Funeral costs are the first thing to come out of your estate after you die, and can significantly reduce the amount you leave. Their organisation may also place undue pressure on those left behind.
- PRICE: The average cost of a funeral today is £5,000-£6,000. But critically the average annual growth in the cost of a funeral has exploded in recent years to above 7%, ahead of house prices.
- COMPLEXITY: organising a funeral has been compared to organising a wedding, in around 10 days, whilst experiencing extreme emotion.
- AVOIDANCE: Most of us don’t wish to think about it in advance because it’s tangible and relates to mortality, so fail to plan.
The effects of these three factors are arguably interactive.
The bereaved have the responsibility and difficult task of arranging a major event in a short time frame (typically less than ten days). This involves making decisions such as: location; organising a Church Service (or not); cortege; choice of casket/coffin etc. On top of this are a plethora of options/ extra expenses, including (but not limited to): flowers; newspaper notices; wake (after-funeral gathering), the list goes on.
A funeral director may (correctly) advise the bereaved that the average cost of a funeral is currently between £5,000 and £6,000. The funeral director may have been established for tens if not hundreds of years, with offices/parlours filled with symbols of reverence and competence. With no ill intent, they might establish such figures as ‘normal’.
At a time of grief, the bereaved are often happy to be guided by the funeral directors, simply because they are in a state of emotional turmoil, having lost a loved one and feel under pressure of time to get matters finalised.
Under such conditions, it’s all too easy, when organising a funeral of a loved one, to conflate certain ‘extras’, such as a costly coffin or an expensive wreath, with the affection felt for one who has passed. Costs may quickly spiral.
Death is an inevitable part of the life cycle, a funeral is an extremely personal event and who better to decide how this proceeds, than the deceased themselves, while they are alive and able to do so. This is not so easy, however, as it is demands reflection on a time when one is no longer here. The best time to think about such matters is when undertaking other end of life tasks, such as writing a will.
A pre-paid funeral plan allow costs to be fixed in advance (nb. not all providers guarantee to cover future costs, the CO-OP is one large organisation which does). Key planning decisions can be made, based on what the plan holder thinks important for their funeral, and not informed by the grief of the bereaved. Enormous pressure can be relieved from those left behind.
By taking out a funeral plan the decisions & choices will have been made and the costs covered!
If you have any questions about pre-paid funeral plans contact Confidence Wills now on 0121 231 7010.