Funeral plans have become a popular option in recent years as a way of avoiding soaring funeral costs and protecting loved ones from the financial burden of paying for a funeral when you pass away. Since we started tracking funeral plan sales back in 2002, over two million people have planned ahead and purchased a funeral plan. It’s a great way of saving those you love from difficult decisions and hefty funeral costs when the time comes.
While funeral plan customers are encouraged to let their loved ones know that they have made arrangements, it can be a difficult conversation to have, leaving many families unaware that their relatives have put plans in place. It can be an expensive mistake to make, with funeral costs into the thousands today. It is possible to check if someone you love may have taken out a funeral plan before they died by tracing the plan with the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA).
Trace a Funeral Plan with the FPA
The FPA is a voluntary regulate of funeral plan providers, with the goal of ensuring customers receive a high-quality, dependable service when they need it the most. As part of this service, we offer a funeral plan tracing service which enables relatives of the deceased to track a plan in their name. There’s no catch-all database for funeral plans, so the search isn’t an exhaustive list of every funeral plan in existence. However, it does check through the FPA’s list of registered providers to see whether your loved one had a plan with any of them.
Check Bank Statements
If you can’t find details using the tracing service, you can also check through your loved one’s bank statements for a record of a one-off payment to a funeral plan provider, or a series of smaller instalments that they may have made to a provider.
Ask Local Funeral Services
Another alternative to trace a funeral plan is to ask local funeral directors if they have any record of a funeral plan in the deceased’s name on their books. Funeral plan pre-payments should be held in a trust fund, which is managed by an independent trustee, or in a life insurance policy. But they may have a record of their details in place so it’s worth checking. It can also be worth asking other family members or close friends of the deceased who may be aware of any funeral arrangements they made before they passed away.
What to Do If the Funeral Has Already Taken Place
You don’t need to be discouraged if the funeral has already taken place or been paid for independently, as most providers will still pay your claim after the fact. However, it’s worth noting that if the funeral that took place was different to that specified in their plan, the claim might not cover the entire cost.
What to Consider When Taking Out a Funeral Plan
Make sure you involve close family members or a friend when you’re making funeral arrangements, so that they will know what is and isn’t included and will be aware that a plan is in place before you pass away. It’s also important that they know about any provisions you’ve made towards funeral costs so that they aren’t worried about having to find the funds to pay for the service when the time comes.
Make sure that any documents related to your plan are accessible to your family so they can find them when you pass away, and let your funeral plan provider know if your address changes so they can keep their details up to date.