A brief guide to funeral plans

Who are funeral plans for?

Anyone who has organised a funeral will be only too aware how valuable a funeral plan is, which is why you should consider starting one.

When loved ones are coping with the emotional distress of bereavement, they have to make decisions about the type of funeral to hold, and also how they are going to pay for it.

Funeral plans aren’t only about paying up front for the final departure, but they are also an opportunity to curate the kind of send-off you really want.

You can set a budget, big or small, and decide exactly how it is going to be spent.

The type of casket you want, the music, and the ceremony can be planned in detail, and the beauty is that with a funeral plan it will all be paid for.

You don’t have to be elderly to start one either; in fact, anyone over the age of 18 is eligible.

One way of looking at a funeral plan is as a final gift you can give to those closest to you.

Five reasons to have a funeral plan

  1. If you pay in advance, there’s less chance of your loved ones being taken advantage of during a moment of deep distress.
  2. Those left behind won’t have the problem of finding the money to pay for the funeral before the estate is settled.

  3. If you have a prepaid plan, it won’t be included in any inheritance tax that needs to be paid.

  4. Another bonus of buying a plan, rather than putting the money aside in a savings account, is that it may also not count in care home assessments or care costs.

  5. Some plans may pay out even if not all premiums are paid.

How do they work?

Think of your funeral plan as a safe place to store money until you pass away.

One benefit of a plan is that if the cost of funerals rises, you’ll still pay what you agreed for the funeral of your choice.

There are several ways a plan works:

  1.  Pay for everything all in one go
    This is for those who have the money to do so. The advantage of paying a lump sum is that you won’t have monthly payments, which could cost more if you die before paying everything off.
  1. Pay over 12 months
    If you don’t have enough money to pay for the funeral outright, this is the second best option because it can mean you’ll pay everything off interest-free for a year.
  1. Pay over 30 years
    This option will be far less painful in terms of outgoings, but because it is spread over an extended period, it will cost more in the long run.
  1. Fixed monthly installments until you reach age 90 or pass away.
    Generally, your fixed monthly payments would be lower than paying by the up to 30-year option.

Talking to your funeral director here at Middleton’s Funeral Services is the best way of finding out which plan is best for you.

As well as payment schemes, you’ll also want to discuss the kind of funeral service you want and this is where we have the expertise to take your ideas forward.

You can have any service, in any venue; from religious ceremonies to eco-friendly funerals, there is a service for you.

You can choose the music, the order of service, the type of casket you want and your funeral director will work hard to make it happen within budget.

Your family can also receive valuable support at this very distressing time through your funeral plan.

For example, it is possible that loved ones be offered bereavement counselling.

Of course, this may not be necessary but it is an option designed to give you peace of mind.

Furthermore, the plan may help your family when it comes to visiting the chapel of rest and other aspects of funeral etiquette that are allowed in the run up to the service.

What happens if an individual passes away before they’ve made all the funeral plan payments?

If you die before you’ve finished paying the instalments, your family or estate will probably have to pay the balance.

However, some plans also make it possible to pay the remaining instalments through some form of insurance..