We as individuals are just that, highly individual. We each have specific wants and needs that are expressed and actualised throughout our daily lives. These unique preferences and desires remain with us until we die, meaning that in preparation for when we do so, we should be able to pick a funeral plan that is just as suited to our personal wishes as any of our other daily choices.
With such a broad scope of preferences concerning funerals comes also a huge potential for variety with funeral plans. The vast array of options might feel overwhelming and amidst the multitude of choices, there is room to make errors when selecting your own.
In this blog we highlight some of the key things to look out for when selecting a funeral plan: from unobvious omissions in the fine print to paying heed to geography and speaking to your loved ones first, here are our top tips for browsing and buying a funeral plan.
1. Get your finances in order
As when paying for any service, first and foremost you should consider the finances involved with buying a Funeral Plan. Primarily, does the plan fulfil your specific requirements and at a budget that you can afford?
All funeral plans should provide a precise breakdown of what they include and it will be worth taking the time to establish exactly which services are vital to your requirements. Your preferred funeral plan might need to include such things as a coffin, the transportation of the deceased and the actual disposition of the body – to name but a few.
Allow yourself the time to find a plan that includes your essential requirements and at a cost suited to your budget.
2. Always read the small print
Whilst most funeral plans coin themselves as ‘all-inclusive’ you will want to familiarise yourself with the exact breakdown of services included in the cost. This means you can be confident that you will receive all of your expected services at the time of your passing.
‘Disbursements’ is a key term to watch out for, as this often refers to third-party costs that are not included in the price of the funeral plan. These additional fees tend not to be the responsibility of the funeral provider and might include payments owed for such things as: doctor’s fees, celebrant or minister’s fees and burial or cemetery fees.
It’s always best to check the fine print before buying a funeral plan, as these disbursements might not be immediately apparent and could leave your remaining loved ones with unexpected costs.
In addition to checking which third-party costs might not be included in the price of the funeral plan, it is worth considering what additional fees you might have to pay for any changes that occur further down the line.
For example, if you decide you would like to cancel your chosen funeral plan or make alterations, will you have to pay further cancellation or administration fees? If you die unexpectedly away from home, will the transportation costs be covered with sufficient insurance?
Additional cancellation or administration fees will vary between funeral providers and may not be insubstantial, so it is worth reading the relevant paperwork thoroughly and carefully before committing to a specific funeral plan.
Once you have found a funeral plan that you are happy covers your requirements and is within budget (disbursements, administration and potential cancellation fees included), it is then worth considering how the plan allows you to make your payment.
It might be preferential for you to purchase your plan in a one-off payment or to alternatively pay in instalments. Once again, check the fine print for each of these options so that you are not short changed if you decide you wish to cancel your plan.
3. Find a trustworthy funeral provider
Of equal importance to your budgeted funeral plan providing sufficient services, is finding a funeral provider that you feel comfortable with. You want to find a funeral provider that you trust to work transparently and efficiently over the years, both with you and your loved ones after you pass away.
A key thing to therefore look for is if a funeral provider is FPA registered.
FPA stands for Funeral Planning Authority and if a funeral provider is FPA registered, it means that they have agreed to adhere to a strict set of guidelines determined by the FPA. These guidelines aim to ensure that the funeral plan is fair and sold with the high standards that they are advertised at.
Ahead of buying a funeral plan, you might also like to enquire how your funds are invested and monitored as well as what safeguards are in place should your chosen funeral provider go out of business.
Taking the time to do due diligence on your chosen funeral provider ahead of committing to them will be sure to eradicate potential stress or uncertainty further down the line.
Do you trust your chosen funeral provider to show respect and care for your loved ones after your passing? Will they be available to offer guidance and assistance beyond just the moment of death?
Trust and communication are essential when choosing which funeral plan to purchase, both with your funeral provider and with your family.
So finally, make sure you communicate with your loved ones in advance. Talk to them about the services you hope to receive and about the payments you are planning to make. Make sure they know what has already been arranged so that there are no doubling up of expenses at the time of your passing, and no unpleasant financial surprises.
If you would like to learn more about Neo Cremations’ Funeral Plan and the advice and guidance we can offer when making these important choices, please get in touch with our support team, and we will do our best to guide you.