Tag Archives: tricks of the trade

What is the Cheapest Funeral Plan?

Which is the Cheapest Funeral Plan?

That is a question we often get asked.  Here at Best Funeral Plans, our research has show that the cheapest possible funeral plans are generally divided into two classes:

1) The Not Really A Funeral Plan Plan Part 1.

Paying part of the cost

Paying part of the cost

Many companies offer a cut down plan which covers ONLY the funeral directors costs, leaving the family to pay anywhere between one third and one half of the costs at the time of the funeral.

They are far better than nothing, but the problem is that many firms do not make it very clear that that is what you are buying.   Even our Research Department sometimes has to ring up and ask specific questions to find out what is included.   Paying the cremation costs, the doctors and ministers fees can easily eat up £1100 or more even at todays’ costs.

The Not Really a Funeral Plan Plan has its’ uses, as long as you and those around you understand what you have bought. If you don’t, then you could be unintentionally storing up a big problem when the demand for payment before the funeral comes in. That is one reason why our Members independent guidance can be so useful.

The Not Really A Funeral Plan Plan Part 2.

Life insurance plans are often bought to pay for funerals.  Most of them make no allowance for inflation, so you start off with enough cover, but in 5 years there is a one third shortfall and in ten years you might only cover half the cost. In many cases you can pay in more than the cost of the funeral!

Much better to buy a proper funeral plan in installments – at least you won’t lose everything if a few years down the line your miss an installment or two whilst away or in hospital due to a bank error.   You can buy a proper funeral plan in installments over as long as 10 years, or interest free over up to 2 years, and the more you can put down as a deposit, the lower the installments,

2) Direct Cremation – the cheapest funeral plan.  But not for everyone.

Direct cremation is an option in which the body removed and cremated in the days immediately after the death, without a funeral service. It is the cheapest option, but it offers no possibility of the family being involved or saying a proper goodbye. And people often forget that friends may be even more upset than some family members if they are deprived of the chance to say a traditional farewell.

Costs are lower because once the deceased is taken by the undertaker, the family have no more involvement unless they are able to get the ashes back.   The funeral director will book an out of hours time at the cheapest crematorium within reach.  No one other than the undertaker will be allowed attend.

That is it.

This is the cheapest funeral plan for sure, but very few people have no one that cares for them at all, so it is not an option we would generally recommend.  But as ever, it is horses for courses! The most common reason for choosing this type of plan is that the family live overseas and it would not be realistic to fly back.  But that still leaves friends out.

To find out which is the cheapest funeral plan for you (or the most suitable) just contact one of our members above.

Not a Funeral Plan

When is a funeral plan not a funeral plan?

Sounds like a trick question.  But it isn’t.  Many websites offer “funeral plans” which are lacking in major respects:

1) The Funeral is not included in the funeral plan.

Daft isn’t it – a funeral plan with no allowance for the cost of the cremation (or burial) is hardly a funeral plan in our opinion.  We’re surprised that Trading Standards don’t take them to task.   But we can only assume that many people don’t look into the fine print to realise they are not buying a proper funeral plan!  In some cases, even we have to look quite hard to see through these marketing ploys, so the public have little chance of realising.

2) The Funeral Plan isn’t a funeral plan – it is a life insurance policy.

Nothing wrong with life insurance policies if that is what you need.


a) Most Over 50’s life insurance plans offer no inflation protection, and with the cost of funerals going up by about half every 5 years, it won’t be long before the policy pays nowhere near enough to pay for a funeral.  That is why we prefer proper funeral plans to the standard Over 50’s plans.

b) Worse still, if you die early your family may lose out, and if you live too long, you may pay far more into the plan than comes out at the other end.

c) Think it can’t get worse? Oh yes it can! To avoid Regulatory issues, most Over 50’s plans are what is call “non profit whole of life” – they never have a cash value.  The effect of this is that should you ever be unable to pay, you may well lose every penny that you have paid in!

3) The Savings Account Funeral Plan.

This is the commonest of all funeral plans.  Folk save up for their funeral in a deposit account which may be earning between 0.15% and as much as 1.5%, little realising that the cost of funeral has been rising at the rate of around 7% for some years.  That means that a £3000 deposit account which might pretty much pay for a funeral today would only be worth a real terms £2,000 in 5 years or less than half the original amount in 10 years time.  A proper funeral plan has built in inflation protection for the main costs.

How do I get advice as to which is the best funeral plan for me?

Do bear in mind that each plan offers different options from most other plans, and a single funeral plan company is never ever going to be best for everyone.

It doesn’t take very long (five minutes or so) to find out what people actually are looking for – though it can take a little longer when members point out some of the issues you may not even have considered.  Just contact our local member and he or she will be happy to talk you through the options.

It is an important decision, and one on which it is wise to take independent advice rather than relying on a company salesperson whose interests are different from yours! No one sets out to buy a funeral plan which is NOT a funeral plan!