There’s so much more to a funeral plan than a free pen!
From TV soap operas to pop-up ads online, it seems there’s no getting away from the subject of funeral planning at the moment. Adverts urge us to get our affairs in order and make sure that when we do depart this earth, the financial burden of the funeral is not left with our loved ones.
Makes good sense, but with a host of insurance companies, banks, solicitors and more all offering to help us plan for our final send-off, it can be difficult to know where to turn for guidance.
The alarming truth is that almost anyone can write a funeral plan and, due to the fast growth of the pre-paid funeral industry, it may only be a matter of time before you can pick one up at your local supermarket!
But let’s be honest, what do supermarkets know about funerals? Even banks, solicitors and the like don’t deliver funerals on a daily basis so, hand on heart, are they really going to give you the best advice?
Anyone with a pen can write up your funeral plan, but selecting a plan that’s going to suit your budget and requirements is the key. Whether someone wants a ‘green’ eco funeral with a woodland burial, a traditional service complete with hearse, limos and a nice casket, or something else altogether, the costs do differ. Without having those conversations in the first place, how can you be sure there won’t be a financial shortfall that your family and friends need to cover when the time comes?
With funeral planning, the point of conception is as important as the point of delivery, so my recommendation is always to speak to an independent funeral director right from the outset. By talking to the person who will deal with the funeral itself, you’re ensuring that the right points are covered so the right provision can be put in place.
All of my funeral plans are done thoroughly because I’m the person who will deliver them when the time comes so I know how much that matters. I make sure all the details you want are listed in your funeral plan, from the type of service through to specific music or flowers – not something you’re going to get from your high street bank or legal firm! Even with a bigger funeral services company you don’t tend to get that personal connection, plus some larger firms have sales targets in place that mean they can’t necessarily be relied on to give the best advice.
It’s true that an independent funeral company won’t have celebrities fronting their adverts, nor will they tend to give you a free gift when you sign up, but their personal service, care and continuity can make all the difference when it matters most. The passing of a loved one is always going to be distressing for those left behind, so having the finer details already in place can be a huge weight lifted at that very difficult time.
Whilst we all love a gimmick or a free gift, there’s a lot more to consider when writing up a funeral plan than many people realise. It’s an important ‘undertaking’ so please don’t let a free pen or an approachable celebrity sway you! Surely the peace of mind you get from doing it at all is in knowing that when the time comes it’s been done properly.