Prepaid funeral plans: pros and cons

- 27/09/21

To start with, what is a prepaid funeral plan? It’s exactly what it sounds like – a fully planned funeral that’s been paid for in advance by the plan holder. Although it can be uncomfortable to think of at times, a prepaid funeral plan is a great way to put your affairs in order ahead of your death. But we can make it easier for our loved ones by putting plans in place well ahead of time so they don’t have to.

Like any product, funeral plans have their own unique set of pros and cons that you should consider before investing in one. While they can be an excellent choice for most, a prepaid plan doesn’t suit everyone.

The costs

One of the biggest attractions of funeral plans is setting aside money now to pay for your funeral in the future. While cremation costs are typically cheaper than burial costs, the costs of all funerals have been increasing every year, with funerals predicted to cost more than £5,000 by 2025[1].

Pros: A plan protects you against the costs of rising funeral costs. Typically, the price you agree at the time you take out your plan is guaranteed to cover the costs of everything included in your plan, even if costs have risen in the time between.

Cons: Not all prepaid funeral plans are built alike so be sure to read all the information about your plan to see what is and isn’t included. While our plans include all professional fees relating to the administration and registration of the cremation, this isn’t always the case. Make sure you know what costs are included and which costs are not and plan accordingly.

The choice

Funeral plans come in all shapes and sizes, from full church services with horse and carriage processions to simple direct cremations. However, some offer more flexibility than others. With a prepaid plan you should consider the pros and cons of how much is available through the provider and whether it truly suits your wishes.

Pros: A plan will cover the costs of everything listed as being included in the plan. With no additional decisions to be made or paid for, your loved ones can focus on saying their goodbyes and grieving their loss, rather than paying for funeral expenses and making arrangements.

Cons: Some plans only include elements that are available to that particular provider, locking you in to what is within their capabilities. If you wish to add on additional services later on this will be an additional cost as it wasn’t originally included. You may also need to contact funeral professionals outside of your plan provider if they’re unable to offer everything you want.

The arrangements

With a prepaid funeral plan you’re able to organise and make your arrangements in advance, meaning that your loved ones can avoid the stress of funeral planning. Any form of event planning can be a stressful experience, especially when multiple people have conflicting ideas on what should be done at a time when peoples’ emotions are already heightened.

Pros: There should be little left for your family to arrange when the time comes. With a pre-arranged funeral all of the decisions will have been made in advance in accordance with your wishes, meaning they don’t have to worry about ‘doing right’ by you. A pre-arranged funeral can also help with unforeseen elements of a death such as applying for the birth certificate and completing any administration pertaining to the funeral.

Cons: Additional arrangements will have to be made between yourself, or your loved ones, and your funeral provider if you want anything else down the line. For example, your family decide to have your ashes interred at a later date rather than scattered so they have a place to visit in your memory. If this is outside of what was originally agreed between yourself and the plan provider, there would be an additional cost for the burial plot on top of the cremation costs which were already paid for.

With a balanced view of the pros and cons of a prepaid funeral plan you can make a decision as to whether it’s the right choice for you.

Sources

  1. SunLife (2021)

Distinct Cremations is a trading name of Distinct Cremations Limited I Registered in England, No. 13366310 and Distinct Funeral Plans Limited [Prepaid Funeral plan provider] I Registered in England, No. 13366327 | Registered Office Westerleigh Crematorium, Westerleigh Road, Bristol BS37 8QP | Part of the Westerleigh Group |