Dying is more expensive than it has ever been and many elderly people are thinking about making suitable financial provision for their funerals.

The cost of a standard funeral now sits at just under £4,300, having increased year-on-year for 15 years consecutively – an overall rise of 122pc over this time, according to the insurer SunLife.

As previously reported by Telegraph Money, the cost of of dying is now rising twice as fast as the cost of living, and it is no wonder people feel unhappy about leaving their bereaved families with the bother of large funeral bills.

For this reason, and because many want to have a say in their final send-offs, many consider the option of pre-paid funeral plans.

However, in an unregulated market, which has recently come under the scrutiny of both the Conduct Market Authority and the Treasury following accusations of aggressive and misleading sales tactics, it is hard to know where to turn.

Is it worth spending money on a pre-paid funeral plan now in order to head off rising costs and sort everything out ahead of time, or are there other options available?

The clear advantage is that you can pay now, make all your wishes known, and your family will not have to shoulder the cost.

However, another option is that your funeral could be paid for using your savings after your death. When you die your assets are frozen until the administration of the estate is complete, but vast majority of banks will allow your family to access funds to pay for a funeral as long as you are able to provide a valid death certificate or certified copy.

By keeping some money in an easily-accessible cash account, your family will be able to sort out your affairs without much hassle.

Another common pitfall to consider with funeral plans is that third party disbursements are not always included in the original price, meaning you or your family could end up paying more than you thought for things like newspaper adverts and crematorium or cemetery fees.

Consumers also need be aware of over-50s plans that claim to cover the costs of your funeral without guarantees, often leaving families with a shortfall.

Over-50s plans are a type of life insurance that require you to pay monthly premiums. When you die your plan provider pays out a lump sum that can be used to pay for your funeral or to support your family. But sometimes the plans fall short.

Co-op Funeral care, a plan provider, recently introduced a £400 discount on its funerals to support those impacted by such shortfalls.

Other providers, such as Dignity, are now offering direct funerals – services that involve a simple and unattended cremation or burial, followed by a memorial service or party at a later date, typically costing around one third of the average send-off.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here