Taking out Pre-paid funeral plans

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
11 replies 2.6K views
PrimrosePrimrose Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
Has anybody done this, and which firm did you choose?

My husband and I are thinking of doing this and wonder if there is any one organisation that is markedly better than another.

Has anybody experienced any difficulties with any company in terms of payouts which they had not foreseen? I'm wondering how efficient and well performing the insurance policies are which fund them and whether the companies which provide these policies actually cream off a proportion of any profits made by the insurance policy, in other words are they actually poor value for money ?
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  • Yorkshireman99Yorkshireman99 Forumite
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    Primrose wrote: »
    Has anybody done this, and which firm did you choose?

    My husband and I are thinking of doing this and wonder if there is any one organisation that is markedly better than another.

    Has anybody experienced any difficulties with any company in terms of payouts which they had not foreseen? I'm wondering how efficient and well performing the insurance policies are which fund them and whether the companies which provide these policies actually cream off a proportion of any profits made by the insurance policy, in other words are they actually poor value for money ?
    Realistically someone has to be making money out of these schemes and that has to come out of your pocket. If you think there will be enough cash in your estate when you die then hang on to it. The backstop is that the local authority, or hospital where someone dies, is legally obliged to pay for a basic funeral and cremation. This will be quite dignified so why worry about it. Thousands of people have this sort of funeral every year. There is no disgrace in it.
  • G_MG_M Forumite
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    I too don't really see the point.

    Arguably, if you are still young and fit, and anticipate (hope) living for, say, 10+ years, you get to pay for your future funeral at today's prices.

    But on the downside, the funeral plan gets to invest your money for 10+ years whereas you lose the money you could have earned by investing it.

    Financially there's not a lot to recommend them.

    Again arguably, it 'makes life easier' for your family/executers - though I don't really see that. You still have to arrange the actual funeral so there's little saving in effort/emotional distress.

    Plus...... a close friend of mine recently lost her father. She rang the local undertakers, planned, arranged, paid for the funeral, and later started going through papers for probate. What did she find but a paid up funeral plan! Well that was money down the drain........
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    When you buy a plan you are buying specific items as detailed in the plan.

    These are supplied regardless of the cost at the time they are needed.

    You don't get any monetary value or any payment. Payment is made direct to the funeral director nominated in your plan.

    The money may be invested for one year or thirty years but you are buying at todays prices regardless of what it costs when you die.

    You need to check what each plan offers carefully and choose what you want covered.- a basic coffin or a superior coffifn. a cremation or a burial ( the cost of the burial plot may not be included), any cars required in addition to the hearse and other sundry items are available depending on what price you pay.

    if your executor wanted extras not included in the plan there would be a charge for these.
  • If you are looking to put money aside with the specific intention of that money paying for your funeral, then a funeral plan from a FPA-Registered provider is often a good choice because it will come with a guarantee of providing the services specified in future without further recourse to your family or estate. With some providers this guarantee extends to basic third-party costs (eg crematorium & ministers fees) as well as the funeral directors charges.

    If there is a specific FD you want to use, then you should speak to them to find out which plan they recommend.
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    bongonaut wrote: »
    If there is a specific FD you want to use, then you should speak to them to find out which plan they recommend.

    There's no guarantee that your preferred FD will still be registered with that plan by the time you die.

    When Mum and Dad took out their funeral plans, AgeUK used one local FD; after a couple of years, they changed to a different one. They were both good so it wasn't a problem but there was no choice about which FD was used.
  • OH & I are also considering this. If only because we don't want the kids to have worry about such details and our wishes when we go.

    Also it will save any rows. My in-laws both have FPs' and when MIL passed my FIL was able to tell my tw*t of a BIL to back off with his more moronic ideas because all the decisions had already been made.
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  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    Also it will save any rows. My in-laws both have FPs' and when MIL passed my FIL was able to tell my tw*t of a BIL to back off with his more moronic ideas because all the decisions had already been made.

    You can plan your funeral without having to buy a funeral plan.

    The details included in a prepaid funeral plan only say whether you want to be buried or cremated, have any FD cars, etc.

    If you want to say which music and readings you want, you'd need to write all that down separately and hope that your executor follows your instructions.
  • susancssusancs Forumite
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    Sadly over the last few years, we have have had experience of arranging funerals with funeral plans and non funeral plans. I must admit there was very little difference in using either. With both you have to contact either the plan or a funeral director. After getting the death certificate you have to go in to see the funeral directors and make arrangements. The plans used were Dignity and Co-op and we used a local family run firm for the non plans. With both they were close relatives so we knew what they would want.

    With the funeral plans we paid extra. In once case the family member had moved and it was extra for the hease and cars to cemetary. We had extras like paying for a minister, music, refreshements after etc. With the no plans in place, they had purchased in advance funeral plots and we used a family run firm.

    We personally liked being able to choose the local family firm and they were really lovely, even recommending florists, local venues for after the funeral and it was just more personal. There was nothing wrong with the plan firms, but we prefered the family firms as they were just so very accomodating and made everything so easy. The cost was actually similar, as the plans although taken out 5 and 7 years in advance cost more to start with, than the family firm ones would have at the time. I suppose if it was a long time before that it may have been cheaper.

    Hubby and I had considered looking at funeral plans later on in life, but now have said we would look at purchasing graves and just make other aware of what we want in our wills and put the money aside for it.
  • Mojisola wrote: »
    There's no guarantee that your preferred FD will still be registered with that plan by the time you die.

    When Mum and Dad took out their funeral plans, AgeUK used one local FD; after a couple of years, they changed to a different one. They were both good so it wasn't a problem but there was no choice about which FD was used.

    It all depends on the Ts & Cs within the plan. Dignity & Co-op backed plans will probably allow them to appoint a FD of their choosing (nearly always a business that they own). Under these circumstances Dignity or Co-op give the guarantee.
    When using independent plans & FDs (eg Golden Charter, Golden Leaves etc) then it is the FD who gives the legally-binding guarantee.
  • My husband and I have both very recently prepaid for our funerals with the Coop. I found it a very empowering experience, I have chosen what I want to happen, and where I want my ashes to be when I die.
    Having prepaid I know that my children will not have to worry and that when the time comes will look at what we paid and think thanks Mum and Dad you paid xxx and the costs now have risen to xxx and be pleased at how much money we saved them
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