What does a funeral plan pay for?
In all cases, the absolute minimum a funeral plan should pay for is a coffin, transfer of the deceased, care and preparation of the deceased, and all the fees for the associated funeral director. Most plans will also include an allowance to cover third party fees including the cremation fees, interment fees, doctor’s fees, and minister’s fees. The higher end plans can also include extras such as a second limousine, bereavement counselling, and an upgraded coffin.
What if I want to be buried?
Every plan allows for the option to be buried rather than cremated. However, the cost of a burial is more than that of cremation as a burial plot needs to be purchased if you don’t already have one, or an existing plot needs to be opened and prepared to receive the coffin. This cost is extra to any funeral plan as the cost varies from location to location and is usually set by the local authority responsible for the cemetery. This therefore makes it impossible to include these costs in any funeral plan.
Can I choose the funeral director?
Yes you can. Funeral plans are flexible and that includes your preferred choice of funeral director. Many funeral directors work with multiple plan providers, but if you have any doubt then ask either the funeral director themselves or seek advice from a specialist.
Can I tailor my funeral plan?
Absolutely. All plans are designed with you in mind and your preferences can be an important part of the plan itself. If you have anything specific you want taking into account, such as choice of music, donations, floral preferences, and specific colours for mourners to wear, can all be taken into account on your plan. Usually these will not cost any extra, but if you would like to arrange something more elaborate, such as a horse and cart rather than a hearse, there will likely be an additional charge that needs to be arranged.
What if I change my mind?
Plan providers should give you a cooling off period of 28 days during which you can change your mind and cancel the plan with no financial obligation. After 28 days, you may incur an administration fee to cancel. Always seek specialist advice if you are unsure and check your terms & conditions.
Lasting Power of Attorney
What exactly is a lasting power of attorney (LPA) document and what does it do?
In it’s simplest definition, an LPA will allow your appointed Attorneys (person(s) you choose) to handle your affairs should you become physically or mentally incapable of doing so yourself.
You may in later years suffer some form of disability dementia or Alzheimer illness, which leaves you unable to handle your day-to-day affairs. The LPA would allow your Attorney to handle all such matters on your behalf… i.e. paying bills, nursing home or care fees, even to selling your property to ensure monies are available to offer you the best possible care.
Does the LPA document look after all of my affairs?
No… There are 2 types of LPA document if you want to look after all your affairs, with each one covering a very important aspect of your affairs however:
- Property and Financial Affairs Only
- Health and Welfare Issues Only
Can the LPA be used when i am still able to manage my own affairs?
No… The document can include any restrictions on use you may require. It is not uncommon to include a general restriction to protect you stating, “This document is not to be used unless I have lost all capabilities of handling my own property and affairs issues.”
Can I make an LPA document at any time?
No… To make an LPA you must have full mental capacity and be in position to fully understand what you are undertaking. It is not possible to make an LPA if you have lost mental capacity or the capability.
What happens if I do not have an LPA and I lose capacity?
Where there is no LPA in existence a member of your family or a representative would have to apply for a Deputy Application Court Order on your behalf. This would enable a named person(s) to handle affairs on your behalf. The Court Order currently takes between 6-8 months to obtain, and there are court costs incurred currently between £1800-£2500. From then on, the appointed Deputy will be supervised by the courts for which an annual charge will also be incurred that is currently between £500 and £800 per annum.
This type of order involves more work for your family or appointed representative and is therefore time consuming and costly. During the waiting period for the Court Order to be granted there may be problems in paying even your simple day to day bills, nursing home and care fees which could result in you incurring additional interest charges due to late payment.