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money How much do plans cost?


At the time of writing this article (January 2013), an average cost of a basic plan was around £2900. For the more comprehensive plans the costs were closer to £4000. Many websites were saying “Purchase your plan before the next price rise in January or April” so it seems inevitable from our own research that these prices will soon be rising whoever you choose.


Many plans also offer you the option of paying instalments which vary considerably. As with many instalment packages, these often attract interest and can make the overall cost of the plan more expensive. There were many plans however that offered the option to pay over twelve instalments interest free. 24 or 36 month plans and even 120 month plans were available but most charged a healthy rate of interest for the longer repayment periods. If purchasing a plan always consider what you can afford and plan over a timescale that suits your own budget. You may be working today and on a reasonable salary but will you still be able to afford repayments in retirement?


What are the alternatives to a funeral plan?


For many the cost of a funeral plan may be too much, so are there alternatives to consider? For some, a life assurance policy may work out to be more cost effective, depending on when it was taken out. For example a plan for a 60 year old would be cheaper than someone aged 75, for obvious reasons. In many cases the full amount is paid out only after the insurance


IMPORTANT NOTE– As with all financial decisions always get good and proper advise from a professional. It is always best to make an appointment with your bank, or an FSA affiliated company or individual. Visit the FSA website for a local advisor: www.fsa.gov.uk


company has received a minimum of two years premiums. Always remember that the older you are when you take a life assurance policy out the more expensive it will be for the same amount of cover. Also remember that with life assurance it is just a financial pay out on death - your relatives will still have to make all the arrangements for your funeral. If you wish to consider this option we recommend you seek good independent advice from an FSA accredited body.


Savings is another option to consider, although the low interest rates that we have seen over recent years coupled with funeral costs rising in excess of the RPI (Retail Price Index) suggests this may not be the best option, but is arguably the safest. If choosing this option it may be wise to speak to your bank to find ways in which your relatives can then access your money to help pay the funeral costs when the time comes.


Paying from your estate is another alternative. Banks will normally allow funeral accounts to be settled when presented with a fully itemised funeral directors account and on seeing a death certificate - again speak to your bank for advise on this option.


It’s your funeral...


There is no doubt that a funeral is a very sad and emotional time for many, but with time taken now to think of your loved ones and with some forward planning you can leave them knowing that you did everything you could to help them in their time of sorrow.


Make your wishes known – many people have their services already prepared; burial or cremation, where they want the service, hymns and readings etc. Whatever your plans, ensure you leave them in a place where members of your family know where to find them. If you have children consider making copies and let each of them have a copy. This way, all the plans will be carried out just as you had wished for.


Remember, It’s your funeral – if you decide to take out a plan or pay for your funeral out of your own funds is entirely up to you. When it comes to funeral plans, think about how you’d like your final send-off. Some like their funeral to be a celebration of a life, others may like some humour and even the wearing of a particular colour as opposed to black and there is really nothing wrong with a more reflective sombre funeral. These days it is all about choice - your choice, and that includes the planning!


30 Life Begins


www.lifebeginsmagazine.com


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