Are prepaid funeral plans worth it?

Are prepaid funeral plans worth it?

Short answer: yes, they are.

But that doesn’t tell you anything so let me explain.

In 2011 an average cost of a funeral was £2971 and in 2020 it was £4163, do the sums, a 40%

increase. I don’t know how old you are but think about what it will be in 5, 10 or 15 years if it keeps

going up at that rate!

Savings plans or life assurance policies are all good and well but how much is an inflated funeral cost

going suck out of these plans in the future. I’m not slating these savings and policies as they are good

to have, but not for funeral cover. You’re going to have to keep paying into them just to keep up

with funeral cost inflation. There are other factors that make these plans unsuitable for funeral

cover, but I won’t go into that now because I’m telling you why a funeral plan is worth it.

So going over re prepaid funeral plans worth it

There are many great reasons that make funeral plans worth it but for, me, a big reason is because

you are paying for your funeral at today’s prices. In 10- or 20-years’ time that money is long gone,

you’ve completely forgotten about it, but you still have your funeral plan valid at the prevailing

prices of the time. Why would you not want that?

Another excellent reason is that it takes away the emotional stress from your family having to make

the arrangements and pay for your funeral. They will be grieving; they will possibly be vulnerable to

being oversold on a funeral as they won’t want to ‘dishonour’ you by giving you a ‘cheap’ funeral.

You decide what type of funeral you have and how much is spent on it by pre-paying for it. Why

would you want to leave it up to your family or friends to arrange and pay for?

Those are the two main reasons, for me, but what else makes them worth it?

 You get to choose the type of funeral you want and that is what you pay for,

 Most plans also let you upgrade along the way to include items you did not initially chose,

i.e., two limos instead of one,

 Flexible payment options allow you to pay it all up front or pay it monthly over a period that

suits your pocket,

 All registered funeral plan providers must place your money in a whole of life insurance

policy or an independently managed funeral trust fund, so your money is safe,

 Guaranteed acceptance without any requirements for medicals,

 Registered Providers are approved by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA),

 Some plans will pay out even if all the premiums have not been paid,

 Some Providers offer guarantees on their Plans,

 Some providers offer a money back guarantee in case you want to cancel the plan at any stage.

Don’t know where to start ?

If making a will is something you’ve been meaning to get around to, but don’t know where to start, speak to our client advice team on 0121 202 4714 or click here and we’ll call you.

Who needs a Will?

Who Needs a Will

WHO NEEDS A WILL?

  • Anyone who owns a home
  • Anyone with children
  • Anyone who does not wish their assets to end up with the Crown

 

It is therefore surprising that an awful lot of us sail through life without a will and seldom give it thought!

It is often only when we experience: illness, war, pandemic, or another life-threatening tragedy that such matters come to mind. Preferable is to think in advance about our estate, and to whom we wish it left, in the event of our demise.

The Covid 19 pandemic has certainly brought mortality into sharp relief for many. Yet, pandemic or not, death is sadly one of the few certainties in life.  Perhaps, for sanity, we are hard wired to look away when faced with the brevity of our time here. Notwithstanding, it has been said that we do not die while those who loved us survive. It is they who suffer in the absence of adequate preparation.

The questions we might ask ourselves are:

  • What will happen to our next of kin if we are no longer here to care for them?
  • If we have a partner/spouse and children, what will happen to them? Could they manage financially? Who would care for the children if both parents died at the same time e.g. in a road accident?
  • Do I need to take out life insurance to make sure they would have enough money to live on?
  • Who would I wish to nominate as guardians for my children and who would be prepared to take on the responsibility? Where would the children be happiest?
  • Who would I want to inherit personal items, such as jewellery or other precious items?
  • What would happen to my pets or livestock?

 

The Who Needs a Will list goes on! Wills may also contain information about funeral wishes.

Dealing, in advance, with issues around inheritance make them infinitely less burdensome to grieving loved ones, furthermore, harmful family conflicts are avoided.

It seems a lot to sort out, maybe that’s why so many people would rather put it off for another day! However, with professional guidance, a little help, understanding and discussion, it’s not so difficult.

Wills allow you to make provision for those you care about, perhaps a child who is less financially stable than their siblings, or who has contributed more to your care, or who has benefited to a lesser degree from gifts in life. The right advice and sensitive wording of key documents, allow you to explain your reasons for certain gifts and may allay feelings of unfairness in those left behind.

So, who needs a will? Most do in truth. Once made it can bring great peace of mind. Remember a will can be changed at any point in life, but without one, you risk exposing those you love to uncertainty, conflict and grief.

Don’t know where to start ?

If making a will is something you’ve been meaning to get around to, but don’t know where to start, speak to our client advice team on 021 202 4714 or click here and we’ll call you.

 

Are prepaid funeral plans safe?

Are prepaid funeral plans safe

Are prepaid funeral plans safe? When you take out a prepaid funeral plan you are doing just that, paying money upfront for your funeral. Mostly people take out these plans so that their family don’t have to pay for their funeral and make all the arrangements.

 

It’s great they say, pay for your funeral at today’s prices, beat funeral cost inflation and chose a funeral that you want.  They key, is of course, in the word “upfront”. You are taking your hard-earned cash and giving it to a company in the hope that they deliver after you have died. I don’t know about you, but I am very weary of giving my money to an organisation for a future service, especially after I am dead.

 

So why do people do it, is it safe? You hear stories of people getting ripped off with these plans!!

So Are prepaid funeral plans safe?

So, lets deal with the stories. People do get ripped off but that is because they have probably bought them from unregistered/unregulated Providers. Let me explain, the Prepaid Funeral Plan Industry is NOT regulated. In 2002, to improve standards and set a Code of Conduct/Practice, members of the industry set up the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA). This community interest company exists solely to help and benefit customers, i.e., you and me. The FPA has an independent Board and Compliance Committee to push for the highest standards for Providers. Self-regulation for the industry.

 

That’s all good and well, but people are still getting ripped off. Well, the problem is that registration with the FPA is completely voluntary, so the ones doing the ripping off are probably not registered. That is not to say that ALL unregistered Providers are dodgy, there are probably some good ones.

 

So let’s talk about these self-regulated, registered Providers. They do have to follow a strict set of Rules and Code of Practice. What follows are just a few of these Rules and Codes.

  • There is a strict minimum requirement for providers that register with the FPA.
  • They are regularly assessed and reviewed by the FPA to make sure they are raising standards and putting the customer first.
  • The Rules and Codes that they follow are enforced by the FPA.
  • Providers must follow Principles of Business that include, Integrity, Management and Control, Customer’s Interests, and Financial Prudence to name a few.
  • There is also a Code of Conduct that providers must follow.

 

And then of course, the big advantage of using a self-regulated provider is how they manage your money once you have paid for your plan.

  • Either, put your money into an account managed by Trustees that are approved by the FPA. Most of these Trustees must not be connected to the provider.
  • Or, have your money invested by an independent Fund Manager who is authorised by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
  • Or, apply your money toward a whole life assurance policy with a company authorised to do so.

 

Your money is safe with a Provider that is registered with the FPA, even if that Provider goes bust. It is worthwhile investigating but just make sure the Provider you chose is registered with the FPA.

Don’t know where to start ?

If making a will is something you’ve been meaning to get around to, but don’t know where to start, speak to our client advice team on 021 202 4714 or click here and we’ll call you.