Neo Cremations firmly believes that people should talk more openly about dying, death, and bereavement. We especially believe that people should start making plans for the end of life. We have put a lot of time and effort into creating our Neo Cremations Funeral Plan to be straightforward and affordable. Just like our direct cremation service, our Neo Cremations Funeral Plan is also environmentally friendly. In this blog, we try to strip back confusion regarding death, its associated costs, and the specifics on our Neo Cremations Funeral Plan.
What is the cost of dying?
Whilst the ‘cost of dying’ seems to be both rather a morbid phrase and a curious concept, the term simply refers to the total costs associated with a death. Conversations concerning this, and many other topics relating to death, are often neglected for fear of causing discomfort.
The ‘cost of dying’ might include the funeral fees (such as catering, venue hire and transport), the send off and disposition of the body (be it traditional burial, direct cremation or green burial), and the relevant professional fees, such as the funeral director’s fees, doctors’ fees, cremation or burial fees and clergy or officiate fees. As might be expected, these collective fees tend not to be insubstantial.
How has this changed over recent years?
According to their Cost of Dying Report (2020), SunLife notes that the average cost of a funeral alone in the UK is £4,417.
Through two essential research methods, SunLife’s report intends to determine the cost of dying and to raise awareness for the changes and increases to these costs.
Their Cost of Dying Report demonstrates that the cost of dying has increased dramatically year on year, where there has been a 3.1% increase alone since 2018 and a monumental 42% increase since when they first began tracking the costs in 2007.
Currently, the total cost of dying has been calculated at an average of £9,493.
What does this mean for those paying?
With the cost of dying increasing at such a rate, many are finding it hard to ensure they will be able to settle these costs at the time of their death. This difficulty is already apparent with the current cost of funerals. As the funeral costs rise, and well above the normal rate of inflation or working wage, so too will the difficulty of covering these costs.
In the event of a shortfall of payment, it will fall to the deceased’s family or friends to settle the remainder of the funeral costs or for the remainder to be taken from the deceased’s estate. This is an unwelcome option for most, as all would generally avoid adding financial stress to our remaining loved ones during what is already an upsetting and unsettling time.
How can these large costs be minimised?
When preparing for a death and its associated services and costs, one can consider numerous options. As with all services, there are tiers to these costs and the chance to select more economical options.
In SunLife’s ‘Cost of Dying’ 2020 report it is noted that the cost of a funeral tends to make up nearly half of the cost of dying (47%). As the average funeral cost in the UK sits at around £4,417, this is unsurprising.
A direct cremation is a comparably affordable alternative to the traditional funeral.
What does a direct cremation with Neo Cremations entail?
At Neo Cremations, our direct cremations include the collection of the deceased in a private ambulance, the unattended cremation of the deceased and the return of their ashes in a bio-urn for the fixed, all-inclusive fee of £1,295. Please visit our frequently asked questions here for additional information.
With sustainability at the root of our ethos, we partner with sustainable and eco-friendly suppliers and partners to ensure each of our cremations has a minimum 200% carbon offset.
We do not compromise on quality of care with our direct cremations. Instead, at Neo Cremations we recognise that you do not need to organise numerous ceremonial extras to receive a dignified and meaningful send off.
In addition to our direct cremations costing a fraction of the cost of a conventional funeral, they also offer mourners considerable flexibility regarding any additional send offs or ceremonies. The service does not need to take place at the same time or place as the cremation, allowing mourners to arrange it as and when they feel ready.
What is a funeral plan?
A funeral plan is essentially peace of mind that when you die, your funeral costs are guaranteed to be covered. Our Neo Cremations Funeral Plans are a way to pay for the most basic parts of a funeral in advance so that you and your family are reassured that all the main costs are covered.
By purchasing a Neo Funeral Plan, you purchase the funeral at its current price. This protects against an increase in costs or fees and ensures you pay an amount that has been determined and agreed, as opposed to contributing indefinite amounts into a pot as the cost of funerals increase along with your conclusive, owed sum.
You will contribute the agreed amount to the funeral plan and this money will then be invested until you die. At the point of your death, the sum your investment has collated will be released to help pay for your dying costs, be they the cremation or burial fees, or funeral director and doctors’ fees.
How does this differ from life or funeral insurance?
Many people will be used to insuring their home, car, or other valuables, and life insurance is fairly similar, with just a few key differences. You pay a premium, usually a monthly figure, that goes towards a lump sum that is paid out upon death. This lump sum varies depending on which insurance plan you opt for and isn’t necessarily just for funeral costs.
It is important to note that life/funeral insurance can be used for pretty much any costs, such as settling bills or even debts, but is primarily designed to pay for the funeral. Unless stated, the death doesn’t need to be unexpected or accidental and the figure will be paid out regardless of what happens.
Simply put, funeral plans ensure that the basic costs of a funeral are absolutely covered. The financial advantages of having a funeral plan mean that there is no need to worry about paying for the most basic parts for a direct cremation. This means that your family has more money available to spend on the personal touches that matter so much.
In addition, the second guarantee is that, when the time comes, even if funeral directors’ costs have risen with inflation, those same costs can still be met. What’s more, by paying in advance using a funeral plan, your wishes are easier to understand and to share among your family.
What does our Neo Funeral Plan entail?
At Neo Cremations, you can purchase our direct cremation funeral plan for a transparent, fixed rate of £1,595. Our funeral plan includes the following:
Admin support: we liaise directly with bereavement services and the crematorium to get all the necessary forms pre-filled for you;
Collection: we take your loved one into our care with a private ambulance from anywhere in England;
Care: we will care for the deceased and prepare for the cremation;
Coffin: provision of a solid pine wood eco coffin sourced from FSC-certified forests with a nameplate;
Transport: to the crematorium in a private ambulance;
Cremation: Unattended direct cremation in a state of the art crematorium;
Urn: 100 % biodegradable urn;
Certificate of Reforestation: a remembrance tree will be planted in the Scottish Highlands in memory of your loved one;
Carbon Offsetting: all carbon emitted is offset by 200 % with our charity partners;
Scheduling: schedule a time at your convenience for the return of the urn if requested;
Ashes return: delivery of the ashes within 21 days to a designated person, anywhere in the UK or scattered in the crematorium’s garden of remembrance;
What is not included?
Doctor’s fee (not included)
The outline above shows that our Neo Cremations Funeral Plan is not only the greenest in the industry, but also one of the most economical options.
Can you pay in instalments?
Absolutely. You can pay in monthly instalments
What happens to my money?
Your money goes into trust. This trust is managed by Sterling Trust Corporation Limited, an independent trustee who works with investment fund managers TJM Partnership and Interactive Advisers, who offer bespoke trading and investment management services to high net worth clients, companies and intermediaries and whose service is facilitated by a strategic partnership with Jarvis Investment Management and Britannia Global Markets Limited to make sure your money is well looked after and kept safe.
Do you get to choose the funeral director?
None of us can predict the future. It’s technically impossible to guarantee that a Funeral Director trading today will be available perhaps many years in the future. However, we’ll do what we can. In the case of our Neo Cremations Funeral Plan, it is Neo Cremations that will carry out the direct cremation.
Can I cancel the plan?
Yes. There is no fee for cancelling within 30 days of taking the plan out, but we do charge an administration fee after that time. That administration charge is £295 after 30 days.
**We don’t give refunds for plans that are cancelled after your death. All refunds are given at our sole discretion.
Can I transfer my plan to someone else?
Yes. Contact us, tell us what you’d like to do, and we’ll take it from there.
What is the relationship between Neo Cremations and Safe Hands?
Safe Hands is the provider of the funeral plan on behalf of Neo Cremations. That means that whilst Neo Cremations will perform your direct cremation, Safe Hands will administer the funeral plan, i.e. make sure the money is secured in a trust, oversee the investment managers that will invest the money in the trust, and guarantee that the auditing and actuarial valuation of the trust is done properly. Safe Hands is one of the UK’s leading providers of funeral plans, serving families since 2012. Safe Hands is registered with the Funeral Planning Authority, giving you peace of mind that your money is secure and safe.
If you are interested in purchasing a Neo Cremations Funeral Plan, you can do so by clicking this link here and filling out the purchasing form. If you would rather speak to a Care Team member, please give us a call at our 24/7 line: 0808 196 2140.