These days you can find a wealth of information on funerals; be it a funeral guide or funeral plan review that may prove helpful when making funeral arrangements either in advance or at time of need. However with so much information available, how can you be certain which sources are genuinely offering good advice against those who are perhaps not quite so honest?
Independent guide on funeral arrangements
Well if you want a funeral guide on general funeral information, then the Good Funeral Guide founded by Charles Cowling is a good place to start. The website contains independent information on all aspects of funeral planning and is well respected in the industry. From choosing a funeral director to understanding more about cremation; the Good Funeral Guide provides information on a whole host of funeral arrangements that is certain to help.
Independent guide on prepaid funeral plans
If however you are looking at information on planning your funeral in advance with a prepaid funeral plan, then our ‘Essential Guide’ to prepaid funeral plans will help.
As you will know if you have visited our website, we are an independent company that specialises in helping visitors to our site understand the nitty gritty of funeral plans. Having over 30 years experience in financial services, we have reviewed and compared the market, good and bad, and developed a funeral guide that will help you choose the best funeral plan to suit your needs.
Be clear on your options
Choosing the right funeral plan doesn’t need to be a daunting task but it does help to know what you should be looking for and also most importantly what exactly you are getting for your money – which is where our funeral guide to choosing the right plan will help.
For example recent studies have shown that when buying a prepaid funeral plan, a high percentage of those reviewed were under the impression that all their funeral services were guaranteed, which is not the case with most funeral plans.
Although funeral plan providers will say the services are guaranteed with nothing more to pay; in most cases they are just talking about the Funeral Director’s services and not the third party fees such as cremation or burial fees.
Therefore it is essential to check how your chosen funeral plan treats these third party costs, also known as disbursements. In most cases there will just be a contribution towards these essential fees which could mean there will more for your family to pay.
Ensure your money is safe
The good thing is that dare I say perhaps more honourable members of the funeral plan industry are currently crying out for it to be more stringently regulated in order to squeeze out those potentially un-reputable companies that offer cause for concern.
We would only ever recommend that customers choose a company that is registered with and regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) which ensures those registered abide with their rules and strict code of conduct. However companies do not have to be registered with the FPA in order to offer funeral plans, so there are some providers who have not had to demonstrate that they comply with these safeguards.
Our funeral guide to prepaid funeral plans provides more information on this so you know what to look out for and you may also want to take a look at our funeral plan reviews to understand more about the status of individual plan providers.
When is funeral plan not a funeral plan
The other common misconception that is covered in the essential guide to prepaid funeral plans is that life insurance, or funeral insurance as it is also commonly referred to is not a funeral plan. A funeral plan lets you arrange and pay for your funeral services in advance, therefore freeing your family from the emotional and financial burden of having to arrange everything when the time comes. An over 50 life insurance plan just leaves a cash sum which may or may not cover the costs and the family will still need to make all of the funeral arrangements.
Funeral plan reviews
As previously mentioned, as well as understanding what you are and more importantly what you are not getting with a funeral plan, it is also important to learn more about the companies providing the funeral plans. How long have they been trading; how is your money invested; what happens if they go out of business; what happens if you move? So in addition to looking through our funeral guide on plans, also take a look at our funeral plan reviews which provides a wealth of information on all the major companies.
Other sources of information
In addition to our essential guide to funeral plans and the Good Funeral guide, the Which? Consumer Association also provides helpful independent information through their website on what to look out for when buying a funeral plan. It may also be worthwhile taking a look at the Funeral Planning Authority’s website too so you can understand more about the controls they have in place to ensure your money is safe.