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Will Your Funeral Thrust Your Family into Poverty?

Should you choose not to plan your funeral and pay for it in advance, you risk plunging your family into poverty after you have died. Your bank account or ISA investment is probably producing a return less than inflation, or 0% for many bank accounts. Transferring your money and paying for your funeral now, locks in the price today, for whenever your plan is used in the future. Surveys suggest that the average price of a funeral is around £4,000. When you add a few drinks and sandwiches and room hire after the burial or cremation, individuals are facing total funeral bills of around £8,000. When you have less than £100 in your bank account and know that your salary or pension will only clear your mortgage, food and utility bills each month, where are you likely to find several thousand pounds at short notice, without calling in your preferred loan shark? Funeral inflation moves annually between 7% and 10%, depending upon where you live or die, across the UK. As the cost of burial ground increases rapidly, purchasing a plot in advance may be a sensible decision. Cremations are also increasing annually as rules are tightened about the environmental outcome connected to the emissions from these establishments. Discussing Death and Debt Is Awkward, But for Who? When elderly relatives claim that they won’t be around for much longer, it is easier to avoid the conversation about their demise and their funeral wishes, than ask them how much money they have set aside for the grand event. We should be able to discuss these matters, however uncomfortable. Conversations deliberating death and choosing your favourite funeral music are often left to those who must make educated guesses after the guest of honour has passed away. A funeral director will expect their bill to be paid shortly after the funeral. For the funeral to have been given the go-ahead, a signed contract will have been agreed and completed, stating who is to pay for the funeral. Where the funds are not available, there are several options available: Is there enough money in the deceased’s bank accounts, investments or savings? Can family members contribute towards the total required? Have you a large enough limit on your credit card? What can be sold to raise the funds? Whatever final choices are made, the bill must be settled by the responsible individual. Will the...

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Do You Always Say Yes to A Funeral Invite?

When you’re invited to a funeral, is it bad form to immediately suggest that you will be hundreds of miles away on the day to avoid going? Conversely, should you say ‘yes’ to every funeral you are invited to? The answer may depend upon whether you are going to the funeral because you knew the individual or are attending because you want to show support to those left behind. Some people believe you should attend every funeral you are asked to and if this means missing work for a couple of hours or an entire day, then so be it. Is Your Decision Based Upon Age? Are you too young to be attending funerals of elderly relations? Some parents believe that children of all ages should attend a funeral as a mark of respect. Others believe young children and perhaps early teenagers should avoid funerals for as long as possible. Attendance may leave a lasting impression when they are too young to cope with the outpouring of grief and emotion. Others will suggest a funeral is a good life training and education skill. Not all funerals involve someone of your own age or much older. On occasions, it may be a younger person who has died. These are often the most difficult funerals to attend. Do You Need to Consider Your Responsibilities? Is this all about you and how you feel about funerals, as you may not wish to attend, but moral responsibilities remind you that you should? For some individuals, a funeral will be inconvenient to where you needed to be on the day and the appointments you should maybe consider cancelling. For the deceased, they almost certainly couldn’t time their death according to your calendar. Will you even be noticed if you do not attend the funeral, particularly when you were not particularly close to the individual being buried or cremated? Does this help sway your decision about whether to attend or not or are you more worried that you may be seen to miss the funeral and be talked about for years to come? There is, perhaps, no right or wrong answer to the questions posed. Perhaps the final decision may come down to how you feel about the person who has died. You will have to live with your decision, either to attend the funeral, or avoid it. You cannot undo not going to a...

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Base Rate Move Makes Funeral Plans Even More Attractive

After the Bank of England moved the base rate to a low of just 0.25%, banks and other financial operations have moved savers rates downwards yet again. Many bank accounts pay 0.1% or no interest whatsoever. Even ISAs pay from 1.1% to 1.7% if you’ve very lucky to fix a rate and lock yourself in for a period of time. Unfortunately, there is no sign that rates will increase more in the next few years, but it’s a great time to move some of your savings into a pre-paid funeral plan and save money with your savings. Older people have often put money away, to be able to pay for their funeral. They have consistently seen their savings eroded because inflation always appears and often is ahead of the interest rate on savings accounts. This means that your money in a savings account is worth less in real terms, every year. This is not matched by the vast increases in the cost of funerals in the past decade. Embed from Getty Images Inflation rates have eaten into the value of your savings Looking at any period, the figures are similar. Focusing on 1980 to date, funeral costs have risen 6.1% per annum, while inflation has increased by an average of 4.0%. These figures are certainly more than the average savings rate from your bank, building society or other institution. The cost of a funeral is now just over £4,000 for a burial and just under that for a cremation, but figures do vary across the UK. It would appear obvious that moving £4,000 from a savings account into a funeral plan is a great idea. By placing the money into a funeral plan trust account, you know that you will never have to add to that money because funeral plans guarantee to pay your funeral director’s fees at any time in the future. The funeral director is appointed as you prepare your funeral plan and their services are guaranteed to be provided at no extra cost to you, whenever you finally use the plan. Your money is safe and secure You will want to be confident that your money is safe and secure. The Trust funds are published every year so you can see what’s happening with your money in the Fund with tens of thousands of other individuals. The Fund is audited independently by The Funeral Planning Authority...

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A Quick Way We Can Help You

Click on the image below to make it a suitable size for your screen, please. How to organise your funeral....

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Buy Your Time Against Funeral Poverty

To organise a burial for a spouse, a close family member or friend, can be a very difficult time for family. Is also an extremely expensive outlay, usually arriving at the worst possible time. Although surveys looking at the average cost of a funeral do vary, the University of Bath and Axa suggest that a funeral now costs £3,590 with the expectation that it will rise to £4,489 by the year 2019. Following the recession and the higher expenses for property purchases and university fees, funeral poverty is a phrase being used more often in 2015. The University claims that one in every seven people who had the unfortunate task of organising a funeral during the last four years, completed the task with considerable financial concerns, with an average shortfall of £2,371. This list below shows what a funeral costs in total and how this is broken down into its individual components (figures from Experian) Hearse £200 Mourner’s car £180 Oakleaf coffin £495 Professional services charge £918 Collection of body £127 Wooden cross on grave £46 Notice in newspaper £56 Catering and room hire for wake £400 Church fee £250 Grave digger’s fee £240 Hymn and service sheets £101 Organist £60 Removal and storage of existing headstone £345 Flowers £180 Cemetery fee & headstone inscription £494 Total funeral cost £4,092 From the people in the survey, 42% paid the bills from their savings and investments. 25% borrowed the money from friends and family while an incredible 22% used their credit card to help pay for some of the funeral costs, if not all. Where the finances are available, a prepaid funeral plan can ensure that the cost is fixed, whatever a funeral costs in the future. While providing great peace of mind for those that are left behind, a prepaid funeral allows people to understand what money they have left in their savings and investments. With payments being available monthly across a number of years or as a lump sum, prepaid funeral companies are trying to help individuals from the worries of meeting an extremely large financial bill, in the future. The data used in this article is available from the finance yahoo website. Related articles Why he’s making his own...

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Confusing the Cost of a Funeral

References to the funeral costs for a convicted child murderer may appear misleading or exaggerated if today’s Daily Mail is anything to go by. The newspaper is very annoyed today and judging by the many and varied comments, so are most of the readers who have cared or dared to leave a reply to the article written by Steph Cockroft. Here’s the link to the article; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2925479/Child-killer-dubbed-Monster-Cannock-Chase-funeral-paid-Ministry-Justice-taxpayers-cash-used-buy-flowers.html Some facts will probably not be disputed; Raymond Morris, aged 84, died at HMP Preston in May, 2014, after spending 45 years in jail. He was found guilty of a seven-year-old child’s murder and suspected of two others. The taxpayer, the state, has funded the funeral costs of £2686, which includes £15 being spent on flowers, by the prison. The newspaper claims that the cremation fee was £751, £285 for the coffin, and £185 for the hearse. Further down into the article, they claim that the cost includes £1165 for the registration of his death. This figure is incorrect, but it may just be confusion and includes most of the costs for the cremation. The newspaper states that prisons are advised to pay up to £3000 towards reasonable funeral expenses, yet claim that pauper’s funerals are available for just £100. The reason these figures are misleading, are, when you consider that a funeral payment or bereavement payment are available, under certain circumstances. To read the details about funeral payments on the government website, you can click here; https://www.gov.uk/funeral-payments/overview The rules suggest that you can receive a funeral payment if you’re on a low income and need help to pay for a funeral that you’re arranging. The amount payable will depend upon individual circumstances and if the person qualifies by claiming in time; currently receives certain benefits or tax credits and meets the official rules connecting the relationship with the deceased The amount of money that may be paid out will help pay burial or cremation fees and exclusive rights to a burial in a particular plot. £700 is allocated for the funeral directors fees, flowers and the coffin. There is also an allowance for moving the body up to 50 miles within the UK. For anyone with a prepaid funeral plan, they may only receive help for items not covered by the plan. Alternately, you can visit this government website; https://www.gov.uk/bereavement which explains that if the husband, wife or civil partner has died...

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