Why do people buy Prepaid Funeral Plans?


Aug 13, 2014
Why do people buy Prepaid Funeral Plans?

Having been in the business for some time now I realise that people buy prepaid funeral plans for a whole host of reasons. Buying a funeral plan is at the end of the day quite an unusual purchase so it stands to reason that the people who buy them are varied, from all walks of life with different stories to tell.

For some, buying a funeral plan is a walk in the park. They are comfortable with the fact that we are all going to die so it’s just one more thing to tick off their ‘to do’ list. For others, it can be quite an emotional journey, possibly because they have just arranged a funeral for family or are in the process of researching funeral plans on behalf of their parent and feel in some way bad for doing so.

For these reasons I thought it would be helpful to list some of the so called ‘triggers’ or life events that result in people buying a funeral plan either for themselves or for someone else; just so if you are in the process of putting plans in place, you can see you are in good company.

The ‘I have some money coming my way’ plan
We find customers who are expecting to receive a lump sum of money perhaps from their pension pot often choose to use the cash wisely and buy a prepaid funeral plan so their family don’t have to worry when the time comes.

A growing number of people are becoming aware of the rising funeral costs and that paying money into a funeral plan and freezing costs at today’s prices could be a better option, preferable to putting it into savings. With funeral costs rising by 7% every year for the last decade, it’s easy to see why a prepaid funeral plan comes up trumps.

The ‘My parent has asked me to do it for them’ plan
These customers are very varied in the way they handle the task at hand. Some just want the best deal for their parent; and why not. Others find the whole concept of choosing a funeral plan for their parent very disturbing, just going through the motions as instructed.

Our mortality becomes far more apparent the older we get so it is understandable that our parents want to ‘put their house in order’; especially as they start losing the friends they have grown old with.

We should really take strength from their ability to be so clear headed and matter of fact about the whole thing. Choosing a funeral plan isn’t a bad thing; it’s just being prepared and protecting the people we care about.  

The ‘My parent has moved into residential care’ plan
There are a number of things that need to be done when a parent is in the throes of moving to a residential home, one of which quite often is choosing a funeral plan. In fact often social services recommend it as the money used to take care of everything will not be included in the means test to assess whether a contribution to care home fees can be made.

We often find that people going through this process have usually got a million and one things to sort out, so are quite grateful for a bit of help and advice on the things to look out for when choosing the right funeral plan.

The ‘I’ve just arranged someone else’s funeral’ plan
A funeral is possibly the most common trigger for buying a funeral plan. Whether it is the personal experience of having to arrange and pay for everything yourself, or just the reality that this will happen and someone will be left to ‘carry the can’; the harsh reality often spurs people of all ages to act and put plans in place.  

The ‘My kids can’t afford it’ plan
Quite often linked to arranging a funeral, the worry parents have about burdening their children with funeral costs and arrangements is often a big factor when it comes to why people buy funeral plans. Times are hard and funerals are expensive; many people would struggle to get their hands on £3,456 which is the average cost of a funeral and some are left to rely on credit cards to help which is why pre-planning is so important.

The ‘I’m not well’ plan
A serious illness has a habit of changing the way we think and feel about life - and death for that matter. Whether it is terminal or not, the situation is often life changing, making you consider things you’ve probably never even thought about. What will happen to the people you love if you are not around anymore? How would they cope? I speak from personal experience when I say that it can make you want to put plans in place; prepare your family for the ‘what if’ scenario, even though hopefully it may not happen for many years.  

The ‘I’ll do it my way’ plan
For some, pre-arranging a funeral with a prepaid funeral plan is a way to do things your way; say good bye and be remembered the way you would like to be. Whether it is because there are certain things you would like included in the funeral such as a piece of music or reading, or because you want to make sure your family don’t feel in some way obliged to choose the best of everything when in reality you would prefer to do things on a budget. Doing everything yourself means your wishes are met and you have ‘had your say’.

A positive move
Hopefully if one of these scenarios applies to you and you are finding it all a bit tough, the fact that you now know you are not alone will help and most importantly feel that what you are doing makes sense. If on the other hand funeral planning has never been something you have considered before but this has struck a chord, why not read our Funeral Plan Guide to see whether it is something you want to take further.   

Oh and for all you wise old sages out there who already have a plan in place, let me know if I have missed any reasons; if there is another factor that motivated you to put plans in place. 


Ashley Shepherd is an Over 50s Personal Finance Expert

ashley shepherd

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