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What is a prepaid funeral plan?

A prepaid funeral plan is a way you can arrange and pay for your funeral in advance. It allows you to choose the funeral service you want and pay the way you prefer. One of the main benefits of a prepaid funeral plan is that you pay today’s prices.

Understanding how a prepaid funeral plan works is key to making an informed decision on buying a funeral plan. With approximately 1.4 million plans already purchased in the UK and demand increasing every year, being aware of the pros and cons of prepaid funeral plans is more important than ever.

What are the pros and cons of prepaid funeral plans?

Pre-paid funeral plan PROS

  • Save money by paying for your funeral at today's prices
  • Remove the worry of making funeral arrangements from your family
  • Choose the type of funeral you want
  • If you move within the UK, the plan moves with you*
  • Flexible payment options to choose from
  • Reduces your liability for inheritance tax

*Depending on the plan provider you choose

Pre-paid funeral plan CONS

  • There may be additional funeral costs to pay for when the time comes
  • Not all providers are registered with the Funeral Planning Authority
  • Your money will be tied up
  • You won’t be able to use your prepaid funeral plan if you move abroad (unless choose a European funeral plan)

Is it a good idea to have a prepaid funeral?

Whether it's a good idea to have a prepaid funeral plan will depend on your requirements, budget and the funeral planning company you choose. If you want to arrange and pay for your funeral in advance, have the money available and understand how your chosen plan works, then a prepaid funeral plan could be a good idea.

It could also be a good idea to choose a plan that is registered and regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority to ensure your money is held securely.

Why plan your funeral in advance?

Planning and paying for your funeral in advance this way could be a wise decision for two reasons:

Funeral costs have risen

The average cost of a funeral in the UK is currently £4,417,  a rise by over 100% since 2004. According to Sunlife's reserach, funeral costs could rise to over £5,000 by 2025. With a prepaid plan, your funeral services are fixed at today’s prices. This means you avoid future inflation and will never need to worry about rising funeral costs again.

Kind to your family

In addition to saving money, a simple prepaid funeral plan can be a huge relief for families as it means they won’t have the worry of arranging and paying for a funeral.

Instead, all the arrangements included in your plan will be made for them; all they will need to do is make one call and the funeral director will take care of everything.

Who are Simply Funeral Plans: We have over 20 years experience in funeral planning and want to help you choose the right prepaid funeral plan. We have teamed up with leading Funeral Planning Authority companies to help you find the right plan at the best price.

How do prepaid funeral plans work?

A prepaid funeral plan lets you arrange and pay for your funeral in advance. You simply choose the type of funeral you want, pay at today’s prices, either with a one off payment or monthly instalments and the funeral director will take care of everything detailed in your plan when the time comes.

All prepaid funeral plans guarantee to cover the funeral director’s costs, so you will never have to pay a penny more for those services. This includes their help and guidance, a coffin, the hearse, limousines (depending on the plan you choose), use of the chapel of rest and their services on the day.

However, the majority of prepaid funeral plans only include a contribution towards the third party costs, also known as disbursements.

Which are essential fees beyond the control of the funeral director. These include the cremation or burial costs, minister's fees and doctor’s fees if a second death certificate if required.

The contribution included in a prepaid funeral plan usually increases in value annually in line with either RPI or CPI. However, at the same time, these fees will also rise in price.

After careful consideration, we have chosen to partner with Dignity. One of the reasons for our decision was they guarantee all the services included in your plan including these third-party costs, and they are FPA registered.

How much does a prepaid funeral plan cost?

The cost of a prepaid funeral plan ranges from £2,900 to £4,300 depending on the funeral services included.

  • A premium paid funeral plan will usually include a superior coffin and two limousines
  • A standard funeral plan with one car could cost in the region of £3,700
  • A standard prepaid funeral plan with no car could cost in the eregion of £3,300
  • A simple funeral plan with some restrictions, such as the time of the funeral service, could cost as little as £2,900.

Dignity funeral plans start from £3,095 or £38.25 a month

If you prefer a cremation only prepaid funeral plan with no service, then you may like to take a look at a direct cremation funeral plan.

What is the best way to prepay for your funeral?

The best way to prepay for your funeral will depend on which option works best for you. You can pay for a funeral plan in full or monthly and your money is held in a trust fund or life insurance policy. The cheapest way to pay is either by single payment, or over 12 months as most funeral plan providers won’t charge extra for this payment option. If you prefer to spread the cost then a monthly prepaid funeral plan may be a more suitable option.

Are prepaid funeral plans safe?

Yes, prepaid funeral plans are safe. When you pay for a funeral plan your money is held securely in either a trust fund or life insurance plan, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

If your chosen funeral plan provider were to go out of business, your money is protected and ringfenced, ready to pay for your chosen funeral services when the time comes.

In addition, many leading UK plan providers are registered with and regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority, the regulatory body for prepaid funeral plans. To become an FPA registered company you need to prove that you comply with their strict rules on how the money is held and the service you receive.

What is funeral insurance?

Funeral insurance is a term frequently used to describe prepaid funeral plans. Whilst some plans hold your money safe in a life insurance policy until it is needed to pay for your chosen services, funeral insurance should not be confused with life insurance.

Whole of life insurance and over 50 life insurance plans  offer an alternative solution for helping with funeral costs. Policies are designed to pay out a cash sum when you die that your family can use how they wish.

For more information on life insurance vs funeral plans, read our useful guide.

pros and cons

Why choose Simply Funeral Plans?

The team at Simply Funeral Plans is a bit geeky when it comes to prepaid funeral plans. With over 10 years experience, we are experts when it comes to routing out the details and helping our customers find the right funeral plans for them.

We believe you should have complete confidence in your prepaid funeral plan, knowing that when the time comes, it will provide the services as promised in the plan, with no nasty surprises and no hidden costs.

Quite simply, we want you to find a funeral plan you can trust. Why not request a brochure today.

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