An introduction to pre-paid funeral plans

There comes a time in every lifetime when making financial provision for the inevitable costs and decisions that come with a funeral service makes practical sense. The recent popularity of pre-paid funeral plans indicates that more of us are choosing to take responsibility for these costs and spare those we leave behind the difficult decisions and financial burden of arranging a funeral service on our behalf. Here’s how it works.


What is it?

Put simply, a pre-paid funeral plan is a way to purchase a funeral service for yourself or on behalf of someone else in advance. Whether you take out a funeral plan directly with your local funeral director or with a national plan provider, ultimately it will be a funeral director in your area who will conduct the service in accordance with the wishes you specify when taking out the plan.


What is covered in the plan?

A funeral plan typically covers the essentials of a funeral service like the coffin, transport of the deceased and care of the body in the funeral directors premises. Depending on the type of service you want, you can add optional extras such as flowers, limousines, collection of charitable donations and many other things. It is important to look carefully at what is included in the plan before you purchase it because services included vary greatly.


How much does a plan cost?

This depends greatly on what you would like to include in your funeral service. Most funeral directors and plan providers have a series of ‘set’ plans which provide all the necessary arrangements for a traditional funeral service. Funeral directors also offer tailored plans which include the exact services you require and are priced accordingly.

You can choose to pay for your funeral in one lump sum, which is traditionally the most popular way of doing so, or in instalments. These instalment schedules can typically be spread over 12, 24, 36, 48 or 60 months. There are no health checks or qualification requirements to go through when purchasing a funeral plan.


Where should I get my funeral plan?

You can purchase your funeral plan from your local funeral director, who will sit down and sensitively discuss funeral arrangements with you and offer you a funeral plan that reflects funeral prices of today. The plans we offer are backed by a national provider which is registered with the Funeral Planning Authority. Once payment is made, you will receive a pack providing details of your plan and the processes that will take place in the event of your death. It is important that you tell at least one family member that you have taken out a funeral plan so that it can be put in place when needed.

Funeral plans are also available directly from national funeral plan providers. By purchasing a plan with a national funeral plan provider the plan is then allocated to your local funeral director. Very often the company which sold you the plan makes its money by taking commission out of the plan.

Wherever you get your funeral plan from, it’s best to ensure it’s a firm registered with the Funeral Planning Authority. You can view all the registered firms on their website.


Who receives the money when I die?

When a funeral service is needed the money goes straight to the funeral director to cover the cost of the service you have pre-arranged in your plan. This ensures that the money you have paid is definitely used to cover your funeral costs and nothing else. It is important to make your loved ones aware that there may be more to pay at the time of the funeral for extras or third-party costs that are outside the control of the funeral director. However this is usually a fraction of the overall funeral cost.


RW Barrett & Son are a local independent family firm of Funeral Directors in Newcastle upon Tyne. Contact us now for further information on pre-payment funeral plans.