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Funeral plans and over 50s life insurance

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What is a funeral plan?

A funeral plan is a simple way to arrange and pay for your funeral before you die. You either pay instalments or a lump sum to a funeral planner, which invests your money into an insurance policy or an independent trust fund.

Then, when the time comes, your plan covers the costs of your funeral and your final wishes are fulfilled. Note that some plans are more comprehensive than others, so be sure to check exactly what is included by your chosen provider.

What are the benefits of a prepaid funeral plan?

It gives you and your family the peace of mind that costs are taken care of and that your final wishes will be carried out.

Putting a few pounds away every month could save your family from the financial burden of funding a funeral while they’re grieving.

What is included in a funeral plan?

Funeral plans can cover most things, though they differ according to the provider you use and the level of cover you select. They will usually contain the following as standard:

  • A professional funeral director to make all arrangements

  • Transportation of the deceased to the funeral director’s premises

  • The cost of a coffin or casket

  • The funeral service at a local cemetery or crematorium

  • A hearse to a local crematorium or cemetery

  • Some plans cover the cost of a plot or the flowers

Funeral wishes: What to consider when planning your funeral

There are two main benefits to funeral plans that should influence your thinking: peace of mind that your family will receive financial help when you pass, and the opportunity to plan your final wishes in as much detail as you like. There are a few other things to think about, however:

  • 1

    Would you prefer to be buried or cremated?

    This choice will dictate much of the service, so it’s an important one to consider. 

  • 2

    Where would you like to be buried or cremated?

    For example, would you like a woodland burial or have your ashes scattered at the seaside?

  • 3

    Would you rather a religious or a humanist ceremony?

    Whether you’re religious or not, who you want to officiate your funeral ceremony is important.

  • 4

    What kind of music do you want?

    The music you choose for your funeral can set the tone for the event, whether that means hymns or a harpist.

  • 5

    Coffin, casket or cardboard?

    There is a wide choice, and they all come with different costs, whether the coffin is simple or elaborate.

  • 6

    Readings, psalms or a eulogy?

    Readings are a lovely way to memorialise someone. If you have a favourite passage or poem, you could ask for it to be read. 

Whether you should take out a funeral plan or an over-50s life insurance plan will depend on what you need from the policy. 

Funeral plans are designed to specifically cover funeral costs, but a life insurance plan offers a fixed pay-out for a monthly premium.

The pay-out you get from your life insurance policy can be used for funeral costs as well as leaving money behind to beneficiaries and taking care of any outstanding debts you have. However, if you survive your policy you won’t get any return for your premiums.

If you would prefer to leave behind a lump sum for your dependants so they can decide how to use the money, life insurance may be a better option. However if you want to leave money aside guaranteed for your funeral, you may prefer to opt for a funeral plan. 

Yes. One of the main benefits of a funeral plan is that you can have special requests.

Simply tell your wishes to the plan provider and they will keep them safe until the time comes. They will then do everything they can to honour them

Yes, you can take out a prepaid funeral plan on behalf of your mother, father, partner or another loved one.

Yes and no. Some plan providers let you choose your preferred funeral director.

You should inform the provider of your preferred choice when you purchase a plan and if it isn’t possible, they will let you know.

If you don’t have any preference, they will appoint a funeral director near to you from a trusted network of local independent funeral directors.

This will depend on the type of payment method and plan you have chosen, so you should check details with your provider.

If, at the date of your death, any payment is in arrears or there is a shortfall on the total cost, the funeral services will be provided if the outstanding balance is paid.

If the outstanding balance is not paid the plan providers will cancel the funeral plan and refund the money, usually minus a cancellation fee

Let your plan provider know you are moving so they can update your records. You will have the option to move your plan to a different funeral director, if required.

Most providers refund the full payment if you cancel within 30 days. Thereafter, they will charge a cancellation fee. Check your chosen provider’s terms and conditions. 

No. When you purchase a plan your money is either invested into a trust fund or an insurance policy, which is then used to pay for the funeral.

The aim of both methods is to safeguard your money until it’s needed, ensuring that it’s used to provide the funeral you have paid for.

No. Depending on the plan you select you will pay a fixed monthly premium for the term that you select.

If you intend to travel overseas, we recommend that your travel or medical insurance policy includes cover for repatriation costs back to the UK.

Most travel insurance policies will cover this as standard, but it is worth checking.

Your funeral plan will cover the cost of transportation of the body from the relevant UK airport or port to the funeral director’s premises.

If the death happens in the UK, funeral plans will include the collection and transfer of the deceased to a resting place, usually within a 50-mile radius.

If the body needs to be transported further than 50 miles, extra charges will apply. Check your chosen plan provider for the radius limit.

Yes, but joint funeral plans, or funeral plans for couples, only allow a single funeral plan in two names.

This means the plan only covers one funeral, when either of the named people pass away.

Not all providers off joint funeral plans, so it may be worth considering two individual plans and spread the costs of a number of years, so it is more affordable.

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