Following an ITV programme exposing the issues with ‘pre-planned’ funeral plans, I have received a flurry of emails and messages from readers on the subject.
What is a pre-planned funeral plan?
Pre-paid funeral plans are financial plans that you pay into (often monthly) where you are essentially saving up to pay for your funeral. The main selling point of these plans is that they take the stress and worry of arranging and paying for a funeral away from your loved ones.
What have you been telling me?
Stephanie from York told me about Renee’s (her Mum’s) pre-planned funeral plan. Renee paid in excess of £650 into a plan for 18 months before she sadly passed away. When Stephanie contacted the plan provider she was shocked to discover that most of the money Renee had paid had gone towards the provider’s fees meaning that the cost of the funeral was nowhere near covered.
Adam from Barnsley got a shock when he looked into the funeral plan that his late father had paid into. He discovered that it did indeed cover the cost of ‘a’ funeral, but not ‘the’ funeral that his dad (Jim) had wanted. Jim had recorded his wishes for his funeral but when Adam asked the plan provider about these wishes they simply said “we do not have the budget for that”
What are your rights?
I always say that ‘consumers should get what it says on the tin”. Consumers should also not be misled. So what does this mean in relation to funeral plans? Put simply, it means that those selling funeral plans should spell out, in plain English, the following information: i) how much you will pay per month, and in total, ii) exactly how much of your money will go towards your funeral and how much they will take in fees, iii) exactly what will be paid for, and iv) whether the entire cost of the funeral will be covered.
Only use a reputable provider and get them to put in writing exactly what is and is not covered.