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Planning for death - funeral costs -Carers UK Forum

Planning for death - funeral costs

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I know this is not a pleasant subject to discuss but something we all face

Planning for death could prevent a lot of debt
One of the first people who walked into the Fair Finance offices when we opened in 2005 was 71-year-old Elaine. She'd been widowed nearly four years earlier, and had borrowed money from a doorstep lender to help cover the costs of her husband's funeral.

In the days after he died, she tells me, everything happened so fast. "It wasn't an extravagant funeral, just a basic cremation and some flowers with a couple of friends. Just a nice, simple send-off after 50 years of marriage."

She's not sure how the bill came to £3,500. Her son contributed what he could, but even after using her life savings and an eventual Social Fund loan she had to borrow the remainder to pay the costs
I have witnessed family members go through above, borrow money for funeral costs. Others have had pre payment plans in place.

Any members have experiences/advice they could share?
We have had prepayment funeral plans in place since 1992, they cost £600 each and were a good investment if you compare the one-off outlay with the current cost of a funeral, my parents followed suit shortly afterwards and my father's plan paid for his funeral in 2006, certainly worth considering if you have the funds especially now when investment returns are low but funeral costs are rising.
Nan pre paid her funeral.
Friends of mine had a torrid time a few years ago when they lost their son. They'd no savings and were living on a shoestring and the anguish they went through was horrible to see. They arranged their sons funeral through the coop and had nothing but grief from the coop wanting all the money upfront.
Mum's funeral has already been pre-paid - one-off premium some 20+ years ago was around £500; similar plans today are now £2500+ Image Image
I must admit I hadnt given it much thought up to now, but it is quite a big sum, so maybe I should consider putting something aside next time I have a windfall, or make a small regular saving. I mean, there are only two things in life that are certain, death and taxes! One of the carers at a recent C-UK AGM described very movingly how after caring for her parents for many years, their funeral costs finally tipped her into an impossible debt problem. Very sad, and an indictment on the way carers are treated in Britain.

The co-op is the most popular I think: http://tinyurl.com/3e93x8h have found local family undertakers to be cheaper, so like everything else, it probably pays to shop around.
After Rhys died, we had a very difficult time. The costs were not just the funeral, there was so much spent in petrol and a lot of paperwork back and for to the Coroner,so we had to spend out on ink, paper and recorded delivery letters. There was easy food(but had to be healthy),as I could not face cooking. There were endless phone calls, official and family.
We paid almost £3000 for Rhys's funeral.I would estimate that we spent at least another £1000 on all the extras which I have mentioned above,which are still ongoing. The funeral wasn't an expensive one,and my Dad paid for the family flowers for Rhys's coffin.
We eventually got a grant towards it, but even that was a struggle,and we had to appeal against the original decision.(friends on the forum here helped me with this).
My Dad,sister and daughter helped out with food and petrol, otherwise I believe we would have had to declare ourselves bankrupt.(It was something we seriously considered,it was only a remark from someone on the forum who had already gone through bankruptcy that kept us struggling on,for which I am very grateful.)
Reading what No1Mum has written, I am relieved that we went with the Undertaker we did. He is the one my family has always used,and we had no pressure. The man who came out to see us was so gentle and kind,and it helped a lot.
My husband and I have been considering a funeral plan, as this was so traumatic on top of Rhys's death.
The old doll has plenty of insurance , she also has one from the refuge which we beleive is a paid up policy -will have to sort that one out.. and as a veteran with a war disabled pension which includes the constant attendance allowance - (she also has a reduced attendance allowance from the D.W.&.P.) but the C.A.A. allows the family to claim the full funeral grant from the S.P.V.A. ...not sure but it is about £2-000 now .... when STAN passed away we did not claim the funeral grant , but the welfare officer insisted that we claim it , as he said "George even millionaires claim it".... in Australia the government pick up the bill for most veterans ...
How much does burial at sea cost? Hire boat, chuck me over board, dones...
My Mother had a funeral plan with the Co-op. They were very efficient, kind and considerate. That was in Coventry back in 1999.

As for me and Jill, well we have nothing in place. I have often looked into it, but could never afford the monthly payments. The cheapest and best value for money has always been 'Age UK'. They only want one years fees up front and the plans up and running, whereas others want two years payments before theirs kick in and their more expensive! The one 'Parky' promotes is a rip off!

I just hope the state will pick up the tab when we turn up our toes, as a pauper's funeral will do me.
After over ten years of ill health during which time it became impossible to get life assurance for my husband, he did manage to take out a small insurance a few years before his health deteriorated which covered most of the cost of his funeral last November. The insurance company were very good and the money came quickly but not before I'd had to pay out quite alot upfront and with no savings, I had the embarassment of having to borrow from friends and even my son in the immediate period after my husband's death. The very basic funeral cost £3,500.

Of course it wasn't just the funeral that was an issue. With a 16 year old daughter still at home, I've qualified for a bereavement grant and widowed parents allowance but when that stops in a few months time, we'll have to move out of the house that has been our home for over 20 years as I can no longer afford the mortgage (taken out when he was well). Life has been a struggle financially for years and there's been no opportunity to save so there's nothing to fall back on. Hardly surprising really when you realise that after twelve months of deteriorating ill health, I worked out I'd spent nearly £600.00 in hospital car park charges alone!

I've made sure I have life assurance and money to cover my funeral especially after my daughter asked how she'd pay the mortgage if anything happened to me.