Who is the Money Saving Expert and what does he think about prepaid funeral plans?
MoneySavingExpert was founded in 2003 by Martin Lewis. It’s the UK’s biggest consumer website with around 16 million users a month and is known for championing the customer in saving money, finding deals and more recently campaigning for financial justice for the consumer.
Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis provides guidance on funeral plans including pros and cons, when a funeral plan could be worth considering and 6 tips on how to buy one.
Although he offers information on funeral plans and compares some of the market leaders as we do in our independent reviews and comparison section, they do not offer funeral plans themselves.
What does Money Saving Expert say about prepaid funeral plans?
Moneysaving expert Martin Lewis’ guide to prepaid funeral plans explores whether funeral plans are worth the money. Although he doesn’t offer any ‘best buys’, he does explain when having a funeral plan in place could be a good idea and provide tips to buying one.
He points out that a funeral plan could be worth it if you live in an expensive area, have the money to pay for your funeral plan in full, or think your family may struggle with organising and paying for a funeral when the time comes. He also adds that a funeral plan could save money if funeral prices increase.
The Money Saving Experts’ thinks a funeral plan may not be worth it if funeral costs reduce, (although he says this is fairly unlikely), if paying for one puts you in debt, you plan to move abroad or buy a plan that doesn’t give you the funeral you want.
One of Martin Lewis’ main points throughout the guide is that the funeral plan market is now tightly regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This means that as long as you choose an FCA authorised company, your money is safe. And with the added protection of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, you can be sure that whatever happens, your funeral services will be carried out as originally planned or your money will be refunded.
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What else does Money Saving Expert say?
Martin Lewis states that a funeral plan could be a good idea for some, but not for everyone. If you have the funds available and want to protect your family, a funeral plan could be a good idea. And as plans are not included as part of your estate, they are exempt from inheritance tax.
Some plans however do have limitations you should be aware of, such as the date and time of the service or the funeral directors you are allowed to use
Money Saving Experts top tips
If you are considering buying a plan, Martin Lewis offers the following top tips:
- It's cheaper to pay up front or over 12 months if interest free
- Funerals paid for by instalments can go ahead, even if you haven't completed the monthly payments . You just need to have been paying into the plan for a minimum period of either one or two years depending on the plan details
- Certain funeral costs such as memorial stones, flowers or notices aren’t covered
- Burial plots aren’t included
- If you considering moving, make sure the plan can move with you and check if you will be charged for doing so
- You may save money if you share a family plot or opt for a woodland burial