Pre-paid funeral plan

Many people choose to take out a 'pre-paid' or 'pre-payment' funeral plan so they can help their family and friends at a difficult time by making their own preferences known. This can also alleviate any worries the family might have about paying for the funeral.

Another claimed advantage of taking out a plan is that you will be paying for your funeral at today's prices. However it. is important to read all the details of the plan as not all plans guarantee to pay all the costs when the funeral eventually has to be arranged. Some plans will not cover all of the disbursements which are the fees paid by the funeral director to others on your behalf e.g. the cemetery or crematorium.

Many people find the idea of 'shopping around' for a funeral plan much easier than it will be for a bereaved family to compare prices and services of different funeral directors in the very early days after the death.

If you decide to take out a plan, it is important to let your relatives/executors know, otherwise they may arrange and pay for a funeral using a different funeral director. Make sure you keep a record of the arrangements you have made and tell your family where you have put the paperwork.

There are other ways to ensure some money is in place to help towards funeral costs. You could take out a life insurance plan or invest your money in a high interest savings account. However there is no guarantee that the interest will keep pace with increasing funeral costs.

Furthermore, if probate is required your family may not be able to access this money immediately, so if there are insufficient funds in current accounts they may need to pay for the funeral themselves in the short term. However if you take a funeral director's invoice to a bank, most banks will release funds to pay for the funeral even if the account has been frozen to all other transactions.

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