Before making any significant purchase, you are likely to narrow down your choices to those products which appear to meet your needs, and compare the extent to which each one does just that, together with its price.
You are not necessarily looking for the cheapest option – because some of these may come close to, but not fully satisfy your needs and requirements. What you are likely to be looking for when making your comparisons, therefore, is good value for money.
When you are comparing funeral plans, the same principles come into play:
- the first step, therefore, is to decide on the type of funeral you want and the extent of services to be provided by your funeral director;
- services offered by funeral directors are likely to include many options and variations, with the more elaborate or extensive involvement of the firm naturally costing more;
- you may choose precisely the funeral service you want by consulting your local funeral directors – the more reliable of whom are likely to be members of either the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) or the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF);
Prepaid funeral plans
- when you know what funeral services you want, it may be time to compare funeral plans on offer by prepaid funeral plan providers;
- this bears close scrutiny, since offers from different providers may guarantee to cover all, or only some, of the services you have decided you need;
- for example, some providers cover the cost of the services of your chosen funeral director only, whilst others may also include the fees that need to be paid for either a burial or cremation, together with those of the minister celebrating the funeral ceremony;
- it is at this stage of your funeral plan comparisons that you might want to take a careful look at the costs charged by each provider;
- you might want to beware of choosing the cheapest offering, for example, because this price may not cover all of the services you had intended your funeral plan to cover;
- and what the funeral plan does not cover, of course, is a cost that may need to be picked up by your mourning family and friends when the time eventually comes;
- given the rate at which funeral costs are currently rising, this may be a financially onerous burden from which you had hoped to spare them;
- once again, therefore, a meaningful comparison of funeral plans is likely to be driven less by price alone, but by a recognition of what represents good value for money in terms of what is covered against the price you pay;
- when you compare funeral plans and consider the price of each one, it is also important to take into account the payment options that may be offered by different providers;
- typical options might include the choice to make a single cash payment, pay by instalments every month for a 12-month period, or even spread the cost of your prepaid funeral plan through equal monthly payments over a period of between 2 and 15 years;
- remember that the convenience of choosing a long payment period may be offset by an increase in the amount you eventually pay – and this amount also needs to be compared, between one provider and another.
When you are comparing funeral plans, it is not simply a question of choosing the lowest price, but of carefully weighing up just what you get for your money – and what might not be covered, but leave a cost that may need to be covered by your surviving family and friends.