Since Greek and Roman times – cites Wikipedia – people have worried about how and who might pay for the expenses needed to ensure a decent burial.
Throughout 19th century England, precisely such worries gave rise to a host of so-called friendly societies which were founded in order to provide just that kind of financial support.
In due course, friendly societies also provided for the payment of a cash benefit to surviving family and dependents upon the death of a member – and so the concept of life insurance was developed.
Although life insurance may have developed as a way of providing the wherewithal for a decent burial, many decisions about using that money to fulfil the last wishes of the departed may still have fallen to the surviving family.
There is also the risk, of course, that the cash benefits guaranteed by a life insurance policy may not be sufficient, when the time comes, to cover the costs of your funeral.
To provide a more focused and specific solution, however, demand has grown for what might be described as simply funeral plans – provision for plans that give you the opportunity not only to arrange every last detail of your funeral, but also to pay for it in advance and so relieve your grieving relatives of any worry about finding the funds to pay for it.
Not unreasonable, these have been given the name of prepaid funeral plans.
Why pay now?
There is one overriding reason for paying in advance for the cost of your funeral – it is likely to be a far more economic option.
A report by the business website City AM on the 7th of October 2015, for instance, revealed that the average cost of a funeral in the UK is rising at a rate almost as fast as house prices – where the latter are rising at around 6.6%, funeral costs are also rising at an average 6.1% each year.
With prices rising as rapidly as this, therefore, it clearly makes sense to pay today for services which are going to be called upon hopefully many years from now. No matter whether you die in ten years or 30 years , the cost of your funeral is guaranteed to be covered, no matter how much prices have risen.
The attraction of prepayment has not been lost on many firms of funeral directors up and down the country who offer the facility.
Making a prepayment to your local funeral director whose name and services may be familiar to you has a definite advantage – provided of course that the firm is still in business, some years from now, when you call upon those services. If not, then there is a risk that the money you have paid out may be lost.
National providers of prepaid funeral plans
This is where a national provider of prepaid funeral plans may offer the solution.
These also allow you to plan every detail of your funeral arrangements, using the services of your chosen local firm of funeral directors. But they typically come with the added protection of the funds you pay in advance. These are placed in an investment trust or applied to the purchase of a whole of life insurance policy, ensuring the safety and security of the funds until they need to be drawn down when the time comes.