About Mummy & Blogger Babies

My photo

Blogger Babies and Mummy believe in sharing resources and ideas to enable the best possible care and support of our vulnerable.

To Donate to The Edith Ellen Foundation

Friday, 30 September 2016

Funeral Planning

Help your family during their time of grief!

Being a member of the S.K.I Club (spending the kids inheritance) I decided to look into what could be done when my last ski run has been and gone.

Your loved ones have already lost you, they are grieving and they need to say “Goodbye” as part of the grieving process.  You can help them with this – you can make this difficult time “easier”, you can reduce the stress and anxiety of your loved one, by pre-planning and or pre-paying for your funeral.

Pre-planning a funeral does not necessarily mean it’s pre-paid.  

There are arguments to be made both for and against pre-payment.

On the plus side, pre-paying guarantees the wishes of the deceased are honoured, as they themselves select what they want and pay for it.  It saves the family or legal representative the cost and anxiety of last-minute decision-making in the midst of grief.

Pre-payments offer built-in inflation protection, as providers assure the cost of the funeral will not increase, whether death occurs in three months or 30 years.

Basic ways to pay for a funeral are with a life insurance policy that includes funds for a funeral, money set aside in a joint account that can be accessed to pay for a funeral, or a trust account, a separate insured and dedicated bank account set up specifically for funeral and burial costs, keeping assets out of probate and available with a minimum of formalities.

A funeral insurance policy, also called burial or pre-need insurance, designed specifically to cover final arrangements, is another route.  It names the selected funeral provider as the recipient of the funds, as opposed to a life insurance policy that provides funds to the family to use for final expenses and more.

If a loved one dies with no financial support in place for a funeral, there’s the option of putting expenses on a credit card – do you really want to put that level of debt and stress on to your family and loved ones?

Whatever financial road is taken, the family must be made aware of what arrangements and payments have been made – don’t assume the funeral home staff will know.

Preplanning your own funeral, while difficult for most of us, can help ease the emotional and financial burden for your survivors at a stressful time.  But should you pay in advance for your funeral?

Prepaying for a cemetery plot, for the funeral service, for funeral merchandise such as a casket or headstone - what the funeral industry refers to as "pre-need" planning - has its benefits. But as with many financial purchases, one should explore the options carefully before deciding.

Prepaying can provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones. It also generally ensures that you get what you want, such as the casket or type of service. This is especially true of a cemetery plot. The location you desire today might not be available 10 or 20 years from now if you wait until death to buy it. 

Experts also say that arranging and paying for a funeral in advance tends to result in lower cost, versus waiting until death when family emotions may drive decisions. You're also paying for tomorrow's funeral at today's prices.

As price increases continue to exceed inflation on an annual basis, the way people think about paying for a funeral has had to change. With the average cost of a funeral at more than £3,400, an increase of 80% since 2004, it's little wonder that a growing number of people are turning to pre-paid funeral plans as a way to ease the financial pressure from the family when the inevitable happens.

Ahead of further price increases by major funeral plan providers, over 50s personal finance website Over50choices has released its 10 step guide to choosing the best prepaid funeral plans, aimed at guiding people through the process of choosing and buying a funeral plan and most importantly, avoiding looming price increases.

Step 1 – Decide on what’s important to you
All funeral plans guarantee to cover the cost of the funeral director’s services; a number of plans also pay a contribution of around £1,000 towards third party costs, also known as disbursements which includes the minister’s and doctor’s fees as well as cremation or burial charges. A small number of companies do guarantee to cover these additional costs but this is often reflected in the price so you need to think about what is important to you.

Step 2 – Choose your level of service

Providers typically offer three levels of service; simple, standard and superior. The main differences between the three are the number of limousines included for the family and the quality of the coffin.

Some companies also offer a basic level of service but this doesn’t include an allowance for third party costs.

Step 3 – Look at your payment options and decide on your budget

Depending on the funeral plan provider, you have 3 payment options to choose from.
·         Single payment in full – plans range from £3,000 to £4,000 (basic plans cost around £2,000)
·         Monthly instalments (between 12 and 60 months) – this can be arranged over a fixed number of months. Instalments exceeding 12 months usually include additional administration fees
·         Fixed monthly payments – you pay a lower monthly premium for life or until your 90th birthday which is based on your age and level of service required. Payments start from £17 a month and you are covered for your full funeral service after an initial period of between 6 months to 2 years.

Step 4 – Future proof your funeral plan

Be sure your plan allows you the flexibility you need and if necessary, the ability to change. If you think you may move in years to come, check you can also move to another funeral director and if there are any associated costs.

Step 5 – Think about your family’s wishes
Most families are relieved by the emotional and financial support a funeral plan can bring; not having to make difficult decisions or worry about funeral costs however some may wish to add their own personal touches as a special tribute. If you think this may apply to your family, it could be worth checking whether the funeral plan can be enhanced in any way.

Step 6 – Shop around

Compare, compare, compare. This is an important decision so you want to be sure of choosing the best funeral plan at the right price. The cheapest funeral plans may not always be the best option so do your homework and compare funeral plans before you buy.

Step 7 – Read reviews
To help you see what is on offer, read reviews, highlighting the pros and cons of the leading providers.

Step 8 – Be secure

Depending on your chosen plan, your money will either be placed in a trust fund, regulated in compliance with the Financial Services & Markets Act 2001, or a life insurance plan, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

It is also worth checking that the funeral plan provider is a member of the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) and either the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) or the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF).

Step 9 – Look at the perks

Some companies offer a gift as a thank you for choosing one of their plans. For example, Over50choices provide our customers with either a free Will worth £120 or gift vouchers.

Step 10 – Act now

The majority of companies have already increased the price of their funeral plans this year however there are a handful left that have yet to make the move. Golden Charter has announced price increases from the 1st April so to save up to £309, act now!

So stay calm, carry on S.K.I-ing!!
Post a Comment