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What does Brexit mean for Your Funeral Plan?

When did the UK leave the EU?

On the 31st January 2020 the UK left the EU with a withdrawal agreement. The agreement included things such as an agreed transition period, a financial settlement between the UK and the EU and suggestions on how to mitigate the need for checks along the Irish border. As things stand, the deadline for extending the current transition period has passed and so the period is due to conclude on 31 December 2020.


What happens during the transition period?

The transition period intends to allow the UK and EU time to negotiate the terms of their new relationship. This phase began immediately after Brexit day and has included negotiations concerning such things as trade deals, security, and rules in specific areas like fishing access. Whilst the transition period is ongoing, the UK and EU can trade freely, as they did before Brexit, and the UK still contributes to the EU budget. 


How might the funeral industry be affected by Brexit?

As for many sectors, there is likely to be an adjustment period following the consolidation of the UK’s withdrawal terms. Many industries will have to adapt to different regulations and evolve to meet new processes. For the funeral industry, the most likely alteration may be a delay to the processing time between the date of a death abroad and the date of repatriation. For a number of reasons, which might include heightened strain on healthcare workers, the requirement of additional documentation and paperwork and even a potential increase in flight costs due to growing fuel charges, the processing and booking of repatriation might be completed with an increased delay. As Neo cremations do not currently handle repatriations, your funeral plans with us will not be affected by this potential result of Brexit.


Why do funeral plans make sense with Brexit?

If there is one thing the immediate aftermath of Brexit day left Britain’s feeling, it was uncertainty. The lack of clarity and definitive terms has left many unsure about not only their future but also their finances. In order to combat the economic confusion, many individuals have decided to spend more sooner so as to avoid incurring future payments at a potentially elevated cost. In the funeral industry, one means of achieving this security is by purchasing a funeral plan. By purchasing a funeral plan, you purchase a funeral at its current cost, guaranteeing that your basic requirements have already been paid for by the time of your death. 


What is included in the Neo Cremations funeral plan?

As a brief recap, our Neo Cremations Funeral Plan includes the collection of the deceased in a private ambulance, the unattended direct cremation of the deceased and the return of their ashes in a bio-urn at a specified, chosen time. In addition to this process, our funeral plan also includes administrative support with the bereavement services and crematoriums, a solid pine wood eco coffin, a certificate of restoration where a remembrance tree is planted in the Scottish highlands in memory of your loved one and carbon offsetting. The cost of our funeral plan is set at a fixed, transparent rate of £1,595. Please refer to our funeral plan FAQs for further information. 


Why has Brexit made direct cremations preferable?

In light of the funeral industry most likely being affected by Brexit where repatriation is concerned, your Neo Cremations Funeral Plan will not be affected as we do not currently cover repatriation. As our Neo Cremations Funeral Plan does however include the direct cremation of the deceased, many might prefer to secure this service now due to its affordability and simplicity at a time when laws are changing and uncertainty is growing. By purchasing a Neo Cremations Funeral Plan now, you ensure you have paid for and locked in these necessary services before any potential changes can occur or rates increase. This seems to be an increasingly popular stance amongst funeral planners and the funeral industry is noting a growing trend in the popularity of direct cremations. 


How might Brexit affect the price of direct cremations?

Whilst some funeral providers offered a reduced cost of service in the immediate aftermath of Brexit day, the average cost of funerals is still on the rise: According to their Cost of Dying Report (2020), SunLife notes that the average cost of a funeral alone in the UK is £4,417 and the total cost of dying has been estimated at an average of £9,493. This has increased by an incredible 42% since 2007 alone. Even though direct cremations are considerably more affordable than funerals, their cost is also increasing in line with their growing popularity. Now, more than ever, it is wise to purchase a funeral plan so that you secure a dignified and respectful end-of-life-service at a price that will remain safe from any potentially turbulent changes caused as a result of Brexit.

Lara Webster

Lead Content Writer

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