One’s own funeral would hardly rank among the most appealing topic of conversation for the vast majority of us. Fewer still discuss funeral arrangements with our families, purely because it is such a difficult thing to do for most people. Despite this reluctance, it is surely vital that we plan for the inevitable and so spare our loved ones the financial and emotional stress of arranging a funeral. Here are just a few of the benefits to be reaped:
- Funeral costs are, unfortunately, increasing rapidly year on year. In 2009 the average cost of a funeral was £2,733, compared with £1,375 in 2000. This means that, if costs continue to rise at the current rate, the average funeral cost will be £5,540 by 2019. A funeral plan allows you to offset this worrying trend by fixing the cost at today’s prices, leaving you safe in the knowledge that, when the time comes, your family will not be confronted with any unexpected bills.
- Providing the money is held in an independent trust, you can be assured that the company selling the plan is not able to access your funds, even if they run into financial difficulty.
- Taking out a funeral plan can, in some cases, reduce your Inheritance Tax (IHT) liability. A funeral plan is deducted from the value of your estate and as such is not subject to IHT and excluded from calculations if you go into care.
- Not all benefits are financial. Losing a loved one is distressing enough without the burden of finding a funeral director and arranging a service. With a funeral plan, this is all done in advance, easing the pressure on your family at an already intensely difficult time. You are also able to specify the type of funeral you want (burial, cremation, etc.) and include any special wishes such as readings or music you’d like.