Whether you are thinking of retiring to Spain, Portugal or Cyprus to enjoy the ex-pat lifestyle or have already made the move abroad, it is important to be aware that customs vary by country when it comes to funerals, which is why a prepaid funeral plan is such a good idea.
Arranging a funeral is difficult at the best of times but throw into the mix language barriers, different cultural practices and the potential issue of making arrangements remotely from a different country; it’s easy to see why so many British expats rely on the simplicity of a prepaid funeral plan
Why do British expats buy funeral plans when living abroad?
First and foremost you want to be sure that your family are protected from the emotional and financial stresses of arranging your funeral. Then there are the added complications that come hand in hand with living abroad such as:
The language barrier - making arrangements is difficult enough at the time of need so any difficulty with communication can only add to that pressure and possibly prevent the family from having the type of funeral you and they would want
Local Traditions - The country you live in will have different customs to the UK; for example you may find that the body needs to be cremated within 72 hours unless you have made prior arrangements
Legal Implications - Depending on where you live, some countries have regional legal red tape; processes that should be followed when a person dies which could be a minefield if your family end up signing paperwork without understanding the implications
If your family is in the UK, pre-arranging your funeral will give you peace of mind that everything will be taken care of and not left to them to sort out
A funeral plan will remove all this worry; ensure the service is carried out in accordance with local customs and your wishes and will ultimately save money.
What happens when you die in Spain?
When someone dies in Spain, their next of kin is required to call the Guardia Civil (Police) and a Doctor (in the UK it’s just a doctor) who will in turn contact a local funeral director of their choice.
The next of kin will then be required to sign the ‘Body Release Form’, which in many cases also means that they have contracted to use that funeral director, often with no disclosure of prices or any awareness that they have committed to this.
The deceased’s bank accounts and assets aybe frozen and the funeral usually takes place within 72 hours.
The experience is very different with a prepaid funeral plan. Your next of kin would still inform the doctor and the police however when you buy a prepaid funeral plan that operates in Europe, your family would then call the funeral plan Helpline and they will take care of everything else, removing the pressure from your family.
Usally the European Funeral Plan provider will have offices in your chosen country, usually multi-lingual speaking so you can speak to someone in English at this difficult time. Plus they will have a good local knowledge and relationships with most local funeral directors