Our funeral providers believe that planning a funeral should not be a sombre, sorrowful occasion but an opportunity to reflect our personality, celebrate a well lived colourful life, our hobbies and interests. Every person is unique therefore every funeral should be too.
Our funeral providers will take the time to get to know you and your family and listen to what you want, they will work with you to design the perfect funeral service rather than sell you a choice of pre-set packages. Our funeral providers will be open and honest with any questions you may have. They are passionate about providing a professional and personal service with reasonable and ethical prices to suit every budget.
From the moment we are born, we celebrate the milestones in our lives…
Christenings, Birthday’s, Engagements, Weddings, Retirement and even Divorce! So why is it that we don’t plan our final party… the party that celebrates our life?
Our providers specialise in helping everyone plan for the future, regardless of age, whether you have a life limiting illness or not planning ‘to go any time soon’, if you would like to be organised they can offer you a personalised or a pre-paid plan.
Simple personalised plans include; Living Will, Final Days, Eco or Green Funerals and Funeral Wishes. The plans take away any uncertainty or potential burden from family and friends. These documents make sure that there will be no misunderstandings, questions or arguments regarding what you would / would not have wanted to happen as you approach death or after your death.
The plans provide you with an opportunity to have your ‘final say’ and make sure that your final wishes are carried out exactly as you want.
You may choose a simple, beautiful, quiet low key affair, an unusual, themed, green or traditional funeral, whatever you choose they will make sure you depart in style!
Planning for the future
We all have thoughts in the back of our mind of how we would like to go when our time is finally up and the type of funeral we would like. But how many of us have taken the time to actually write it all down?
How often do you try to talk to your loved ones about how you’d like things to be, only to be told ‘don’t be so morbid’ or ‘you have years left yet?’ Would your family know what you really wanted if suddenly they were faced with making difficult decisions? Would they be filled with regret that they hadn’t taken the time to find out?
A Living Will
A living will is a statement expressing your views regarding various options for treatment, what you would or would not want if the situation arose whereby you could not communicate this for yourself. It shows that you have thought through and discussed the options with your loved ones.
Complete Our 30 Second Form & Receive A 100% Free Quote
This plan documents the ‘who, what and where’ and is used to help friends and relatives know how you would like to be treated when nearing your death. For example, you may want to be at home, have music played or flowers in the room.
Divine Departures will work with you to ensure that your wishes are recorded so that loved ones can help support you through your final days within the surroundings you have requested.
Plenty of us put a lot of time and effort into organising Birthday parties, Weddings and Christenings. So why is a funeral rarely planned in advance and generally organised in such a hurry with little thought given to what the deceased would have liked?
To ensure that your funeral is carried out in the style you wish, let us plan and document your funeral in detail. Our providers will make sure that the plan covers how you want everything to be from your choice of final outfit and the style of your coffin right down to the small details such as the colour of your socks and the shade of your lipstick!
By being fully involved in the planning of your funeral you can make sure your family and friends know exactly what you would like; cremation, burial, type of flowers, choice of music, and where and how to celebrate afterwards. They can ensure your funeral is everything you could have wished for and more.
Once you’re happy with the content, all three plans will be signed and witnessed. You will own the plans outright. They can arrange for the plan to be sent directly to your solicitor and/or executor or you could just simply put a copy in a drawer at home.
FAQ on Prepaid Funeral Plans
Detailed below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Funeral Plans. If you have any questions, it’s probable the answers are below. If not, contact us using our contact page here or give one of our advisors a call on 0191 473 0813.
Are Funeral Plans Regulated by the FSA?
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) was separated in 2012 in favour of two regulatory bodies, The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
About the PRA
“The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) was created as a part of the Bank of England by the Financial Services Act (2012) and is responsible for the prudential regulation and supervision of around 1,700 banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment firms.” ~ Bank of England
About the FSA
“The Financial Conduct Authority is the conduct regulator for 56,000 financial services firms and financial markets in the UK and the prudential regulator for over 24,000 of those firms.”~ Financial Conduct Authority
None of those regulatory bodies are directly responsible for the regulation of the prepaid funeral plan sector.
However, the FCA is in part responsible, because any organisation taking funds from consumers are legally responsible for the safeguarding of those funds.
When you buy a prepaid funeral plan, the provider will either invest your funds, or place the money into a trust fund so it can be accessed later when they need to pay out for your funeral costs.
The part the FCA is responsible for is the safeguarding of monies collected and put into trust or invested by a firm, who are responsible for paying money to the consumer. That’s the only part of the funeral plan sector that is regulated, therefore, it’s only partly regulated.
However, there is the Funeral Planning Authority.
This is not to be confused as a regulatory body. It is not. It’s a voluntary organisation founded to “protect consumer interests in the UK funeral planning sector”.
The organisation is entirely voluntary, and there is no mandatory requirement for funeral plan providers to register.
For those providers who do register, they’re required to abide to by the strict rules and code of practice the organisation has in place for members.
The part for consumer protection that you’ll be interested to know is the FPA’s Pledge to Customers, this states:
“All Plan Providers shall co-operate in the delivery of the Authority’s “Pledge to Customers” by which, in the event of the insolvency of a Plan Provider, the other Plan Providers will examine ways in which the Authority might assist in arranging delivery of the funeral of the customers of the insolvent Plan Provider. The extent of this co-operation will be at the discretion of the individual Plan Providers.”
The part at the end of that “Pledge to Customers” is where to focus on. It’s discretionary only and does not guarantee any level of protection.
Consumers are reliant on the goodwill of its members. Therefore, to answer the question of “are funeral plans regulated”? No. The only part of the buying process that is regulated is what the funeral plan provider does with your money once you’ve paid it and they place it into trust or invest it. That’s regulated so there are safeguards in place to ensure that funeral plan providers don’t spend the money you pay for a service in advance.
In terms of who regulates funeral plans when you pay in advance, that’s the part the Financial Conduct Authority is responsible for. Regulating the investment and funds placed into trust for your future.
Whilst funeral plan providers are not directly regulated, what you can do is ask the plan provider how their money is invested and therefore protected. Since the plans are fairly complex enough, many don’t openly disclose the behind the scenes protection element of what happens to the money you pay. Therefore, whilst there’s no organisation responsible directly who regulates funeral plans, a funeral plan provider can appoint a regulated person, such as a Financial Advisor to oversee the investment aspect, ensuring they remain compliant with the FCA Code of Conduct and safeguard your investment.
How Do Prepaid Funeral Plans Work?
Essentially, a prepaid funeral plan is paying for a service in advance. It’s a means to pay for your funeral, sparing your family the distress of organising the funeral of a loved one, without the full knowledge of what they’d want to have included in the service.
With a prepaid funeral plan, you express and make your own funeral arrangements, right down to the flowers you’d like displayed; where you’d like a viewing such as at home or the local church, if you’d like a burial, a cremation, a procession – and if so, how many vehicles, and from where and to where.
All the minute details will be recorded officially, and then acted upon your death. Your family will know who to call, with much of the arrangements being taken care of through the plan.
Not everything for the funeral or cremation will be covered though. All funeral plan providers will state on the policy what is and isn’t covered.
For example, for a burial, there’s no provider will cover the full cost of the burial. Instead, they pay out a contribution towards the cost of the burial. This can include things like a limousine for the procession, the Funeral Directors charges, and the cost of preparing your body for the viewing – including you choosing what you wear and how your makeup is done for the viewing.
Extras that aren’t typically included may be additional limousines for the procession, perhaps the procession only going to a crematorium, with extra charges payable for the return journey or additional vehicles. Flowers, burial plots, and a headstone are typically excluded from the policy.
Further details are listed below about inclusions and exclusions on funeral plans.
Comparisons Of Simple & Easy To Arrange Plans
Are Funeral Plans Transferable?
Only on joint funeral plan policies. If you buy a funeral plan for yourself only, it will only apply to the named policy holder and will not be transferable to your partner in the event that they die first. For a policy that is transferable, you will need a joint funeral plan. Joint funeral plans transfer to the surviving policy plan holder.
This is something to consider before you buy a prepaid funeral plan because the terms of service usually state that to make significant policy changes (which single to a joint policy is) would require a plan cancellation, possibly with fees attached and a new joint policy taken out.
For joint policy plan inquiries, please contact an advisor at Divine Departures.
Are Funeral Plans Tax Deductible?
Yes. Funeral costs are deducted from your Estate prior to inheritance tax calculations. This applies to your entire estate, which includes your life insurance policy.
Investment-based schemes, such as a whole-of-life insurance policy will be treated the same as a prepaid funeral plan for the purposes of tax. The only difference is how your funeral is planned.
With a funeral plan, you’re responsible for making the funeral arrangements, thereby removing some of the emotional burden from your close family, relatives and friends. Investment policies solely take care of the financial aspect of paying for the funeral. Not the arrangements.
For tax purposes, whatever your funeral costs are will be deducted, regardless whether you’ve prepaid for the funeral or if it’s a life insurance lump sum payout. Your funeral costs are a tax deductible expense.
Are Funeral Plans Good Value?
For some people, they’re extremely valuable, for others, they’re not worth the monetary expense, although there is the emotional element of family not having to take full responsibility of funeral arrangements since you’ll have made them through your funeral plan arrangements.
With Funeral plans through Divine Departures, we work with you to create your own bespoke Living Will, Final Days Documents, and your Funeral Wishes, documenting every detail you tell us you want and always keep you at the heart of the preparations.
For those asking, are funeral plans any good for It’s likely the answer will be yes, they are
There are circumstances when it may not be good value though. This is because of exclusions to some of the policies. One of the most common ones that can run your costs into the thousands is the costs associated with third-parties. This is things like the required doctor’s medical note, death certificates and perhaps minister fees.
For burials, there’s additional costs need accounted for because there’s no prepaid funeral plan available to cover every imaginable cost your family is likely to encounter. None are able to promise the cost is covered in full. This is due to a land shortage. It’s a global problem so it’s not only a problem for Britain.
In 2015, it was reported by the BBC that “Two London boroughs – Tower Hamlets and Hackney – have ceased providing a burial service … Residents have to go to neighbouring boroughs.”
Land shortages are only going to drive the cost of burial grounds upwards. On top of that, the local council boroughs also need to take into account the cost of cemetery maintenance. It is known now that the cost of burial grounds will only increase in the years to come, therefore, funeral plan providers exclude the cost of a grave from the funeral plan.
Cremations are the exception as there are funeral plans that Guarantee to pay the full cost of cremation, including third-party service costs.
Are Funeral Plans Worth Buying Early?
At any age, it’s worth considering. For the over 50s, there’s two popular choices to cover the cost of funeral expenses.
- Life insurance
- Over 50s funeral plans
These are targeted to the over 50s market, which leaves anyone under 50 struggling to find a good deal on a prepaid funeral plan. The reason being that they are expected to live longer, which technically should mean it’d put financial strain on the funeral plan provider when the time finally comes to payout. Due to inflation, consumers need to be selective when choosing a funeral plan provider.
Providers must be able to invest wisely to ensure the capital funds grow in line with inflation so they can cover the cost of your funeral. This will mean ensuring that they have an appointed financial advisor, or other regulated professional appointed to handle the finance put into trusts to ensure maximum growth.
For the under 50 age group, funeral plans are definitely worth buying because it provides your family with a guaranteed lump sum payout to pay for funeral costs, whether part burial, or on some policies, full cremation fees.
For those under 50 with existing health conditions, life insurance premiums can be pushed into the unaffordable category. For those in that predicament, an under 50s prepaid funeral plan are worth buying.
Are funeral plans good for everyone?
They are but only if you pay close attention to policy exclusions. At Divine Departures, we provide our customers with our undivided attention, ensuring that all funeral plans are explained in great detail, policy exclusions are known, and where possible, additional plans put in place, always being upfront about the charges the additions will incur.
If you buy blindly, you could find that the exclusions to third party costs, mileage limits for the hearse and procession vehicles, minister fees, flowers, chapel of rest and additional exclusions could still leave your family with a fairly large expense to pay from any other finance left to them as part of your estate.
Divine Departures work to help ensure your family retain as much of your estate as possible by ensuring your prepaid funeral plan is designed to minimise funeral expenses when your family need it most.
Are funeral plans a good idea for planning for care?
The cost of healthcare can’t be ignored when you’re making plans for after you are gone. The thing with current savings is that the local authority will take this into consideration for the cost of your care needs such as if you need to go into long term care. People are required to use life savings to pay for their own care, therefore, if you’re planning covering the cost of your funeral through savings, your pot could be gone in care costs, leaving your family responsible for the full cost of your funeral.
Savings can’t be relied on so if you need to tuck some funds away to cover at least some of your funeral costs, a prepaid funeral plan will let you do that.
Are Funeral plans safe?
These plans are time-tested and proven to be a safe way of forward planning for your funeral. Funeral Directors invented these in the 1800’s as a way for future clients to pay in advance for their funeral costs.
Since then, the market has grown. To ensure the money paid to any company in advance of services being rendered is secure, there are safeguards in place to protect all consumer money placed into Trust Funds or Invested.
The funeral plan market may not be directly regulated, but the money paid to funeral plan providers is regulated, therefore, for those wondering how safe are funeral plans? Know that there are consumer protection safeguards in place to ensure that when your family needs money to cover the cost of your funeral, the firm you pay or have paid for the plan can access and release the sum assured by your funeral plan to your family. Our funeral plan comparison services are designed to help you easily find a plan that best suits the needs of you and your family.
In addition, for some providers anyway, it’s possible to get a discount of the cost of your funeral plan by arranging for the payment to be made directly to the Funeral Director, rather than to your family. By doing this, the Funeral Director can pay what they need to pay, passing the remainder to your family to take care of any other fees.
Are funeral plans worthwhile?
This has to be the number one Frequently Asked Questions about funeral plans, are they worth it?
Our answer is always a resounding yes, in particular when life insurance isn’t a financially viable option, pre-existing health conditions being the main cause of excluding people with existing medical conditions. For policy plan providers who do accept pre-existing illnesses, they will quote a much higher premium than most can afford.