Three steps to peaceful funeral planning

Make sure you know what's covered

Updated: 

Three steps to peaceful funeral planning

Only two things are guaranteed in life, said American founding father Benjamin Franklin, death and taxes.

We can't do much about the taxes, but we certainly can do a better job when it comes to planning our own funeral.

See also: Could your next job mean working with the dead?

See also: Whatever else you leave in your will - don't forget your passwords

In fact, a report last week from Fairer Finance found even when someone had pre-paid for their funeral, relatives often had to fork out thousands for things not covered.

These extra costs, which can add up to as much as £2,000, include things which many people would naturally assume would be covered, such as the funeral service, burial plot and memorial stone.

Nobody wants to saddle their family and friends with the stress and cost of arranging a funeral, so here we outline the three steps to peaceful funeral planning.

1. Talk about it

Talking about your death is something we Brits are not any good at, but it is really important when it comes to planning your own funeral.

Not only does this allow your relatives to understand what kind of send-off you would like, but it also informs them of what plans you already have in place.

According to a 2016 report by the Funeral Planning Authority, hundreds of families are left trying to trace pre-paid funeral plans, which they knew existed, but didn't know where. You can be sure there are also some families who were not even aware any plans had been made.

2. Put money aside for it

If you really don't want to burden your family with the cost of a funeral, why not put some money aside for it yourself?

The easiest way of doing this is to set out what money you're leaving to pay for the funeral in your will.

In fact, writing a will is a very important step, not just when it comes to funeral planning. This is because it outlines how you want your money and possessions distributed when you die and ensures everyone you want to provide for gets their share.

3. Know what's covered

Funeral insurance, or pre-pay funeral plans, can be another great way to cover the cost of your funeral.

However, as pointed out in the Fairer Finance research, you need to be careful.

Make sure you check the terms and conditions and find out exactly what is covered and what isn't. This way there will be no nasty surprises later on for your family.

There are also several ways you can plan your own funeral, including some online options, which are easy to use and can be cheaper than talking to a funeral director.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.