Choosing a funeral plan for your parents

Choosing a funeral plan for your parents main image

We get an increasing number of calls from people looking to buy a prepaid funeral plan for their parents, so in this article, we will look at the main things to consider when choosing a funeral plan for your parents or parent.

Your parent may have asked you to help them buy a funeral plan; you may be acting on the advice of social services as your parent is moving into a care home, or you may have taken control of your parent's finances and looking to get things in order. Whatever your reason, the funeral plan you choose for your parents needs to provide the right level of service and support at the right price, so there are the kind of things to look out for.

Can I get funeral cover for my parents?

Yes you can get funeral cover for your parents and it can be simple to do so. Here are some things to consider to help you decide what’s best for your parents’ situation. 

Cost and level of funeral cover

The chicken and egg of buying a funeral plan for parents; you want to choose the best level of service but it also needs to be affordable for your parents, or for you.

Typically, funeral plan providers offer 4 levels of cover, a limited, simple, standard, midrange and superior plan. In very simple terms, here is how they compare and a rough guide on pricing:

  1. A limited funeral plan offers the same services as a simple funeral plan, but the cremation time slots are restricted to early or late in the day. Consequently, they could save you some money at around £3,400 to £3,750.
  2. A standard funeral plan includes funeral director’s services with a simple coffin and an allowance for third party costs – priced at around £3,100 to £4,300.
  3. A midrange funeral plan includes funeral director’s services with a better quality coffin, an allowance for third party costs and one limousine for the family – priced at around £3,700 to £4,300.
  4. A superior funeral plan includes funeral director’s services with a high quality coffin, an allowance for third party costs and two limousines for the family – priced at around £3,800 to £4,250.

Third party costs

As well as the funeral director’s costs and services, funeral costs also include third party charges, also known as disbursements. These include cremation or burial fees and the minister and doctor’s charges. Most funeral plan providers include an allowance of around £1,000 to £1,100, which increases in line with RPI to help pay for these costs but this will ultimately depend on where your parents lives as it varies by region.

Making funeral cover more affordable

If you prefer to spread the cost of a funeral plan for your parents, to make it more affordable, you have two options to choose from:

  • Instalments – You can choose between 12, 36, 60, 120 months. Any term over 12 months will usually incur additional administration fees and some providers require all instalments to be paid by a certain age, typically 80 or 85. The funeral services will be provided once all instalments have been paid.

If you die before paying off your instalments, some providers will cover the full cost of the chosen services, as long as your payments are up to date and you have been paying into the plan for at least 12 months.

  • Fixed monthly payments – You can choose a pay monthly funeral plan starting from around £23 a month depending on your parent’s age. This premium is payable every month for life or until your parent’s 90th birthday. The money is paid into a whole of life insurance plan and your parent’s funeral services are fully covered after an initial period of between 1 to 2 years, depending on the plan provider you choose.

How much involvement you want

When buying a prepaid funeral plan for your parent, you can choose to include details like the executor of the Will, funeral music or poems to be included or maybe a preferred local funeral director. Alternatively, you can just choose the level of funeral cover required, whether it is a cremation or burial and leave the rest to your family and the plan provider to do for you.

Having control of the paperwork

If you prefer to handle everything yourself on behalf of your parent, you can choose to put the funeral plan in your parent’s name but have all the documentation sent to you. Just complete the relevant section in the application form and all future correspondence will go through you.

Funeral cover for both parents

If you are looking considering funeral cover forto help both  parents, you can either choose to buy two funeral plans or alternatively buy a joint funeral plan.

A joint funeral plan is a single plan that is placed in both your parents’ names and covers the funeral services for one person -. either the first or second death - whichever the plan holder prefers. So you just need to be aware you (or your parents) will need to have sufficient funds to pay for the surviving parent. If you feel comfortable that funds will be available from the surviving parent’s estate, a joint funeral plan may be a cost-effective option. Keep in mind though that it can take time to resolve a deceased's estate and therefore funeral costs may initially need to be paid from another source.

A number of funeral plan providers offer joint funeral plans for free, so it can cost the same as a single plan.

Compare funeral plans for parents

To start your search for funeral cover for a parent we’ve made it easy for you to compare funeral plans to see what each has to offer and get a quote. We have also reviewed the UK’s leading funeral plan providers to help you decide on the right company to look after your parent and your family when the time comes.

Compare funeral plans

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