Why do I need a pre-paid funeral plan?

19 December 2017

Pre-paid funeral plans seem to be everywhere at the moment and it might be that you too are considering making financial provision for the cost of your own funeral.

Why do I need a pre-paid funeral plan?

Here are just some of the reasons why a funeral plan from your local funeral director might be the right choice for you and your loved ones.

Of course the answer to the titular question is that you do not need a funeral plan. Thousands of people die every year without funeral plans in place. But for those wanting to ensure that loved ones are not left to deal with decisions of their funeral and that financial provision is in place, a pre-paid funeral plan is usually a practical solution.

The SunLife Cost of Dying report indicated in 2016 that the average cost of a funeral is now nearly £4,0001. This means that when someone dies, those left behind are suddenly faced with the significant financial burden of having to find this money if there is insufficient value in the estate. A report by the British Seniors Insurance Agency found that the unexpected cost of a funeral service has landed many people in debt as young people in particular turn to credit to cover the cost of a loved one’s funeral service2.

One of the key reasons people at any stage of life choose to take out a funeral plan is to ensure that they have put financial provisions in place so that in the event of their death their family members or friends aren’t left with a significant bill to pay. For the planholder it represents taking responsibility for the cost of their own funeral service and it ensure peace of mind for those who are left behind.

Funeral arrangements

Sometimes, the stress of making funeral decisions can compound the effects of grief. For many people, the main reason to take out a funeral plan is to make a formal record of detailed funeral arrangements so that when the time comes, this responsibility does not fall to loved ones left behind.

The fact is that while research from awareness group, Dying Matters, shows that two thirds of the UK public feel comfortable discussing death and dying3, speaking about specific funeral arrangements with family and friends is something we still find incredibly uncomfortable. Because a funeral plan is an arrangement between a funeral director and the planholder, the conversation is a professional and candid run through of organisational procedure and arrangements. It means that when the time comes, precise details of the funeral service have already been pre-arranged and those left behind are not burdened with difficult funeral decisions at what is usually an extremely difficult time.

Funeral director

A recent report on the funeral planning industry from the consumer awareness group Fairer Finance (July 2017) found that there is evidence of funeral planning firms promising consumers that they can choose their funeral director without verifying the arrangement with the funeral director in advance. A pre-paid funeral plan purchased directly from your local funeral director will ensure that it will be that firm conducting the service when the time comes.

1. SunLife, Cost of Dying, September 2016.
2. British Seniors Insurance Agency, Grave Reality of Dying, January 2018.
3. Dying Matters Coalition, Public Opinion on Death and Dying, April 2016.