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When you purchase a funeral plan you will need to determine exactly which costs and services are, and are not, included.

Many are designed to cover the costs of a cremation, not the full costs of a burial.

Basic ones will not cover the costs of a limousine, but the more expansive ones will offer one or two limousines.

Few include the purchase of a grave if you wish your body to be buried (due to varying availability and grave pricing in the UK), as well as headstones and some other memorial tributes.

Funeral expenses are made up of two separate parts:

  • Funeral directors' own charges for their services and the products they provide such as a coffin, staff and overheads etc
  • Disbursements, fees that are usually paid for by the funeral director but these products and services are supplied by a third party with the funeral director having no direct control over them. The disbursements include a cremation or burial fee, doctor's fees, a minister's fee, flowers etc

Most funeral plans will allow the funeral director's charges to be pre-paid in full and guarantee that the plan holder will not have to pay any more in the future. This is not usually the case with disbursements, as the funeral director has no control over the future increase in charges made by someone else. So disbursements costs paid in advance may have to be topped up at the time of the funeral.

Does the plan you are considering provide a contribution towards disbursements? Disbursement costs are rising fast, so few plans will cover more than a contribution.

Does the plan guarantee to cover the cost of specified funeral director's services, when required — no matter what the costs might be in the future?

Does the plan cover the removal of the deceased day or night? Some plans may not cover the cost of an out-of-hours removal and you need to be aware of any extra costs.

Does the plan include the removal of the deceased from anywhere in the United Kingdom?

If you move to another part of the country can you take your plan with you or can you get your money back?

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Funeral plans guide

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