How will you stop your family getting into debt over funeral costs?

Posted on: 13 August 2014 by 50connect editorial

With funeral costs forecast to exceed £6,000 in just 10 years time, have you thought about how your family will cope when it comes to footing the bill?

Dying is something none of us want to think about at any age; so it’s little wonder many of us depart this mortal coil with no plans in place, leaving thousands of families across the UK in dire straits, looking to their credit cards for financial support.

If truth be known, none of us would wish such financial hardship on our families, especially when there are steps you can take to reduce the impact but what is the best course of action?

Be clear if using your savings

Depending on your situation, you may have funds available that will cover funeral costs when the time comes, either through savings or your estate. Do take into account that it may take time for the funds to be released to the family and also the impact inflation will have on the value of those funds compared with rising funeral costs.

The average cost of a funeral is currently more than £3,400, a figure that has risen by an eye watering 80% over the last 10 years and one that shows no sign of stopping. In fact if funeral costs continue to rise at a similar rate, families should be prepared to pay over £6,000 in just 10 years time and that just covers basic costs; additional items such as flowers, memorial stones and reception costs will inflate this figure even further.

Choose the right prepayment option

If you do want to put plans in place to either prepay funeral costs or at least earmark some money, you could choose either a prepaid funeral plan or an over 50 life insurance plan.

Prepaid funeral plans give you the opportunity to arrange and pay for your funeral service at today’s prices. You therefore get to remove the painful decision making process from your family and save money by effectively freezing funeral costs, avoiding the impact of inflation. That could be quite a saving when you consider how much costs could increase over the next 10 years alone, not to mention the next 20 or 30 years.

An Over 50 Life Insurance Plan pays out a cash sum when you die that can be used to help with funeral costs. This will give your family the flexibility to choose how the money is best spent but be mindful that the cash sum paid out is fixed so inflation will reduce its value over time.

As with prepaid funeral plans, acceptance is guaranteed with these types of life insurance policies so you don’t have to worry about answering any health questionnaires and you will be covered for the full cash sum after an initial period of one or two years, depending on the plan provider.

Think about your budget

Choosing the best funeral prepayment option doesn’t just depend on whether you prefer to plan everything yourself or just leave a cash sum of money: it also depends on cold hard cash.

Funeral Plans cost between £3,000 to £4,000 so if you have the money available either from savings or perhaps your pension pot, it may be a worthwhile consideration given the potential savings. You can also choose to pay by instalments or with fixed monthly payments which start from around £23 dependent on your age.

Over 50 life insurance plans typically start from £7 a month with premiums payable either for life or until you are 90. As the cash sum is fixed, there is a chance that you could pay more in monthly premiums than the cash sum paid out but this really does depend on how long you live.   

Make your money go further

If you are leaning towards life insurance but in good health, it may pay to get quotes for regular whole of like insurance as you could get at least 40% more life cover for your money. The application process is longer and will include health and lifestyle questions but you will be covered immediately if accepted and your family will benefit from a bigger cash payout when the time comes.

One thing is for certain, regardless of which option you choose, always shop around and use a comparison website like the service provided by Over50choices; this way you can be sure of getting the right plan at the best price.

For more information on funeral prepayment options or to compare quotes, visit the funeral planning experts at  Over50choices website, email or call 0800 133 7656 for more information.


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