It is not just the cost of living that is rising. The cost of dying – specifically, the cost of a complete funeral – is outstripping inflation too, often leaving bereaved relatives facing unforeseen bills.
In the last two decades, the cost of the average funeral has risen sharply. Figures from Mintel’s Funeral Business Reports show that in 1988, it was just £716. By 1997, it had risen to £1,284. By 2006, the average funeral cost £2,311, around £1,000 more than if these costs had kept place with inflation.
Not surprisingly, nearly half a million people in the UK have taken out some form of funeral plan to help cover these costs.
You’re never too young to pre-plan and pre-pay your funeral expenses
People have now woken up to the fact that they can not only pre-plan their funerals, but also pre-pay their own funeral expenses – now – and at today’s prices, beating the soaring costs of funerals
Many thousands of people in the UK and expatriates abroad have planned and paid for their funerals as part of a sensible and responsible approach to organizing their lives.
There are two basic types of funeral plan. Some people buy an insurance policy, known as a whole-of-life plan, that pays a fixed amount on death. But the danger with these is that, due to increased longevity, people can end up paying more in premiums than the plan can ever pay back.
The other option is a pre-paid funeral plan – usually sold by a funeral director. With these plans, customers pay for the main funeral costs in advance. This can include everything from the funeral directors’ fees to choosing a coffin and the hearse. But many of these plans do not cover additional third-party fees, such as the crematorium or a doctor’s costs, in full – nor will they cover the cost of a wake or flowers. So family members can still be left with money to pay.
Companies selling pre-paid funeral plans are policed by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA). It stipulates that companies must hold monies in a trust fund, with independent trustees and a fund manager. This should ensure that the money is invested prudently to meet all future funeral costs. It goes without saying, then, that a would-be customer must check that any pre-paid plan is sold by an FPA member.
The pre-paid funeral plans provided by City & Country Financial Services are provided by Golden Leaves as they provide one of the most cost effective programs as you can see from the comparison chart below