Article: Pre-Planning Your Funeral Costs
Pre-plan your funeral can save you money
Most of us don't plan for our own funerals, right? Well it's a fact WE DON'T! And that will cost us all dearly - the funeral industry will certainly take your hard earned money - its a billion dollar industry after all!
But it's the pre-planning of funerals and being knowledgeable of the potential costs that can save you money. Read on...
At the time of writing a UK funeral average cost is at just below £3000. That's an average and a fairly run-of-the-mill funeral. So the chances are yours (or your next-of-kin's) could cost a lot more. And, pardon the pun, that's all dead money!
Ask people in this predicament and most will generally infer that 'shopping around' for a best funeral deal is frugal, uncaring and possibly a stigma. It's just not 'cricket' is it?
But it makes sense to shop around when there is £1000's involved. You wouldn't buy your car without shopping around; comparing prices and features would you? So why not do the same for your funeral services? It's a shame there is not yet a compare-funeral-costs.com ... now that's a good idea! Can you imagine the TV Ad' for that?
So get wise and start planning and comparing funeral costs now and you'll soon see where you can save quite a few pounds.
Money Saving on Funerals
1) Know Your Buying Rights
There are odd consumer rules with funerals, what can be sold where and by who. Be careful of the Funeral Service that insists you buy the 'hardware' from them, such as headstones, caskets and flowers as part of the 'deal' price. It is probably cheaper to buy separately - Funeral Directors are funeral directors, not stone masons or flower arrangers so they are likely a 'middleman' who hikes the prices up as a commission. Shop Around!
2) Talk Costs To Friends and Relatives
Whilst we may talk about attending a funeral, rarely do we enquire of friends and loved ones what costs were involved... was it worth the cost... would they recommend a service provider and if not, why not?
By talking to these people you get a better idea of what is involved in funeral planning costs, who to approach and where help may be found. Do this early so you can formulate your strategy.... fore warned is fore armed right?
3) Avoid Pre-Pay Plans
Spreading the cost over a long period, say with monthly premiums suits a lot of people, but it's usually mis-sold as 'peace-of-mind' and easy to do. Plus it ties your money for long periods. If you know what a funeral will likely cost you, you can actually save up for it independently in a bank account. Some banks also have special 'pay on death' accounts. Ask your bank - or find interest bearing (tax-free) account so your money works for you.
Also in this current economic climate who's to say the company might go under and you lose most, if not all of your funeral money?
4) Get Proactive, Shop Around.... & Go Compare!!!
It is a general fact that most families use the same funeral service / undertaker they have 'always used'... never actually questioning the costs. Well just like the same car can be cheaper in different showrooms, so can funeral costs.
And always ask what the price quoted includes so you can compare / negotiate with the next provider.... e.g. storage, cars, service, cremation fees. Make note of all of them.
We think you will be surprised at the differences in £100s!
5) Caskets and Coffins
Depending what casket you desire, you'll find the prices vary very much. Look at alternatives to traditional wood, there are much cheaper and greener alternatives these days,
You can mail-order caskets and coffins in advance and buying direct will save you money.
In general using the Internet to source and compare should save you money too. There are now loads of online funeral suppliers.
6) Flowers & Hymn Books
Again, using the web you'll find cheaper alternatives to buying locally. You can actually buy funeral poem / hymn templates, get flowers delivered, made to order items and even a pre-written funeral eulogy.
7) ACT NOW - THE BEST TIP !
Take the time to get informed about the funeral industry and its related costs now, when you are NOT in a state of emotional turmoil - it'll be a lot easier for you and your loved ones. Learn how much a funeral costs but at the same time thinking about what might be best for you and your loved ones.
Ok... so with some fore-sight and a little action plan you can ensure you have a funeral to die for and at a reasonable cost.
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