Over recent years’ funerals have outgrown inflation and become very expensive, with the average cost of a basic service reaching £3,600 (SafeHands 2016). In 2004 the average cost of a funeral was £1,920 whereas now it is £3,693 – a whopping 92% increase.
Sadly, this means traditional funeral budgeting may no longer be sufficient to cover the cost and as a result many people are opting for a prepaid funeral.
A pre-paid funeral plan not only freezes the cost of a funeral at today’s prices but it makes it easier on your loved ones should you pass away suddenly. It also allows you to have your say as to whether you want to be buried or cremated, and the details of your funeral which may be important to you.
Each of your wishes can be discussed and finalised with a funeral director, who will deliver a service that matches your requests. You can pay upfront or in instalments. One benefit of this arrangement is that you cover the total cost of the funeral director’s fees and services, however expensive a funeral has become when you pass away.
Choosing a pre-paid funeral plan is one of the most effective ways to protect your loved ones from rising costs – call us today and we can talk you through the options or make an appointment to come and see you.
If you have a draw-down pension – that is a pension pot that you draw from as opposed to an annuity – then it is essential that you consider setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). The point about a draw-down pension is that it requires ongoing management until you die. For most people who are now retired it is likely that at some point they will be in a position where they are unable to do so on either a temporary or permanent basis. This means that, without the appointment of an attorney, they will be unable to instruct their adviser on making any alterations to their draw-down arrangements, with potentially devastating impact on the financial situation of themselves and their family.
There are two types of LPA, a Health and Welfare, and a Property and Financial Affairs. You can find out more by clicking through here. However you can only set one up whilst you have the mental capacity to do so. The alternative is for your relatives to apply to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a Deputy to manage your affairs; not only is this a slow process that could leave your family in financial difficulty in the meantime, or mean your investments lose significant value because your advisers were unable to manage them, but it is also much more expensive than making an LPA. Typically it could cost you (since the fees will eventually be drawn from your assets) upward of £2000, with ongoing costs on an annual basis. Clearly it is much better to sort this out now whilst you can select who you want to act as your attorney, rather than leaving it to others to do.
For more information contact me using the form, or call me on 0151 559 0695. Whatever you do, don’t delay.