Funeral Plans

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The average funeral costs almost four and a half thousand pounds in the UK, according to SunLife, and that’s without the additional costs of flowers, the wake or probate fees.

That’s a substantial amount of money and a significant responsibility for your family to take on when they are grieving. Funeral plans help ease that pressure by enabling you to make your own arrangements for your funeral.

How a funeral plan works

It’s possible to pre-pay and pre-plan for your funeral using a funeral plan. This helps you manage the cost of a funeral in the way that suits you, whether you choose to make a single payment or pay through instalments. By making your own pre-payments, you can remove the financial obstacle of paying for a funeral that so many mourning families experience when a loved one dies.

Pre-paying for your funeral costs is usually a cost-effective choice because funeral plans typically avoid inflation. This means that even if the cost of a funeral has increased by the time you pass away, the cost you agreed in your funeral plan will be honoured, allowing you to arrange the funeral service you want for the price you commit to today.

Arrangements to consider for your funeral plan

Funeral plans empower you to make your own choices for your funeral. When browsing different options from different companies offering funeral plans, you should consider:

  1. Your budget
  2. With every purchase or investment, price is an important factor. However, when it comes to funeral plans, it’s not the only consideration you need to make. The cheapest price is not necessarily the best option and it’s important to balance the numbers against the value each funeral plan provides when you are making your decision.

  3. The service you require
  4. You will want to think about what type of service you need from your funeral plan, what you want it to cover and how extensively you intend to plan ahead. This might include the cost of the funeral director, burial or cremation costs and the minister's fees.

  5. Assurance that your plan is guaranteed
  6. Taking out a funeral plan means that your family won’t be billed for the cost of your funeral because you’ve already taken care of the financial side of things. That’s why it’s so important to ensure your funeral plan is guaranteed and that there’s no risk of your family being required to pay when the time comes.

  7. Regulated providers
  8. When you are comparing funeral plan providers, it’s a good idea to seek out a provider that is registered with the regulator of funeral plan providers in the UK, the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA), which carries out extensive checks and maintains industry standards.

  9. Comparing funeral plans
  10. You can use UtilitySavingExpert.com for free to compare plans online or by speaking to one of our experts on the phone. This allows you to secure a funeral plan that offers you the best possible value for money from a trusted funeral plan provider who is regulated and reliable, so that your funeral service can be delivered in exactly the way you want.

Funeral plan price comparison

How funeral plans can vary

Not every plan is the same, and some may not cover all funeral costs or guarantee prices stay as low as they are today, so it’s important to review the terms and conditions of plans before you commit to them.

While most plans will guarantee the price of the funeral director, some won’t apply this to minister fees or cremation costs. This means that some plans may require your family members to pay a part of the bill.

Take the time to read through each plan to ensure you understand what it covers before you make your decision.

Comparing high quality funeral plans

As not all funeral plans are the same, comparing them is especially important. Most people will want to find a funeral plan that offers great value for money and delivers the service at the highest possible quality.

Some funeral plans that appear to cost less might save money initially but cost more over time. Instead of choosing the first funeral plan you find, use our free comparison tool to explore exactly what each plan offers, comparing the quality of the service and the true value for money.

Typical funeral plan payment options

Whether you would prefer to settle your funeral plan in one single pre-payment or split the amount into a monthly schedule, you’ll be able to find a plan that suits you.

Funeral plan providers will typically offer a wide range of options to suit different people with their own personal needs and budgets.

Some plans that involve spreading costs over time might come with additional administration fees because your provider will have administrative tasks relating to your plan for a longer period. However, the administration fee can usually be avoided if your plan is settled in 12 months.

Even with administration fees, it might be more realistic for your budget to make smaller payments towards the cost of your funeral plan over a number of years. Often, your funeral plan provider will still honour the prices quoted to you today, meaning you will avoid future price increases.

The cost of a funeral plan

Usually, the cost of a funeral plan ranges between around £2,900 to around £4,400.

If you are struggling to stretch your budget, even with a funeral plan, you may be able to find a lower cost option like a cremation from as little as £1,200. However, this would not include a funeral service.

The exact cost of your funeral plan will depend on the choices you make, from the funeral plan provider to the quality of the coffin and your funeral service. You might also choose to include the cost of the hearse and a funeral limo or procession of cars for your family.

All of these decisions will impact the cost of your funeral plan. Therefore, when you are comparing funeral plans, you should also consider the services that each provider includes.

Some funeral plan providers will include features such as:

  • burial or cremation fees
  • church
  • coffin
  • hearse
  • funeral director’s fees
  • minister’s fees

Finding the funeral plan that’s right for you

While some plans will have certain restrictions, such as the time of the funeral service, other plans will have more flexibility.

For example, in addition to guaranteeing to cover the funeral service costs and covering an allowance of burial or cremation costs, some plans will also offer the following:

  • Special requests and personalisation
  • Flexibility for times and dates of service
  • Joint funeral plan options
  • Options for eco-friendly coffins
  • Bereavement support for families

Keeping your money secure

Investing in a pre-paid funeral plan should give you the peace of mind that your funeral arrangements are taken care of, meaning your loved ones won’t have additional worries during a period of grieving when the time comes.

To be completely sure that your money is safe, it’s important to choose a plan provider that is regulated.

The UK’s regulator of funeral plans is the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA), an independent body with a Code of Practice that ensures providers are operating at high standards and looking after their customers’ interests properly.

Through extensive checks and scrutiny, the FPA provides reassurance that FPA-registered providers will deliver the service you expect. Therefore, choosing a funeral plan company that is member of the FPA will ensure your money is secure.

Some providers will take extra steps to demonstrate that your money is safe and being managed responsibly by working with the National Funeral Trust. Your provider might ask you to pay directly into a trust, which is a legal entity that is managed and audited independently.

By collaborating with the National Funeral Trust, these providers will guarantee that your money is secure even if your chosen funeral director can no longer provide their services, for example, if they have gone into liquidation. In this scenario, your payments will be protected and your plan will be allocated to another local funeral director.

Other types of plans

  • Over-50 life cover is a life insurance policy that will provide your family with a cash sum if you die between the ages of 50 and 80.
  • Over-50 funeral plans involve paying for and setting out arrangements for your funeral services in advance.
  • Funeral insurance is not dissimilar from over-50 life cover. It provides your family with a sum of money when you die, and this is often used to pay funeral costs.
  • Direct cremation is a lower-cost option. It is a simpler cremation plan without a funeral service. This means that there won’t be friends and family in attendance.
  • European funeral plans may be appropriate for people living in or with second homes in European countries like Spain, Portugal and Cyprus, allowing your funeral to be arranged in Europe or in the UK.

Frequently asked questions

If I pre-pay for my funeral, will my family pay more when I die?

Some funeral plans will involve additional costs that your family will need to pay, such as flowers and the minister’s costs. Whether there are extra charges depends entirely on the plan you choose.

However, most plans will guarantee that the services covered in your plan will be covered when your funeral takes place, even if that is in two- or three-decades time.

Lots of funeral plans will also freeze the price at the equivalent of today’s costs, so even if your payment plan is spread out over many years, you will not pay higher rates with inflation.

Will my funeral plan involve a cash payment or direct payment of my funeral?

Funeral plans generally won’t involve cash payments to your family for your funeral. Instead, payments are typically made by your provider to your funeral director.

This means that your funeral plan will likely cover direct payments for funeral services and these will be paid automatically so that your loved ones do not need to worry about organising or managing this.

However, funeral plans aren’t the only option, and if you opt for an over-50 life insurance plan or funeral insurance policy, these work slightly differently. In these scenarios, your family would be paid a cash sum to contribute towards the cost of your funeral and it will be in their control how they spend it.

Unlike funeral plans, with an over-50 life insurance plan, your family will still need to organise the funeral arrangements and may find that inflation has reduced the value of the sum they are given.

Do I have to pay for my funeral plan in monthly instalments or pay in full?

When it comes to payment plans for your funeral, you have lots of options and you should be able to find a company that suits your budget and preferred method of payment.

Most funeral plans include options for one single payment that covers the entire cost in full, often at a discount. There will also be options for paying through instalments at a rate that is manageable for you.

You might find that the best option for you is a 12-month pre-payment plan because this can spread out the cost while typically avoiding additional administrative charges.

If you would prefer to pay less in each instalment, you can opt for a longer-term pre-payment schedule over a matter of years. Some providers will permit you to make payments over the course of up to 25 years, but there will be some restrictions depending on your age at the time of starting your plan.

Nobody can foresee exactly what’s going to happen in the future, and there will be times when people pass away before they have paid their final funeral plan instalments. In these circumstances, the amount you have paid is put towards your funeral costs and your family would need to cover the rest to balance the amount agreed in your plan.

However, your family will still benefit from avoiding inflation costs and will have a lesser financial burden than if you had not put your funeral plan in place.