Are funeral plans a good idea?

Funeral plans image, man browses Co-op funeral plans online

If you've seen adverts about planning ahead and protecting your family from rising funeral costs, you might have been left wondering whether buying a funeral plan is a good idea.

We’ve answered some questions you may have to help make the right decision for you.

How do funeral plans work?

A pre-paid funeral plan allows you to plan and pay for your funeral in advance. Many providers have a range of different plans to suit you, as well as different payment options.

Once you’ve bought your funeral plan, you’ll receive documents with the details of all the services included your plan. It’s a good idea to tell your family members about your funeral plan and where your documents are, as this will make it easier for them to start the funeral arrangements.

When the time comes, your family can then go to your chosen funeral director to redeem your pre-paid funeral plan, who will carry out your chosen funeral, with nothing more for your family to worry about.

Is a funeral plan worth it?

Although it may seem like a big upfront cost, many people find comfort in knowing that their funeral has been taken care of. With funeral costs increasing each year, buying a funeral plan at today’s prices will protect your family from future price rises.

Many funeral plan providers offer flexible payment options, allowing you to spread the cost of your funeral plan over months, or even years. This can make having a funeral plan a more affordable option.

Not only are you paying for your funeral at today’s prices, most funeral plan providers will also allow you to record your funeral wishes: this can include a favourite poem you’d like read, or a charity you’d like donations to be given to. As you’ve made these decisions as part of your plan, this makes the funeral planning process easier and less stressful for your loved ones when you die.

Is a funeral plan right for me?

If you want your funeral to be paid for and arranged in advance at today’s prices, with nothing more for your family to pay when you die, a funeral plan would be the right choice for you.

Funeral plans have different levels of cover; some guarantee to cover all costs including those paid to third parties (like church fees and cremation fees) and some just provide a contribution towards these. Some providers don’t cover third party costs at all, so it’s best to look around to find the funeral plan that would suit your budget and wishes best.

Some people choose to buy over 50s life cover to help cover funeral costs. Over 50s life insurance provides a cash sum to your family when you die, however, this doesn’t guarantee to cover all the costs for the funeral. A funeral plan is the only way to do this.

How would I find the funeral plan that suits me best?

If you know what type of funeral you’d like, this is a good place to start when finding your ideal funeral plan. You should choose a plan that would work best for you and fit your funeral wishes. For example, if you have a large family, you may want to choose a funeral plan with two limousines.

There are a wide range of funeral plans, from lower-cost funeral plans that cover the essentials needed for a funeral, to completely bespoke funeral plans that can be as extravagant as you’d like.

Which funeral plan is best for couples?

There’s no specific funeral plan that is better for a couple, but some providers do offer joint plans. This is where both people are named on the plan, but it only covers the funeral of the person who dies first. If you’d prefer for both of your funerals to be covered, you need to take out two individual plans.

Won’t my funeral be paid for through my estate?

When you die with an estate (any property you own), your family will need Probate to be granted to release funds to pay for your funeral. Depending on the complexity of your estate, this could take as long as 9-12 months, meaning your family will have to find the money in the short term to pay for your funeral.

If you choose Co-op Legal Services for Probate, they’ll be able to cover the cost of a funeral with us, providing that there are sufficient assets in the estate that can be sold to cover the funeral afterwards.

Co-op funeral plans

With our award-winning funeral plans, you can protect your family from rising funeral costs and uncertainty about your funeral wishes from £3,295 or £20.85 a month*. With a range of set and tailor-made funeral plans, and a choice of flexible payment options, you can buy a plan that will suit both you and your budget best. Find out more about our funeral plans.

*£20.85 per month is based on a 50 year old purchasing a Simple Funeral Plan at £3,295 over 25 years (total amount repayable £6,255.65).