The cost of a funeral depends very much on the choices you make. They can be elaborate and cost potentially thousands of pounds, or minimalist, and much cheaper.
However you plan to have your funeral, many people worry that they will not leave enough money to pay for it, burdening their loved ones with the cost.
We are often asked about pre-paid funeral plans to deal with this. A pre-paid funeral plan is one that you arrange and pay for yourself, in your lifetime.
But this is a controversial sector, as plan providers do not have to be regulated, and generally part of the costs you pay for your funeral, include a large commission to the provider. The commission together with the rising costs of burials and cremations, can sometimes mean there is barely enough to pay for the plan holder’s funeral.
In addition, in 2017 the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the official safety net for customers of financial firms that go bust, issued a warning that “individuals could lose out if their plan provider fails”.
You do not have to buy a pre-paid funeral plan, as you can of course talk to your family and let hem know what you want to happen when the time comes. You can also open a separate bank account and pay money into it monthly, to cover the costs of your funeral.
If you are intent on going down the pre-paid plan route, best advice is that you visit The Funeral Planning Organisation (FPO), set up in 2002, to provide an “opt in” service to providers, to regulate them.
You can use the FPO’s website to conduct a search to see if your proposed provider has opted to be regulated, which should then give you peace of mind that if something does go wrong, you may be able to obtain redress.
The FPO can be reached online at https://funeralplanningauthority.co.uk/, or you can call them on 0345 601 9619