Simple funeral plans

Sep 22

Articles talking about the death of loved ones and their subsequent funeral are never likely to make light or entertaining reading.

Yet on top of the emotional grief that comes with bereavement, those left behind often face very substantial funeral expenses. These costs can be a real worry and cause financial hardship. That in turn can mean that grieving and healing can be adversely affected by the added worry of just how the funeral is going to be paid for.

That’s not something most of us would like to consider as our legacy to those we cherish.

That’s why increasing numbers of people are turning to simple funeral plans as a way of helping family and friends to cope with such expenses.

Some planning facts

Almost all of us find it difficult to think about our own demise

Based on official government figures published in 2016, the average male at 65 can anticipate, statistically, another 19 years of life. For females, the figure is 21 years.

However, it’s necessary to remember than when we speak of the average age of men and women at death, this is a statistical measure only. The sobering reality is that it means roughly 50% of people will die before that age, which is why it is an average not a prediction.

It’s also possible to further consider the impact on families left behind. In the UK, the average age of a woman giving birth for the first time is now approaching 30. So, a female dying at the age of 75 may have children 25-35 years younger, i.e. in their 40s. That in turn means there will still be younger grandchildren going through school or university – with all the cost that entails.

The final variable is that the typical cost of a funeral in the UK can be an average of 4,000. In fact, figures from last year reported the cost of the average funeral has soared to 3,897, taking the total cost of dying to 8,802.

What this all means

From the above, it’s clear that funeral costs are likely to hit your estate hard. Not only that, but such costs are rising fast.

If you have a substantial financial legacy to pass on then fine but if not, your children or other family may be picking up the large costs involved at a time in their life when their own finances might be under stress due to trying to cope with your grandchildren’s education and related costs.

Can you do anything to help? Yes you can.

The solution

There are plans available that allow you to essentially pay for the bulk of your funeral expenses in advance. They’re referred to as “simple funeral plans” or just “funeral plans”. You could consult with a funeral arrangement company such as Opals Funerals and look at the prices for different kinds of plans. Whatever you settle on, that will be the cost that will have to be paid to the company as your funeral costs, whenever that may be.

You simply agree to freeze the bulk of your funeral expenses (the funeral director’s costs) at today’s rates then pay for that as a one off payment or over monthly instalments. In some cases, it might be possible to do so over a fairly long period.

Once the monthly payments are complete, you will have effectively frozen your funeral director’s costs in time at today’s levels. They’re therefore insulated from inflation for the rest of your life to come.

When you eventually die, as we all must, much of your funeral will essentially be pre-paid and that means those you leave behind will be free to concentrate on that grieving and healing process.