Pre-paid Funeral Plans FAQ
There are many misconceptions and myths about funeral plans. Here are some of the questions we are asked most frequently. If your questions aren’t covered here, or if you are keen to get started with your own plans, please get in touch.
What is a pre-paid funeral plan?
It’s just what it suggests it is – it’s your plan for your funeral, paid in advance. We discuss all the options with you and give you a detailed costing, at today’s prices. You can either pay for the plan all at once or in low-cost monthly instalments and once it is paid, that’s it. The money will be held in a secure trust fund until it is needed to pay for your funeral. In the unlikely event of us going out of business your money is safeguarded.
Isn’t that the same as a funeral policy?
No. A funeral policy is usually a form of life insurance which pays out a lump sum to your beneficiaries after your death and is not linked to any funeral director or funeral. There are no opportunities for you to make decisions about the type of funeral you would like and if you cancel the policy or fail to make payments you might end up with no lump sum at all.
What does ‘fully-flexible’ mean?
It means that you can change your mind about some of the elements you have chosen – your coffin type, burial or cremation, what you’d like to wear in your coffin, or the music played etc. It also means that you can take the plan with you if you move away from Inverness or Dingwall – we can recommend a good, independent funeral director in your new area. In addition, if you completely change your mind you won’t lose the money you have invested, subject to an administration charge of £249, which may be imposed by the administrators of the trust fund.
What should I be thinking about?
No two people are the same, which is why we tailor-make your funeral plan for you. We pride ourselves on getting every funeral right for every family, and it’s important that your service represents you and reflects your life.
Think about whether you’d like to be buried or cremated, whether you’d prefer a religious or secular service, and whether you’d like there to be flowers or donations to a favourite charity. You might wish certain music or particular readings, and you can choose your coffin – anything from traditional oak or pine to a cocostick eco coffin or even a sparkly glitter coffin.
You might like your last journey to be horse-drawn or in a motorcycle side car, or in our elegant silver Mercedes. You may be comforted by the idea of a release of doves or a gospel choir. The options are almost endless.
Do I have to make these decisions? Isn’t the funeral best planned by those who will be there?
If you would prefer to leave the details of your funeral service to family and loved ones to decide, that’s fine too. We can create a plan for you that covers the most likely costs, leaving your family to arrange the service of their choosing without the financial burden.
What is included in a funeral plan?
As much or as little as you choose!
Included as standard are:
- Funeral director’s services, including care and preparation of the deceased prior to the service, use of our viewing room facilities for family and friends to pay their respects, and the use of our beautiful fully equipped service room. It includes a coffin of your choice, use of our hearse, liaison with clergy or a celebrant, council-imposed burial or cremation fees and the arrangement of newspaper funeral notices.
Additional extras might include:
- Embalming, a church service before cremation or burial, limousines for your family, design and printing of the order of service, and the costs of newspaper notices, flowers and celebrant or clergy fees. You can also set aside an allowance towards a funeral tea or an engraved memorial.
What extras will my family be left to pay for?
Third party costs can’t be guaranteed as the prices are beyond our control – these include newspaper notices, celebrant or clergy fees, catering costs and flowers. You could, however, set aside a sum of money to go towards these costs, and your family would simply have to meet any surplus.
What if I have an unusual request?
Anything can be noted in your funeral plan, and we will carry out your wishes if it is within our power to do so. You might want to be dressed in your wedding outfit or in the football strip of your favourite team or have the ashes of a beloved pet tucked inside your coffin. You might want the hearse to drive past your home or even your local pub, or to choose a glitter or eco coffin, or a motorcycle hearse.
What happens when I die?
When you take out a plan we’ll give you a wallet-sized card with our phone number and your plan number on it. Your family simply need to make one call to us and we’ll take care of everything, exactly as you wanted.
How much will it cost?
Because your funeral plan is tailored to your exact wishes, it will vary in price, starting from around £3500. Talk to us about your wishes and we’ll happily give you a no-obligation quote.
The most important thing to remember about the cost is that you will be paying for our future services at today’s prices. Since 2004 the average cost of a basic funeral has more than doubled, so paying at today’s prices makes good financial sense.
What happens if I change my mind?
That’s no problem at all. If your wishes change about any of the details of the plan, talk to us and we’ll make the appropriate adjustment. And if you change your mind about having the plan at all, you won’t lose your money, subject to an admin charge of £249 which is imposed by the administrators of the trust fund.
What if I move away from the Inverness/Dingwall area?
Again, that’s not a problem. The plan is portable, and once you have moved, in most cases we can recommend a good, local independent funeral director to carry out your wishes just as we would have.
What happens if the plan is not fully paid up when I die?
Any money that you have already paid will be used towards the costs of your funeral and your loved ones will simply have to meet any balance.
Do I need a medical before taking out the plan?
No. There is no need for a medical or any other checks to be made. You can take out a funeral plan regardless of your age or health, and there are a range of payment options available, depending on your age.
How do I make payments?
That’s up to you. You can either pay it all at once or in affordable instalments. You can spread the cost over a year and pay in 12 monthly payments at no extra charge. For lower cost instalments we offer terms of between two and 30 years, with competitive interest rates. Talk to us and we’ll give you a quote to suit your budget.
When is the best time to start thinking about this?
As soon as you are ready, but ideally the sooner the better. Remember that prices are rising all the time, and by taking out a tailored plan you will secure your future funeral at today’s prices.
I’m well enough off that my family will be able to afford the funeral expenses from my estate. Why should I bother with a funeral plan?
It’s tempting to imagine that funeral plans are all about the money, but in fact they bring more than just an easing of the financial burden, they bring peace of mind too. There’s a satisfaction to putting your affairs in order, and your family will be left in no doubt about what your wishes were, so they’ll have the comfort of knowing that you are getting the service and send-off that you wanted. It can take many months for an estate to be wound up and your finances realised – a plan prevents your family from having to find the money for your funeral before your estate is finalised.
What are my next steps if I want to go ahead?
Call us to make an appointment on 01463 233366 or 01349 808666. You can either make an appointment to see us at our offices in Inverness or Dingwall, or we’ll visit you at home, whichever is more convenient for you. We will take our time to chat through the options, and you can take your time to look through the paperwork and consider whether this is right for you.
Saying goodbye is hard enough without the worry of getting the funeral right. Talk to each other about your wishes, then talk to us about how we can help you to plan and pre-pay.