Funeral plans can play an important role to play in terms of helping people to plan for and off-set the cost of their funeral, removing some of the uncertainty and distress for families by ensuring they know that they are arranging the funeral that their loved one would have wanted. Given the sensitive nature of the purchase being made and the fact that it is something people may only do once in their lifetime, ensuring funeral plans are sold appropriately is of particular importance.

The ITV Tonight programme showed in its broadcast tonight (11 October 2018) how important it is to ask detailed questions of the plan provider to make sure the plan covers everything you need it to and you are aware of any charges or fees that the plan provider will retain before passing your funds to your chosen funeral director.

If you are thinking of taking out a funeral plan, the NAFD recommends that you follow these five simple steps.

Talk to those closest to you. Talk about what kind of funeral you would like for yourself. This will ease their uncertainty when the time comes. Explain that you are considering taking out a funeral plan as it will be important for them to know this information, and tell them where they will be able to find the plan, when the time comes.

Talk to a funeral director. Funeral directors are happy to provide no-commitment advice to help anyone who would like to talk about what kind of funeral they might want and what it could cost. NAFD members will provide you with a transparent price list to take away to help your research. You can even choose to specify a particular funeral director, when taking out your plan, if you find one you feel comfortable with.

Research funeral plan providers. As with any financial purchase, do your research to reassure yourself that you are choosing a provider that’s right for you.

Be Inquisitive. Ask questions of the funeral plan provider. Questions should include:

  • where your funds will be invested
  • are there management charges or other deductions by the plan seller?
  • whether the plan provider will inform your chosen funeral director that they have been nominated?
  • whether the product is guaranteed to cover the full cost of the funeral at the time of need or is there a chance there may be a shortfall?
  • whether you can change your plan without incurring charges for doing so

Take your time. Do not feel under any pressure to make a decision, until you are satisfied with the answers to your questions and that you have all the information you need to make a decision. Once you’ve chosen a plan, don’t forget to leave the details with your Will, or tell someone close to you where to find it.