Funeral costs can be astronomical.
Research suggests that average costs currently look like this:
- a funeral is Â£3,702
- a burial funeral is Â£4,110
- a cremation funeral is Â£3,294.
And these figures donâ€™t include expenses such as flowers or catering!
Are costs like these figures your family could afford to pay for? If not, they are far from alone. A recent report suggested that in the past five years alone, we have spent Â£4.8 billion on funerals and Â£1.6 billion of this has been borrowed. And worse still, 27% of people turned to payday loans, with their notoriously high interest rates, to get the money to cope. It means that your relatives could not only be grieving at your loss, they could also be struggling to pay back a debt.
Your relatives may be able to claim some help from the government to cover the costs of your funeral, but any sums are unlikely to cover all the costs. Money from your estate can also be used to pay for your funeral, but this isnâ€™t usually available until much later so your relatives will need to pay up-front in the first instance. Plus it will mean you will be leaving less money to your relatives than you had hoped to do.
There is a solution, though. It is to put a Funeral Plan in place. Your own death might not be something you want to think about, but you should. By putting in place a plan now you are saving your relatives from unnecessary stress and debt when you die. You are also putting the plans in place to make sure you have the funeral and send-off you want.
There are several options you can consider and we will outline them here.
Take out a funeral plan
A funeral plan has two clear advantages.
Firstly, it lets you pay for the funeral you would like to have at todayâ€™s prices. This is very important because funeral prices are rising rapidly: 3.9% in the past year alone. Compare this to the overall inflation figure of 1% and youâ€™ll start to see how quickly these costs could rise.
Secondly, it lets you decide what arrangements you would like to have when the time comes. This gives you some control and also saves your relatives having to make lots of important decisions at a time when they are grieving.
Take out over 50s life insurance
Over 50s life insurance is a good option if your funds are tight and you cannot pay for your funeral arrangements in advance.
With this type of insurance you pay a fixed monthly premium for the rest of your life or until you reach a certain age, such as 90. You are guaranteed cover and no medical is needed.
Over 50s life insurance pays out a cash lump sum when you die. This sum can be used to meet the costs of your funeral or perhaps to leave a legacy for your loved ones.
There are two risks to bear in mind when looking at over 50s life insurance. The first is that the cost of inflation effectively reduces the value of the sum paid out to the extent that it will not cover the cost of your funeral when the time comes. The other is that you pay more in premiums than your loved ones receive in a lump sum when you die.
What to do now
If you are considering taking out a funeral plan, have a look at the funeral plan comparison tool on UtilitySavingExpert.com, it lets you compare funeral plan options and look at the costs involved.
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