If you are considering a prepaid funeral plan, the provider you choose will be able to answer your questions, but here is a list of the most frequently asked questions to help you get started.
Prepaid funeral plans are typically available to anyone aged 18 and over, and you don't need to go for a medical or answer a health questionnaire. However, if you choose to pay for your funeral plan by instalments, then you usually need to be between 50 and 80 when you take the plan out.
The funeral plan provider you have chosen to take out your cover with will send you documents confirming your purchase and information on any next steps you need to take. Your pack should also contain details about your payment plan, if you have chosen to pay by instalments. It should outline your monthly amount, first payment date and the period you have chosen to pay over.
If you move somewhere within mainland Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Jersey, the Isle of Man and the Isle of Wight, then there should be no problem. All you need to do is call your funeral plan provider and update your details. This move could mean you have to change your nominated Funeral Director, if they don’t service your new neighbourhood, but your provider will explain this. If you are moving to a different country, things become a little more complicated and you will need to check if your provider can still honour your plan.
This can differ between funeral plan providers, so make sure you read the terms and conditions before you purchase. Funeral Director’s fees cover all elements of the funeral, such as provision of the director’s services, hearse, coffin, care and preparation of the body, among other things. Typically, third-party costs - known as disbursements - are also covered by an allowance and if this doesn’t cover the entire cost when the plan is needed, some additional payment may be required.
Your prepaid funeral plan protects you against the rising cost of funeral and inflation, meaning your family will not incur any additional charges when the plan needs to be used. However, there could be additional costs if the allowances for disbursements isn’t quite enough. You should explain this to your family and, ideally, have money set aside to cover these.
Your funeral plan provider must adhere to the law and invest your money in a 'whole of life insurance' policies that are managed by financial institutions. These should be authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. If you have concerns about where your money is being invested, you should get in touch with the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) on 0845 601 9619 or visit www.funeralplanningauthority.com for more information.
Typically, if you cancel within the first 28 or 30 days of plan you are entitled to a full refund of payments without having to pay a cancellation fee. Outside of this period, you will receive a refund of monies paid minus the cancellation fee. Each provider sets its own cancellation costs, so you will need to check your terms and conditions of your funeral plan to find out the exact figure.
While this can change depending on your provider, usually you can not amend set prepaid funeral plans. However, you should be able to upgrade to a plan that covers the extras you require by paying the difference. All you need to do is contact your prepaid funeral plan provider and enquire about the cost.
Your plan is likely to only cover mainland Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Jersey, the Isle of Man and the Isle of Wight, meaning if you die abroad your body will need to be brought back home. Your Funeral Director will be able to assist with arranging for repatriation, but your funeral plan is unlikely to cover the cost of this.
Usually, if you are paying by instalments and you die before paying the funeral plan off, the person arranging your funeral can either pay the outstanding balance in full or cancel the plan for a refund of monies paid. Check the terms and conditions of your prepaid funeral plan to see if there are any additional requirement.
Yes, you should be able to. That is one of the main benefits of a prepaid funeral plan is that you get a say in how your funeral is conducted. For example, if you want particular readings or pieces of music to be used then these requests can be passed on to the Funeral Director.
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If you are considering a funeral plan, you might also be interested in Will writing.
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In the meantime, why not head over to our Wills section? It can provide you details regarding types of Wills and what to include in a Will.