Gransnet forums


Funeral Plans

(69 Posts)
grannysue05 Sun 25-Jun-17 16:58:46

Well GN's, I would like your opinion on this.
I have recently had lots of junk mail and most of it refers to Funeral Plans.
The general inference is that if you don't take out a plan now at a reasonable cost, then when the time comes, it would be utterly unaffordable!
Does anyone have any experience of these plans?

bikergran Sun 25-Jun-17 17:15:02

Not as yet granny but after having to pay for dh funeral 3 yrs ago..I do keep thinking about it! the cost is rising so rapidly.

mcem Sun 25-Jun-17 18:13:36

Seriously considering it so that my family will have less to organise at the time.

Cost is significant too. If much of my
(modest) estate has to be spent on care then this amount won't have to be deducted from what's left.

When mum died we were able to meet immediate costs and were reimbursed after probate.
I want my family to be clear of bills right away.

Also, they'd probably spend more than I will as I want simple and uncomplicated.

Nanabilly Sun 25-Jun-17 18:16:13

We have just lost mil in January and she had a funeral plan that she set up and paid for in 2003 ,paying £1700 .When we were with the funeral directors we asked her how much it would cost nowadays for what she had paid for and we were told £2000 as people getting buried within their own council areas get discount prices . The burial plot was already paid for as it had remains of 4 others in there.
After the funeral we got a letter from the funeral directors saying they had relooked at the funeral plan and unfortunately we owed them £400+. .I can't remember the exact amount .So we went to pay them a visit and asked why as we had no extras apart from newspaper wording and we paid for that at first visit. We were told that the chapel for the service had not been paid for , so we argued that was the fault of the person setting up the plan in 2003 for not including it surely. It turned out that when the plan was set up the chapel was free and now there is a fee so they wanted the fee from us now . I was rather cross but felt really awkward ranting about such a thing and then remembered the sort of person my mil was and she would not have let this happen to her without a fight so I "fought" for her . In the end we did not have to pay it, they let us off as a goodwill gesture. !!!
If we had paid it then not a penny would have been saved on the cost of the funeral but the company had had her money for 14 years gaining interest .I know interest is not a lot to shout about nowadays but if they have the money of hundreds of thousands of people then they get a good amount from it .
I am now of the mindset that no, funeral plans are not worth having I would much rather put the cash away in a separate account or cash in the safe with someone knowing about it so it's handy when needed.
I'm sure others may have differing opinions though

Ana Sun 25-Jun-17 18:23:31

£2,000 is extremely cheap compared to the prices we pay here! Both my in-aws' funerals cost around £4,000 and my DH's three years ago was more like £5,000 (mind you, that included all the flowers and probably all sorts of extras that I was too befuddled to notice at the time...)

petra Sun 25-Jun-17 19:12:50

Won't be having one, my body is going to medical science. In my will I've asked the family to have a party in the restaurant at the end of Southend pier grin

HildaW Sun 25-Jun-17 19:16:44

Nothing to stop you opening a separate building society account and putting aside a little each month.
Locking yourself in to a plan could lead to poor value for money as you are already a 'captive' customer.

The leaflets and promotions are a bit naughty really - working on your emotions. Implying that you are somehow not a decent parent unless you 'spare' them the worry.

HildaW Sun 25-Jun-17 19:17:29

lol petra......I've asked to be thrown on the compost heap......not sure its legal though!

mcem Sun 25-Jun-17 19:20:12

Am currently looking at it and considered a joint account with my son so he'd have immediate access but that would still be an asset when it comes to care costs.
Paying a lump sum now means we don't have to think of it.

Nanabilly Sun 25-Jun-17 20:28:47

Yes i agree that £2000 is cheap compared to some areas but she just wanted simple car . A nice service and to be buried with both her husband's and father's of her 2 sons and she got exactly that.No printed pamphlets and all the other things that bump it up ..just like weddings, funerals can be extravagant or simple. Flowers were paid for by individuals so not included in the £2000.
We were told if we wanted to use the cemetery in the nearby council the price would double.
I don't think I would open an account to put money aside for mine but I would put cash aside so it could not be included in assets and be available when family need it

WilmaKnickersfit Sun 25-Jun-17 21:09:19

Just a word about leaving your body to medical science. I read just recently that apparently the body is still returned to the family afterwards, so some cost might still be incurred. Also, not every body is accepted. Now I don't know whether this is partly true or what, but it makes sense to check it out and not take things for granted.

I'm going to look at the Pure Cremation website posted by someone on here the other day on another thread. I'd not heard of direct cremation before and it might suit us.

Willow500 Mon 26-Jun-17 10:28:15

We prepaid both my parents funerals as they had an excess of cash and both had dementia and couldn't make the decisions. I can't remember how much it cost now but don't believe we had anything extra to pay. We did have to pay later on to have their ashes interred in my grandmother's grave up north but that was my decision as my mum had always said that's where she wanted to go.

My in-laws pre-paid their own and decided exactly what they wanted - including playing the Last Post at FiL's which was very emotional. It made it all much easier on the family when the time came. I guess it's something we probably need to get round to at some point - my music choice will not be approved lol.

Witzend Mon 26-Jun-17 11:30:53

A childless aunt of mine had prepaid hers with a local firm, not one of the big operators - and stipulated what she wanted - all very simple. We were very grateful that it spared us both hassle and wondering what she would have wanted.
I don't think the cost included printed service pamphlets, but we had some done anyway.

My mother hadn't made any arrangements for hers, and had had advanced dementia for ages before she died, so no hope of discussing it, but we knew roughly what she'd have wanted. However, we had to delay her funeral for over 3 weeks because less than a week after her death the entire family was going to be in France for a family wedding, and we were all making a holiday of it.
This was not a problem, but occurs to me that plans might not take any such necessary costs of 'storage' into account.
I did hate the thought of leaving my mother in cold storage all that time while we were all away, though. I know she wouldn't have minded in the least in the circs, but still...

daphnedill Tue 27-Jun-17 05:48:10

My Mum died yesterday and had a prepaid funeral plan. I'll let people know how it works out. I know she was comforted to know that my sisters and I would be spared the hassle.

One of my sisters had given the hospice all the details, which they had lost. They were very keen to send my Mum's body to the funeral director, but unfortunately I didn't know who it was, so they were going to send it to a funeral director of their choosing. Eventually, the plan was found and it was sorted.

vampirequeen Tue 27-Jun-17 09:43:33

Sorry for your loss daphnedill flowers

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 27-Jun-17 09:49:07

So sorry for your loss daphne flowers

Lona Tue 27-Jun-17 10:00:40

daphne flowers my condolences.
My parents both had funeral plans pre paid and it made the situation much less stressful. There were no additional costs. I've also prepaid for a plan with the same funeral directors. For a basic funeral with one car, I paid around £3600 last year.

grannysue05 Tue 27-Jun-17 10:08:34

daphnedill So very sorry to hear your sad news. Thank you for sharing your advice on funeral plans when your heart must be elsewhere.

Love to you and your

Juggernaut Tue 27-Jun-17 10:16:50


counterpoint Tue 27-Jun-17 10:19:17

Just FYI, a bank should release funds for funeral costs straight away, prior to probate. So, strictly speaking, no need for joint account or such like, just a need for a cash account with enough money in it! Although banks can be so clumsy these days you might not want to rely on them doing the correct thing.

devongirl Tue 27-Jun-17 10:19:27

daphne my thoughts and best wishes are with you

bikergran Tue 27-Jun-17 10:20:20

not sure if everyone knows this but...... when a person dies and you have not made plans or chose a funeral can choose any funeral director to come and take your beloved away..(but of course your not always thinking straight and you time is not always on your side) do not! have to use that funeral director for the funeral, you can ask for the person to be moved to another (you do have to pay for the removal)

My dh died at 11-45 pm..I had 2 weeks prior been to 2 funeral homes looking at cost etc (no funeral plan in place) he died before I could make arrangements with any of them, so on the night he died I rang one of these up as I had no plans in place. The day after when going to cost the funeral etc I just couldn't afford what they were asking.The funeral lady kindly pointed me in another direction and mt dh was moved to the funeral director of my choice (at a cost of £129)the next day.

Of course you have to act pretty fast before they start sorting paperwork etc out...for me it was worth the £129 for mt dh to be moved as the independent funeral director was just lovely and took over.

My dh would have gone mad ! £129 for a night in hotel and no breakfast!! I know he would have joked about it.

Sundancer123 Tue 27-Jun-17 10:38:28

Sorry to hear of your sad news, Daphnedill.
I lost my dh 5 years ago and 2 years prior to this, we had both bought a basic plan, never thinking it would be needed so soon.

Personally, I found it such a help, as all I had to do, was taken the paperwork to the fd.
I don't remember having to pay any extra and whilst it was dreadful watching my husband losing his fight, we did have time to discuss what he wanted at his funeral, so this was added to the plan and his instructions were carried out without any problems. I hope my experience might help. ?

Nohogran Tue 27-Jun-17 10:41:44

My father donated his body to medical science. After about 18 months his body was no longer needed and we were asked what we would like to do. The cremation was paid for by the university hospital. If you do decide on donation make sure you organise this well in advance and keep all the paperwork. They even asked to see the letter my father had written to me saying what he wanted 15 years before his death.

coast35 Tue 27-Jun-17 10:42:54

My husband and I have looked at funeral plans and in the end took out life insurance policies made payeable to each other or our daughter. This should give immediate access to more than twice the cost of the average funeral here in Scotland so I'm hopeful they can have a nice holiday on us as well. My son unexpectedly died suddenly in November so we know exactly what it costs at the moment but we took out the insurance for double the amount to account for constantly increasing prices.