Funeral plans can be a helpful way to put arrangements in place. If you wish to have a pre-paid funeral plan it is important to check if these can be changed, as your wishes may change over the years.

Before you take out a commercial funeral plan decide if you really want one. There are other ways to convey your wishes and plan ahead.

It is good to prepare a document to help those who have to deal with arrangements and with this, in mind, we have produced an “Information for when I die” document that you can print off and fill out with your wishes.

If you have a funeral plan and have pre-purchased a plot with us remember to notify the provider of any changes and give them the Register Number that we issue.

It is not unusual to want to arrange and pay for as much as possible in advance so that your family can participate in a service without having to worry about details.

If you’re still in fair health it’s far easier to talk about these things, so let your family know how you’d like your funeral to be conducted – write it down and let them know where to find it. You might want a particular set of hymns, a favourite song, a cardboard coffin decorated with all your old valentine cards, or a throng of throbbing Harley Davidsons roaring behind the hearse… be creative and express yourself and make it memorable, meaningful and an enjoyable process.

Give the family permission not to spend a fortune and take away the concern that they might not be not doing you justice. While you’re at it, look into how much things cost and what should take priority. Cut costs by listing some tasks that can be delegated, people often ask if they can help (and they mean it), so consider asking for sandwiches for fifty people, a sheath of flowers from their lovely garden, help with paperwork and phone calls or help to walk dogs or feed animals. Perhaps they could contribute the memorial plaque – something many would be proud to do.

Before you commit to a funeral plan package…

If you are thinking of buying a funeral plan think hard about what you are getting from it and consider whether this is what you actually want. Many funeral plans are ‘cremation only’ so make sure you don’t buy one of those.

Avoid “Over 50s Life Cover Plans” because if you stop paying at any time then your plan would end with no value and you wouldn’t get any of your premiums back – you’d lose the lot! So read the small print before signing and see what restrictions will be imposed. Also, if you take out such a plan when you are young the amount you will have paid on reaching a good age is likely to far outweigh the cost of the funeral services they’ll provide.

Secure your burial plot

Remember that almost none of the plans include the cost of a burial plot. They may mention ‘contribution towards burial’ but by this, they mean grave digging charges.

It is important that you secure your plot in addition to any funeral plan. With us, you can spread the cost of purchasing a plot at the natural burial ground by paying over ten or twenty months – see here.

The only additional cost involved in doing it this way is an administration charge to cover the extra bookkeeping activities needed to set up the process and check off the monthly payments.

Useful websites

FSA advice on Over 50s Life Cover Plans –