Many people now prefer to pay for their funeral during their lifetime. This way, they will know that they will be able to obtain the sort of service they would like after they pass on. If you don’t pay for your funeral in advance, then it will come down to the people who survive you to decide what to include at the funeral and what to leave out. Consequently, many people find they get a great deal of peace of mind knowing everything has been taken care of in advance.
That said, not all prepaid funeral plans are the same, so you should always ask some searching questions to know whether the plan on offer is for you. Here’s the sort of question you should be asking.
1. What happens if you die overseas?
Most funeral plans will cover the cost of moving a body to a suitable location while the funeral is organised. However, this does not always extend to overseas travel. If your chosen plan doesn’t cover body repatriation, then it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t proceed. However, you will probably want travel insurance for holidays that provides adequate cover for this contingency.
2. Can payments be split up in instalments?
This is important to many people. If you have the funds to pay for your funeral up front, then there is no harm in so doing. However, many people, especially people of pension age, have a fixed income which means being able to split the cost up will make it more affordable. Professionally run pre-payment schemes, like those on offer from Newrest Funerals, for example, provide this option.
3. Can you cancel your plan for whatever reason?
Some prepaid funeral plans will allow you to make changes, including cancelling, but others will not. If you think that you might need the money you have put into your plan at some point down the line, then check the clauses that cover any penalties or fees you may have to pay.
4. Can you transfer your plan if you move?
Some prepaid funeral plans are highly localised. They might only cover the area of one or two funeral director firms, for example. This will be a problem if you choose to move away from the area, of course. Check the plan still covers you in other parts of the country. Ideally, select a firm with national coverage so this is not an issue.
5. What about rising funeral costs?
Generally speaking, funeral costs rise with inflation. Many schemes allow you to lock in the price you’d pay today for a funeral and will cover you at any point in the future when you might happen to die. Others may need topping up, however. Check that all the disbursements – third-party costs that might be incurred for your chosen funeral – are covered within the plan.
6. Is your money held securely within the funeral plan?
This is important. A prepaid funeral plan is, at heart, a financial product. Always ensure the firm you are dealing with is established, professional and reputable so there is little chance you could end up losing your money from things like a funeral director’s bankruptcy.