successful plan is likely to lie in the detail of the way you want your wishes to be carried out;
- sadly – in the absence of a funeral plan – your last wishes may need to be interpreted by your surviving family, friends and loved ones;
- a prepaid funeral plan will ensure those you leave behind will not have to make any difficult decisions as to your funeral arrangements;
- there is also advantage in paying your chosen firm for the funeral arrangements now;
- funeral costs are rising all the time – a report by the BBC on the 4th of October 2015, revealed that costs have risen by almost 4% in the past year, at a time when the general rate of inflation was close to zero;
- with the average cost of a funeral in the UK already costing between £3,000 and well over £5,000 – depending on just where in the country it takes place – an alarming upward trend is suggested;
- pay now, however, and you are able to avoid the impact of those future increases;
- even if your local funeral directors are members of one of the reputable national organisations, however, if the firm hits financial difficulties and is forced to close you might lose any prepayment you might have made;
- this is where national prepaid funeral plan providers may come into their own;
- these combine the benefits of being able to choose your own local firm of funeral directors, yet be confident that the money you pay is safely guarded by a national provider putting the funds into an independent trust fund for safe keeping, alternatively, the funds may be applied to the purchase of a whole of life insurance policy on your life;
- a prepaid funeral plan made with such a provider, therefore, safely ensures that whenever the time comes, there are always sufficient funds to satisfy your final wishes;
- reputable national providers are members of the independent Funeral Planning Authority which maintains standards throughout its membership.
The planning and prepayment of the commemoration of your life through a national provider of funeral plans may help to ensure that your own last wishes are fulfilled and that your loved ones are spared any agonising decisions about the arrangements you intended as well as not having the burden of funeral costs.