The Rise in Pre-paid Funerals
It seems almost commonplace nowadays for staff at care homes to ask the next of kin the name of the resident's funeral director. For them dealing in death is included in the job description.
This puts the onus on the living relatives in that have they made provision for that sad but inevitable consequence?
If they have the capacity, many in north Staffordshire have now decided to pre-pay their funeral costs before the actual event. Furthermore, there are so many pluses for doing so that if you have the finances it would be almost unthinkable not to.
It is not necessarily morbid or depressing to undertake such a task; for some it can be interesting and for others it can even be fun.
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The biggest incentive must be that the pre-paid price you pay for your funeral is protected against inflation. As in if you were to depart this world ten years after planning your own funeral the cost would remain the same at the time you signed the contract.
In contrast, not everybody is insured and some cannot afford funeral costs. If faced with the unfortunate eventuality of loved ones dying and not having the resources to pay; the deceased relatives must apply to the DWP for the basic costs of a funeral cremation (which is cheaper and known as a 'Paupers Funeral' to some).
However, living relatives can plead to the DWP for a burial on religious grounds but this will inevitably delay internment.
DWP aside, there are many variations in funeral themes and prices to match. The average cost of a standard funeral without any extras is just under £3000. There are also cheaper priced eco-funerals (costing approximately £2000-£3000). In addition, the classic horse-drawn carriage can cost up to £1000 as an extra to the funeral cars not as a replacement.
Not to mention that there are differing price structures for coffins and flowers; whereas, 'The Last Supper' coffin tends to be the more expensive.
Nevertheless, one cannot book a private venue for the post-service refreshments (wake) because of the possibility that private venues could change their names and price structures at a later date.
Most importantly, with pre-paid funerals, one gets to tailor their own passage of way according to their personal taste. This can include choosing ones favourite song to be played at the service and even instructions for the mourners (as in some don't want anybody to be there at all).
Last but not least and to finish the job off, gravestones can cost as much as £2000 in today's climate. So perhaps a personally chosen novel inscription etched on to the stone after you have departed this world is another valid reason to pre-pay for the arrangements.
Remembering of course that nagging doubt that some of the living relatives (only some) could (only could) be tempted to cut corners should they preside over the cost of your funeral.