INCREASINGLY, Funeral Directors are offering bespoke funeral plans to ensure that your wishes are taken into account, and that the burden of cost is not added to your loved ones’ grief.

How does a funeral plan work?

40 per cent of all funeral plans are now prepaid. Some off-the-shelf funeral plans do not include everything for the final send off.

What it does is allow you to pay up front, so your relatives don’t have to cover the costs themselves. Clients should consider a bespoke plan, taken out with a Funeral Director, to guarantee they get the funeral they want.

Funeral plans will vary from provider to provider, and usually include the cars, viewings of the deceased, the coffin, and a service.

Other costs, not met by the funeral director, include flowers, announcements, and burial plots.

What happens if I fall short?

Where the total cost falls short, these are then met by the family at the time of the funeral.

Funeral plans should always be bought from either a funeral plan provider, or directly from a funeral director.

These can be paid in monthly instalments, or as a one-off payment, and are typically made over a period of one to ten years.

Funeral plans are safeguarded by rules to protect your money, as they are often placed in a trust or invested into an insurance policy.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) doesn’t directly regulate the funeral plan itself, but the providers are monitored by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA), which all members must comply with.

As part of the code, the FPA body and its members will look at paying for funerals covered by funeral plans, if your provider goes bust.

The Treasury is proposing bringing funeral plans under the regulation of FCA after evidence has suggested that a crackdown is needed on “rip-off” prepaid funeral plan providers that are preying on vulnerable people.

Elderly people are being harassed and misled, so it is vital that you take expert advice.

Between 2006 and 2017, annual sales of funeral plans had risen by around 245 per cent, yet the regulations have not changed since 2001.

Make the right choice for you and consider:

  1. How will your family cope financially should you die?
  2. Comparison sites can give you a starting idea on cost, but its best to talk to a provider, so your wishes are carried out to your specification.
  3. Speak to several funeral providers for a list of what their plans include.
  4. The quicker you pay for it, the less interest you will accrue.
  5. Read everything thoroughly.
  6. Ask your family’s opinion – they may not want to discuss this, but you need everyone to know your wishes and what they may be expected to pay.

These Funeral Directors are here to help you:

Bryan Mills

Chapman Medd

E & A R Agar

Fergus Court

G & M Agar

Hill Bros

I W Myers

J G Fielder

Ken Thompson

Martin Rowley

R H Barnes

S C Bainbridge

W Bumby & Son