Couple sat in their kitchen discussing funeral plans.

What is a joint funeral plan?

A joint funeral plan is a type of pre-paid funeral plan that is held in two names rather than one.

Often used by couples, joint funeral plans ensure that pre-paid funds are in place to cover funeral costs in the case that one partner passes away before the other, or if the couple simply need support with at least one funeral.

While it is common for the funds to be applied to the first of two funerals, the surviving partner may choose to reserve the funeral plan for their own service at a later date. It’s important to note that joint funeral plans only cover one funeral - should both individuals wish to be covered, they can set up individual plans with a funeral director or begin a new plan after the joint cover has been applied.

We don’t currently offer joint funeral plans at the Co-op, but they are available from other providers and so we’ve created this guide to explain how they work as well as showing their benefits and drawbacks.

Benefits of a joint funeral plan

The overarching benefit of a joint funeral plan is the financial protection and logistical support it provides the surviving partner. Joint funeral plans can provide couples with some peace of mind, knowing that funds and planning support is available if one of them dies unexpectedly or at a financially difficult time.

While it’s common for couples to use the funds on the first funeral, in some circumstances, the surviving partner may decide to reserve the funds for their own funeral. In this respect, funeral plans for couples have a degree of flexibility.

The drawbacks to a joint funeral plan

While joint funeral plans provide financial protection and flexibility for the surviving partner or family member within the plan, they can only ever cover a single funeral. Should both plan holders die within close succession (or at the same time), their respective families may need to negotiate where the cover is applied and find funds for the second funeral.

Should the surviving partner wish to pre-pay for their own funeral, they’ll have to set up a new funeral plan to avoid leaving their family with upfront funeral costs later down the line. If there’s a big gap between buying the joint plan and then another plan for the surviving partner, prices for funeral plans will most likely have increased. In this instance, it could be more practical to avoid joint plans and instead look into buying two separate, affordable plans.

There’s also less room for personalisation in a joint plan, as the couple will have to choose a plan that covers a specific range of services no matter which one of them it will be for. One person might want a very simple funeral with no limousines, whereas the other might want a more grand affair with multiple limousines, or a picture coffin and specialised hearse. With individual plans, you’re free to personalise your funeral as much as you want.

Joint plans vs over 50s life insurance

You may have read about over 50s life cover. This refers to insurance policies that pay out a fixed sum to your next of kin or family members when you die. While terms and conditions vary, over 50s policies generally guarantee a fixed payout after at least two years of payments.

Unlike pre-paid plans, over 50s insurance policies cannot protect against rising funeral costs and aren’t adjusted with inflation - even after payout, your family or partner may face higher funeral fees than the fixed sum can cover when you die. Insurance policies will also require your family to make a claim, meaning there may be a delay in receiving funds.

If you’re over 50 and seeking a plan with low monthly payments to cover an unexpected funeral, then a joint funeral plan may be for you.

However, if you’d like guaranteed cover for both individuals, separate plans will need to be taken out. To discuss your pre-paid funeral plan options, get in touch with your local Co-op funeral director or call our Funeral Planning team on 0800 088 4883.

Can you get a family funeral plan?

Some families may want to invest in a family funeral plan to ensure they’re covered in the case of an unexpected death. Depending on the provider, you may be able to appoint several names to a single pre-paid plan or invest in a family group plan (insurance cover).

Much like a joint funeral plan for couples, pre-paid family funeral plans protect against rising funeral costs and provide transparency around the total funeral cost upfront. However, the drawbacks are the same as only one funeral will be covered. The other family members will have to purchase their own plans in the future if they want their funerals to be pre-paid.

Family group plans will often cover a set amount of people in the same family such as grandparents, parents, and children. Similar to an over 50s policy or funeral insurance, family group plans will release a fixed sum once a claim is made, and there are often terms and conditions attached that may affect the payout. As mentioned earlier, the drawback of insurance policies are that they don’t protect against rising funeral costs and there can be a lengthy claims process before the funds are paid to the family.

Protect against unexpected funeral costs with a Co-op Funeral Plan

At Co-op, we offer a variety of individual funeral plans so you can choose the one that’s right for you. You can choose a plan that includes a contribution to defined third party costs, like cremation or burial fees, or you can choose a plan that guarantees to cover all third party fees, no matter how much they rise in the future. Find out more about the different plans we offer.

As funeral costs are likely to rise in the future, pre-paid funeral plans let you lock in the price of a funeral, giving you peace of mind that your loved ones won’t be left with any unexpected costs when you die. If you’d like to discuss our individual funeral plans, speak to your local Co-op funeral director or contact our Funeral Planning Team on 0800 088 4883.

Find the right funeral plan for you

Simple

£3,095

Our lowest cost plan that includes all the essentials for a funeral arrangement.

Pay in full or from £18.96* a month

Co-op members save £75

  • Includes a contribution of £950 to help cover defined third party costs
  • Available for burial and cremation

Bronze

£3,595

Our plan that covers cremation fees, no matter how much prices rise.

Pay in full or from £22.17* per month

Co-op members save £125

  • Includes a contribution of £1,100 to help cover defined third party costs (cremation fees are guaranteed)
  • Available for burial and cremation

Silver

£3,995

Our most popular plan that gives your loved ones flexibility with the funeral arrangements.

Pay in full or from £24.65* per month

Co-op members save £125

  • Fully guaranteed to cover defined third party costs
  • Available for burial and cremation

Gold

£4,295

Our premium plan with 5-star ratings from Fairer Finance and Defaqto 4 years running.

Pay in full or from £26.55* per month

Co-op members save £125

  • Fully guaranteed to cover defined third party costs
  • Available for burial and cremation

*Price of £18.96 per month is based on a 50-year-old purchasing a Simple Funeral Plan at £3,095 over 25 years (total amount repayable £5789.32), monthly payments for other plans will be different. You can choose to spread the cost of paying for your plan over 2-25 years. A minimum of £99 deposit is required to be paid when buying a plan on monthly instalments, this will be taken off the plan price. A charge is included in the plan cost if you choose to pay over 2-25 years. A maximum age limit applies to the Plan Purchaser. This option is available to anyone as long as the plan is paid for in full before the Plan Purchaser's 80th birthday.