Pre-paid funeral plans: 5 reasons why arranging a funeral in advance eases the financial and emotional burden
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Despite being a subject that can be difficult to discuss with loved ones, making arrangements for your funeral ahead of time can provide tremendous relief to yourself and others.
By discussing your requirements with an experienced local funeral director, and contributing to a pre-paid plan, the extra weight of these arrangements can be taken off loved ones during such a difficult time.
We speak with Nicola Davey, director at Arthur E Davey & Sons in Somerset, who outlines the benefits of booking a pre-paid funeral plan.
1) A local funeral director can provide professional advice
A major advantage of approaching a local funeral director is the opportunity to talk through any concerns or queries that you might have with someone who has a full understanding of the procedure. Such conversations can be challenging to have with loved ones, and depending on personal preference, funeral services can be quite complex.
“When you come in for a free consultation, you can ask any questions you may have and get your answers straight away,” explains Nicola, “whereas when you’re reading through the information online, it’s not always straightforward.”
This is why it’s important to meet with your funeral director in person to discuss your wishes and get an understanding of the finances, which are especially vital when booking a pre-paid plan. Nicola continues: “We can help people with the planning stages of a funeral, talk them through their pre-paid plan and can update or amend existing plans with any further wishes from family members. Having this rapport with clients brings a huge amount of comfort to them during a difficult time.”
2) The financial benefits of funeral plans
The prospective costs of a funeral can cause a huge amount of anxiety, especially if the death was sudden and no plans were made beforehand. By taking out a pre-paid plan, much of the financial burden that comes with organising a last-minute funeral can be completely bypassed.
“Whether you decide to pay for all funeral services upfront, or in monthly instalments across several years, we find that the peace of mind that pre-payment provides is well worth it”, says Nicola. “The expense can be a big challenge for families, so our fees are guaranteed for the duration of the plan. For example, someone taking a plan out today will pay today’s rates, rather than gradually increasing payments in the future.”
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For many of us, acquainting ourselves with the ins and outs of pre-paid funeral plans doesn’t factor into our daily lives. After the death of a loved one, particularly if it was sudden, we may find ourselves thrust into an unfamiliar and often worrying situation if the wishes of the deceased were not made clear beforehand.
Nicola emphasises the importance of discussing your preferences with a conscientious, local funeral director. “It’s so important to be transparent when clients are paying for funeral costs beforehand. The money is held securely in a guaranteed whole life assurance policy until the day of the funeral, and all that family members have to take care of at the time is to sign paperwork.”
4) Covering third-party costs
There’s often a lot more to planning a funeral than meets the eye. It can be overwhelming when confronted with the choices of coffin, the venue for the service and the size of the procession. Depending on the plan that you select, many third-party expenses can be covered as part of the package. It’s always worth checking exactly what your funeral plan covers in regards to third-party contributions.
During the course of life, many things can change rapidly – moving to a new area, friendship groups and who you are as a person. To have an understanding funeral director that knows what your wishes are, but is also happy to be flexible during the process, can provide a huge source of comfort.
“Local funeral directors are often very happy to amend certain aspects and make the proceedings as straightforward as possible,” says Nicola. “We won’t bombard someone with a catalogue of 30,000 coffins as soon as they walk through the door – we try to make it as simple as possible. Many of our plans can be transferred elsewhere as well, so you don’t have to worry about the status of your funeral arrangements if you decide to move.”
For more information on pre-paid plans, visit aedavey.co.uk or call 01275 852307.