- A Guide to Funerals and Funeral Directors
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Prepaid funeral plans

If you want to plan ahead, you can purchase a prepaid funeral plan.

There are several good reasons for doing this: you can ensure your wishes will be taken care of, giving you exactly the funeral you want; you can give peace of mind to your loved ones, saving them from having to make too many choices at a difficult time; and you can pay for the funeral you desire at today’s prices – which will usually save money because funeral costs have escalated rapidly in recent years, and are expected to almost double between 2010 and 2017.

Most funeral directors will offer prepaid funeral plans. You can usually contact them by phone or go along to look at their services. Funeral directors who belong to chains will usually have a menu of prepaid funeral plans which are provided by all their members, while independent ones often offer their plans through the National Association of Funeral Directors.

You are likely to be given a choice between choosing from several pre-arranged options (usually prepared with a range of different budgets in mind), or a bespoke option.

Peace of mind

Money paid into funeral plans is secured by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA), the industry regulator, whose code of conduct funeral providers must comply with. They will also give their assistance if a funeral provider goes out of business, and all funerals which have been paid for through a prepaid plan should be carried out, even in the rare event that this happens. 

Which? magazine has prepared a guide to the costs of a range of different prepaid funeral plans:

When purchasing a prepaid funeral plan, you need to pay very close attention to what it includes and leaves out. Importantly, most set funeral plans don’t include a memorial or headstone, and they may also leave out the cost of a burial plot, and may only include a fixed contribution towards burial or cremation fees. There may also be restrictions on which undertakers you can use, and how far they will be willing to transport the body if you die away from home.

All in all, prepaid funeral plans are an excellent way to give you and your loved ones peace of mind – one of the most valuable legacies you can leave them.

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