G. Seller & Co. Ltd are on a mission to dispel some of the myths around funeral plans and have sound advice for anyone considering such a plan.
More and more people are considering Pre-Planning their funeral due to the rising costs and the impact on their family of having to pay for a funeral when they pass away. However, care needs to be taken when considering a funeral plan and who to approach because all may not be as it seems.
At its simplest, a funeral plan allows you to pay upfront for your funeral so your relatives don’t have to cover the costs themselves – although they are allowed to pay for your funeral from your estate when you pass away.
You can buy a funeral plan from either a funeral-plan provider or directly from a funeral director and as Joseph Barsby, Managing Director at Independent, Family Funeral Directors, G. Seller & Co. explains, “Care needs to be taken as to who a plan is taken out with as some plans come with restrictions and there has been a lot written recently about plans being sold incorrectly, individuals not getting the funeral or the funeral director they wanted, and families facing distressing situations where they are not able to provide the funeral that was intended due to the mis-selling going on.”
Funeral plans can vary in what they include and in the majority of cases a funeral plan will have a set options and not include everything that is needed for a funeral to take place. Most set option funeral plans will include some of the main elements for a funeral to take place, other costs such as the cost of flowers, obituaries in the newspaper, funeral stationery or a headstone will be excluded. Terms vary from provider to provider and it is important to pay attention to the details and the terms and conditions too.
As Joseph continues, “This is an incredibly sensitive topic as the funeral plan will only ever come into being when a loved one has passed away, which is an emotionally difficult time for all those concerned. To find out at that stage that the plan does not allow you to use the funeral director that you wanted to, possibly one that has looked after members of the family for generations, or that there are significant costs to be borne by the family is insensitive and unacceptable to say the least.”
“We do not believe in the set plan approach and truly believe in doing everything on a bespoke basis, recording in full the plan holders wishes giving peace of mind that everything has been recorded with us and that we are the funeral director who is going to have the privilege to look after them. By talking through the options, we can also include notices in local and national newspapers, choices of music for a service and other personal requests too.”
As an independent funeral director, G. Seller & Co. Ltd are able to put together individual, bespoke plans in association with Golden Charter and within the bespoke plan their costs for professional services are fixed at today’s costs so that there are no surprises down the line.
Funeral costs can vary depending on the nature of the wishes of the individual and by putting together the right plan with the funeral director, there is peace of mind that the costs of the funeral are covered and the wishes of the individual will be carried out too.
As Joseph explains, “We feel incredibly strongly in the need for better regulation of the sector and are clear in the way that the plans we provide are structured. We will put together an itemised quotation based on the wishes of an individual and the only additional charges are a one-off administration fee of £249 that is paid to Golden Charter who administer the trust fund and a £50 arrangement fee for completing the details of the plan with the individual concerned. The plan is personal and bespoke and the charges transparent with all the monies then paid into the plan being put towards the funeral as and when it is needed.”
As Joseph concludes, “Transparency is really important and as a family business we have been serving the communities in which we live and work for over 100 years, we strongly believe that more regulation is needed to avoid some of the situations that keep coming to light. Some of the practices that we have evidenced are distressing to all concerned and we are passionate about the need for the provision of the highest levels of bereavement care and the need to care for the families that look to us in their time of need. Greater clarity, transparency and regulation would provide a better outcome for all concerned and is something that we strongly advocate.”
A funeral plan can provide peace of mind and provision for the payment of a funeral when needed, but for the time being at least, care needs to be exercised to ensure that the plan is going to do what is expected, and that there are not going to be any unnecessary surprises in the future.
For more information please do not hesitate to contact us