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Funeral Costs FAQs

Deciding upon a funeral plan and selecting the best provider for you can at first appear confusing. To follow are a number of questions we are often asked by people considering purchasing a funeral plan:

 

What is a Pre-paid funeral plan

Increasingly, prepaid funeral plans are being seen as a part of end-of-life planning, alongside making a Will.

A plan may be taken for yourself or for a relative. It is also possible to take one plan to cover the first person to die in a relationship.

People choose to take a prepaid funeral plan for some of the following reasons:-

  • To ensure the details for the funeral are in place

  • To ensure adequate funds are in place to cover the cost

  • In the current economic climate with low interest rates and higher inflation, funeral plans are seen as a strong investment (see our blog page on this matter)

  • To reduce the value of savings while alive to enable qualification for state benefits

  • Simply to 'get one's house in order'

We offer Perfect Choice Funeral Plans, which are sponsored by the National Association of Funeral Directors and underwritten by Ecclesiastical Life. This ensures all funds are properly and legally protected and that a Code of Practice is maintained. You may like to visit Perfect Choice Funerals or NAFD for more details in respect of these institutions.

A prepaid funeral plan is very easy to arrange: Once you have decided on the details of the funeral you may select a specific plan (package of services you require) or a bespoke plan, designed to your specification.

Either way, the cost of the funeral is calculated at today’s rates. Our charges as funeral directors are guaranteed as fully paid, whenever the funeral is required. The third party disbursements are also covered by the plan but are subject to RPI inflation over the period. By their nature, third party disbursements are beyond our control and therefore if they should increase by more than RPI inflation, an additional charge may need to be made at the time of death.

When you invest in a pre-paid funeral plan, Perfect Choice pays the full amount of the plan into a Whole of Life Assurance Policy, which is safer than a Trust Fund as the money cannot be touched until the time of death. The operating costs are covered by a one-off administration fee, charged when the plan is taken out and clearly shown on the paperwork. Clients may cancel the plan at any time for a full plan refund (excluding the administration fee) or they may move their plan to another funeral company should the home address change.

Prepaid funeral plans can be arranged at any of our funeral homes, by telephone, by e-mail, or you may like us to call to your home to discuss.

 

Why Buy a Plan

Funeral costs continue to rise. The average cost of a funeral rose by more than 45% between 2005 and 2010 and further increases are predicted over the coming years*.

*Source: Mintel Research 2010

A Perfect Choice Funeral Plan guarantees that the funeral director’s costs listed in the purchase agreement will be covered, no matter how much prices rise. Your family won’t be asked to pay a penny more for your funeral director’s costs regardless of how long you live or what happens to costs in the meantime.

Tapper Funeral Service’s plan also includes a contribution towards third party costs (known as disbursements) which are the costs outside of the funeral director’s control. These include crematorium costs, doctor’s fees and minister’s or church fees.

A Perfect Choice Funeral Plan gives exceptional financial security for your money. Unlike some plans, every penny of the full value of a Perfect Choice plan (excluding the initial management fee) is held securely in a whole of life assurance policy and ring fenced to pay for your funeral when the time comes. The funds cannot be used for anything other than your funeral.

The money is immediately available to your funeral director and the plan is guaranteed to match changes in the Retail Price Index for extra peace of mind.

A key feature of Perfect Choice is that Tapper Funeral Service could pay out on all of our plans at any given point in time, giving you complete security and peace of mind.

Whatever your hopes for your funeral, a Perfect Choice Funeral Plan lets you do the following:

  • Pre-arrange all the details of your funeral and remove the worry for loved ones

  • Fix the funeral director’s costs at today’s prices

  • Select your funeral director and make your wishes known in advance

  • Choose from a range of set funeral plans with flexible payment options, or personalise your plans to your specific requirements and budget

What’s more, Perfect Choice Funeral Plans are only available from accredited members of the National Association of Funeral Directors, which ensures that any requirements and wishes will be handled sensitively and professionally.

 

What happens to my money?

Perfect Choice Funeral Plan gives exceptional financial security for your money. Every penny of the full value of a Perfect Choice plan (excluding the initial management fee) is held securely in a whole of life assurance policy and ring fenced to pay for your funeral. The whole of life policy is provided by Ecclesiastical Life Limited on behalf of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD).

Ecclesiastical is a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Although funeral plans themselves are not regulated by the Financial Services Authority, they are regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority.

Anyone aged 18 or over can take out a Perfect Choice Funeral Plan. There is no upper age limit and no medical or health questions to answer.

 

What happens if my chosen funeral director goes out of business?

With Perfect Choice your funeral plan can be transferred to a different funeral director who is a member of the NAFD.

 

What happens if I move to a different part of the country?

The funeral plan can be transferred to an accredited funeral director near your new home. However, there may be additional costs depending on local prices.

 

Can I buy a funeral plan for someone else?

Yes – many of Tapper Funeral Service’s clients do this.

 

Can I pay for my Perfect Choice Funeral Plan by instalments?

Yes – plans can be paid for over 12, 24, 36, 48 or 60 months.

 

Can my arrangements be changed or cancelled?

Yes – all you need to do is contact us about any changes you wish to make. There may be an additional cost if new features and services are added to the plan. If you choose to cancel the plan up to 14 days from the date of purchase you will receive a full refund. If a plan is cancelled after 14 days, a refund of the original amount paid, excluding the management fee, will be received.

If you pay for the plan by monthly instalments and your circumstances change, meaning you cannot afford the payments, the plan can be cancelled and a refund of the money paid to date will be received, excluding the management fee. Or the money paid so far into the plan can be left as a contribution to your funeral when the time comes.

If the plan is needed before you have completed the instalments, the payments made will be used as a contribution to the funeral and your wishes will be clearly documented, giving your family peace of mind.

 

Is the plan guaranteed to cover the entire cost of the funeral?

The plan is guaranteed to cover the funeral director’s costs specified in the purchase agreement. Any money paid towards the cost of payments to third parties such as crematorium, clergy and doctor’s fees, will rise in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI). If third party costs increase at a rate in excess of RPI, then your next of kin/executor will be required to pay any shortfall. This is because third party costs are outside of our control.

 

What happens if I die abroad?

The Perfect Choice Funeral Plan does not cover the cost of a funeral abroad, or the cost of repatriating the deceased. It is therefore important that your travel insurance policy covers this situation.