How to choose the best funeral plans
To choose the best funeral plans to suit your individual needs, consider the following:
- Price – what's your budget? (remember the cheapest prepaid funeral plan isn’t always best)
- Service – what you want your funeral plan to include?
- Guarantees – will your family have more to pay when the time comes?
- Security – is the provider registered with the Funeral Planning Authority?
How to compare prepaid funeral plans
Not all funeral plans are the same; the cheapest prepaid funeral plans that only include a contribution may save you money initially, but could end up costing more in the long run, which is why it can help to compare funeral plans.
Important information to know before buying a prepaid funeral plan
The funeral services included in prepaid plans fall into two categories;
- Funeral director’s fees – their advice and support, services on the day, the coffin, hearse and depending on level of service limousines and use of the chapel of rest
- Disbursements - third party costs including cremation or burial fees, minister’s fees and where appropriate doctors fees
Whilst all plans fully guarantee the funeral directors costs, for cremation funerals many plan providers only include a contribution towards the third party fees. This unfortunately means that there could be a shortfall when the time comes that your family will have to pay, so they could be left with a bill.
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How do prepaid funeral plan providers compare
The following prepaid funeral plan providers guarantee all the services included in the plan for a cremation funeral, with no hidden charges:
- Dignity – all funeral plans
- Co-op – some funeral plans
- Golden Leaves – some funeral plans
The following prepaid funeral plan providers include a contribution towards 3rd party costs:
- Golden Charter
- Perfect Choice
- Safe Hands
- Open Prepaid Funerals
A survey by independent consumer research company Fairer Finance discovered that over 90% of people who purchased one of the ‘contribution plans’ thought that all of their cremation costs were guaranteed, which wasn't the case.
Therefore when you are choosing the best prepaid funeral plan for you, look carefully as to how these costs are covered.
Prepaid funerals costs – how much could you pay
Prepaid funeral plans cost between £2,900 to £4,300 depending on what’s included. The cost of a prepaid funeral plan will include both the services of a funeral director and the funeral service, but cheaper plans may have limitations., so it’s important to also consider the services included – our pros and cons guide will guide you on what to look out for.For example, the quality of the coffin or whether you have cars for family.
The cost of prepaid funeral plans – what are your payment options?
Funeral plan providers offer a range of payment options suitable for all budgets. You can choose to pay in one go as shown in the comparison above or by monthly instalments.
If you prefer to spread the cost of your prepaid funeral plan you will pay more over the payment period as administration fees apply. However, many companies allow you to pay over a period of 12 months without incurring additional fees.
The good news is that with monthly funeral plans, your funeral costs will still be frozen at today’s prices avoiding future inflation. So you could still save your family a substantial amount of money.
Our can you pay for funerals monthly section provides more information on spreading the cost of prepaid funeral plans.
What are the cheapest funeral plans?
The cheapest prepaid funeral plans include a simple coffin, a hearse but no limousines, a service at the crematorium and the cremation fees. To reduce costs further, the time of the service may be restricted to early or late in the day.
When comparing plans, check which services are guaranteed and that the company is a member of the FPA. If the cost is more than you want to pay, you may want to consider a direct cremation. This simple cremation without a funeral service is one of the cheapest funerals costing between £1,300 to £1,800.
How do I choose a funeral plan?
When choosing a funeral plan, it helps to compare plans and review the information available before choosing a funeral. As an independent company we have compared funeral plans uk-wide and chosen to work with Dignity as our trusted partner.
FPA registered Dignity fully guarantees the cremation fees and ministers fees as well as the funeral director’s costs. So you can be reassured your family will have nothing more to pay for the services included in the plan, no matter when it is in the future. (Read our review for information on Dignity burials).
In addition, Defaqto the independent financial information business has conducted its own funeral plans comparison and has awarded the Dignity Diamond Plan 5 Stars.
Dignity – prepaid funerals you can trust
Dignity funeral plans provide complete reassurance for you and your family and a service you can trust, including:
- A guarantee to fully cover the cost of the services included in all four of their plans
- An allowance of £1,220 for burial costs if you prefer this option
- Competitive prices from just £3,095
- Monthly payment options with services honoured after 12 months*
- The ability to personalise your plan with ‘special requests’
- Flexibility to move at no extra cost
- National coverage with hundreds of Dignity owned or approved funeral directors’
- Bio-degradeable eco-friendly coffins
- Telephone bereavement support and advice for loved ones
- An award winning customer service
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How secure is my money in a funeral plan?
Choosing a provider that is registered with the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) helps ensure your money is secure. The FPA is an independent industry body that ensures all registered providers abide by its rules and strict code of practise as to how your money is held and the service you receive. (our ‘Are funeral plans safe’ section provides more information on how to ensure your plan is secure).
With Dignity your money is paid directly to the National Funeral Trust which is independently managed and audited.
All trusts are separate independently managed legal entities which are audited by independent accountants and auditors.
This means that should your funeral director go into liquidation, your money and funeral will be protected and the plan provider will reallocate your plan to another funeral director in your area.