Ian Nicholson from Beaulieu Wills and Estate Planning writes for Phoenix FM:
So, now that our nuclear family have sat around the dinner table and have cleared up things like inevitably dying, making a Will, and finally putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney, one of the kids pipes up with the question all of them had been thinking.
“I hate to ask, Mum and Dad. But when you pass away, how on earth do we arrange your Funeral, and how much is it all going to cost?”
Now that is a question that most people think about, but very rarely ask, and for a variety of reasons. The main one being that, as with all with this stuff, people just don’t want to think about it let alone discuss it. They will stick their head in the sand with an “Oh, we’ll deal with it when it happens!”.
Some people even think that the State pays for all Funerals. The fact is they do provide what are lovingly known as “Paupers” Funerals, but this is only in cases where there really isn’t any money available at all for the departed!
The fact is, Funerals can be incredibly stressful to arrange, and somewhat expensive too.
The brilliantly if not macabrely named “Cost of Dying Report” which is produced annually by Sun Life, details how Funerals have increased in cost over the rolling years, and what they are likely to increase to in the future.
For example, it shows that in 2019 the average Funeral cost across the United Kingdom was £4,417.00, and that does not include the addition of flowers, or the wake etc. In London it was even higher, at a staggering £5,963.00. Bear in mind please that back in 2004 the average cost was just £1,920.00 – So you can see what might happen in the years ahead.
Now you can wait until the fateful day to do something pro-active, or you can be decisive, take a deep breath and sort something out now! The simplest, and most cost-effective way is to take out what is called a Pre-Paid Funeral Plan.
Now there are a number on the market, but they all do basically the same thing. You take one out now and pay for it (either upfront or in installments), and in it you can detail exactly what you want, where you want it to happen, and what sort of Cremation, Burial, Commiseration or Celebration you want.
The plan covers most of the costs involved, including the actual Service, Crematorium, Hearse, Coffin, Limousines, and Collection of the body (I know it sounds awful, but it does have to be done). Though it is still legal to transport a body in a private vehicle, its probably best to leave it to the experts! A local Funeral Director will be appointed, and they will be fully aware of your wishes, and so that your loved ones do not have this task at the worst of times.
And finally, something positive about this – Once you have the plan, it does not matter how many years in the future you die, pass, or expire, your family will not have to pay any more money for much of the Funeral (depending on your requests).
In addition to this relief in the darkest times, everyone will also know exactly what you wanted, so that there will be precious little for them to do, and they can concentrate on celebrating your life.
There is yet more positivity to this macabre article! You can take out a Funeral Plan for a lower cost than the UK average, and you will not be surprised to hear that I can do it all for you. I can examine what you want, explain in detail how the various plans work, and confirm the most suitable way for you to pay for it.
And if our family at the dinner table get in touch, that is exactly what I will do. This way they can happily forget about it and push it to the furthest corners of their minds until the time inevitably comes.
That’s it for this month one and all. As always if you’d like more information on what I’ve laid before you today, or in any of my previous blogs, please do feel free to contact me on 01277 562567, email me at email@example.com or visit my website www.bwep.uk.
Don’t Wait, Protect Your Estate!