Later life planning can be a tricky subject to tackle, it can trigger a variety of emotions coupled with facing uncomfortable financial decisions that you have likely never considered before. As a nation, we are particularly encumbered by an inability to talk about our own mortality and express our wishes with those best-suited to carrying them out. This not only robs us of the ability to prepare for the inevitable with complete confidence, it may also inhibit our loved ones’ ability to deal with their grief.
70% of Brits have never talked about their funeral wishes with anyone.
There is an undeniable gap between the emotional and financial aspects of later life planning, which results in many people failing to prepare for the inevitable. If we found it easier to talk about our own mortality, maybe fewer people would be suffering from relatively modern day issues such as funeral stress and poverty.
In that spirit, Capital Life Funeral Plans have put together this brief article to share some Questions and Answers about the practicalities of planning for, arranging, and paying for a fitting final send-off. We hope that by sharing our knowledge, we can encourage you to feel more comfortable with the subject, and to instil you with confidence when it comes to planning ahead and making adequate financial provisions for later life.
How Do I Pay for a Funeral?
This is the big question, and – unfortunately – it has no cut-and-dry answer. There are many ways that you can pay for a funeral, from life insurance to simple cash savings. Yet it is important to remember that even if you do provide the funds, it will be your family or next of kin that typically manages the planning and eventual payments. This is where things can get complicated.
Costs may be incurred before certain types of savings are available to your family or next of kin. Many banks and building societies will also cap the amount of money they will release from your account, and this is often only released to approved persons. Cash in general can take a long time to pass over to a beneficiary – up to 9 months for some estates which have to be professionally administered. Life insurance claims can take anywhere from 14-60 days to pay out, eclipsing the short time that typically elapses between someone passing and their funeral. During this intervening period, the Funeral Director will expect to be paid in part or full. What makes all of this even more difficult, is that life insurance and/or cash savings fail to protect you or your family members from the rising costs of dying:
The average cost of a funeral in five years’ time is expected to reach £5,120
The most secure way to provide funds for your family or next of kin to oversee a dignified ceremony is to take out a tailored funeral plan with a trusted provider. A dedicated funeral plan allows you to stay in control in terms of your wishes whilst locking in the funeral you want at today’s prices, hence providing a readily-accessible, secure fund to carry out your wishes as and when it is needed.
What Costs Does a Funeral Plan Cover?
Each funeral plan is different, but they tend to cover a range of basic fees and costs, with some provision for disbursements and optional extras. Firstly, there are the Funeral Director’s fees. The services of a Funeral Director are not mandatory, but they are recommended. These costs usually include the cost of a casket, hearse, collection, and care of the body – alongside assistance with the unfamiliar administrative and organisational aspects prior to, and during, the ceremony. Following that, there are a series of disbursements that vary depending on the style and scale of the memorial that you desire and on where you choose to have your final ceremony. Did you know that cremations are more cost-effective than traditional burials? They are increasingly more popular too.
The average cremation costs £3,744 whilst the average burial costs £4,798
Funeral plans also cover any relevant doctor’s fees, registration costs, and certifications – which are all legal requirements following a death. This sort of legislative red tape can be a constant distraction for loved ones planning a funeral, and a major contributor to funeral stress. One overlooked aspect of the value of funeral plans, is that family or next of kin benefit from the advice and guidance of seasoned professionals who can support them by helping to alleviate the emotional, administrative, and financial burden so they can focus on their grief.
Can I Pay for Extras to Be Added to My Plan?
Absolutely! It is important to us that you feel a total sense of ownership in your later life planning, that is why we make it easy to choose a variety of optional extras. These are available when you first take out a Capital Life Funeral Plan and can be added-on at any point thereafter. Simply note down your wishes using our standard form and we will work to a bespoke pricing structure to ensure that your personal wishes are carried out with assurance and respect.
Capital Life Funeral Plans: Your Questions Answered
Capital Life is a Funeral Plan provider that puts our customers at the heart of everything we do, which is why we strive to answer any questions openly and honestly to deliver the best possible services to our prospective clients. If you have any specific questions that haven’t been answered here, please feel free to contact a member of the Capital Life team. We would be delighted to help answer any questions you may have about later life planning so that you can take care tomorrows arrangements today.