Funeral Planning

How to find a suitable funeral plan

A funeral plan can reduce a lot of stress around the death of a loved one. The right plan ensures you get the funeral you want and guarantees your loved ones can manage the cost of your funeral. Choosing the right plan involves some research - here’s what to do.

 - 7 Min Read
Last updated and fact checked:
How to find a suitable funeral plan
  • Funeral planning can help with the emotional and financial burden of dealing with death
  • You should consider what type of funeral you want and the budget you have
  • Pre-paid funeral plans mean you pay the cost of your funeral upfront
  • There are several funeral plan providers out there, so you want to compare different options before deciding

Finding a suitable funeral plan: FAQs

  • Are pre-paid funeral plans worth it?

    When considering funeral plans, pre-paid plans are a great option. The plans mean you pay the cost in advance, reducing the financial burden of organising a funeral. You will also get to choose the type of funeral you’ll have.

  • How do I choose a funeral plan?

    Find something to align with your budget and your wishes. You should also ensure the plan provider is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. As always, shopping around helps to ensure you find the best plan for your needs.

  • What are the pitfalls of funeral plans?

    You should ensure the service provider is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, protecting you against potential issues. It’s also worth remembering that pre-paid funeral plans don’t cover all the funeral costs. Planning and budgeting for your funeral are essential to ensure you get the funeral you want.

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Pension Times. Commissions do not affect our writers’ or editors’ opinions or evaluations. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Funeral plans provide peace of mind to both you and your family. They can guarantee payment for certain aspects of your funeral, including the most critical parts, such as paying for preparation costs and funeral directors. This ensures your family won’t need to find the money to pay for your funeral after you die. Instead, they can enact your plan and organise the funeral with the provider's assistance. 

Of course, funerals can be difficult to plan while we are alive, not just because of the subject itself but also because we can never be sure of how long we will live. Nevertheless, adults often take out a funeral plan as they get older simply because they help tick a box, helping their families avoid additional worries and financial anxiety while grieving. 

Funeral plans aren’t just for families; they also allow us to control and organise certain aspects of the service ourselves, like whether we want a religious or humanist service or no service at all. Making these choices can provide peace of mind that our funeral will represent and remember us in the way we best see fit when we are gone. 

So how do you go about choosing a funeral plan suitable for you?

1) Consider your funeral

What funeral do you want for yourself and your family? Will it be a traditional church service or a more modern one? Will it be religious or humanist? Do you want a service at all or just a simple cremation? It’s best to start by considering what type of funeral you would like. 

Cremation or burial?

Most plans guarantee to cover cremation costs but will only contribute to a proportion of burial costs as these vary considerably throughout the UK. This contribution will usually increase every year in accordance with RPI inflation. 

If you decide you only want or need a low-key funeral, then a direct cremation may be best for you - these are also the cheapest plans. These will also allow you and your family to make separate arrangements for a wake, reception, or service that will take place separately from the funeral itself. 

Humanist or religious?

Most funeral plan providers accommodate both religious and humanist services. For some, you will have to contact them directly to organise a humanist service, whereas, with others, you can select it when taking out your plan. 

This might limit you to fewer funeral directors. However, if you already have one in mind, you should contact the plan provider to find out whether they work with them. 

Another aspect you’ll need to consider is attendance. Funeral plans can cater for services with smaller or larger attendances, which may affect the number of limousines you need for family members and friends. But, of course, even if you expect a large attendance at your funeral, you do not need to hire limousines if you do not want to. 

Large funerals may be further limited to a smaller number of churches or other premises that can accommodate the numbers. Again, this will likely have to be discussed directly with the provider before taking out a plan.

2) Decide upon your budget

Budget is the most crucial factor for many. Funeral plans will cover any budget. Some are minimalist services designed for immediate family, and others are suitable for burials larger families will attend. 

Amongst the major providers such as Age UK, Dignity, and Co-Op Funeral Care, there isn’t a huge variation in cost, with their simpler plans generally weighing in around the £3,000 mark and their high-end plans costing around £4,000 (in a one-off payment). Minimal plans that only cover preparation, and cremation costs, such as that offered by Pure Cremation, cost only around £1,600. 

The most significant differences between cheaper plans and more expensive plans are as follows: 

  1. A broader selection of funeral directors to choose from (including more humanist or specialist directors).
  2. Higher quality coffins. 
  3. Greater flexibility on funeral dates. Cheaper plans may limit you to fewer funeral slots on only weekdays, for example, rather than on weekends. On the other hand, more expensive plans give you greater flexibility to choose the date, day, and time of the funeral, as well as the ability to make changes or amendments to the schedule ahead of the date. 
  4. Extra limousines for transportation of family members and friends.
  5. Larger contributions to special requests.
  6. Extras such as thank you cards.

    3) Decide how you want to pay

Tied closely to your budget are the immediate assets available to purchase a plan. Total costs will usually be more significant if you decide to spread payments - funeral plans are more economical when purchased upfront in full.

If you feel that you’ll need a more expensive funeral but can’t afford to pay for it upfront, then payment plans may still be the best way forward. Some providers may offer better rates than others when paying over a shorter 12 or 24-month term, so this is worth comparing. 

On some plans, paying in monthly instalments from anything between 12 to 60 or even 300 months may be possible. 

For example, the Dignity Standard Plan costs £3,750.00 as standard and rises to £7,475.44 when paid for over 300 months (25 years). The longer the period over which you pay, the more expensive it’ll be. 

4) Research the company

Lastly, since a funeral plan is a significant investment, thorough research of the company is always advised. The Financial Conduct Authority has overseen the funeral plans

 industry since July 2022, so your first port of call is ensuring your provider is regulated. 

FCA regulation offers higher standards and consumer protection. For example, the rules ban commission payments to intermediaries and require the funeral plan to deliver a funeral unless you die within two years of taking out the ban. But even then, you will receive a refund. 

Funeral plan providers will provide you access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which means you are protected even if your provider fails. 

Many mainstream providers will fall under the above protection. But you always want to check to ensure you’re protected, especially if you opt for a non-mainstream funeral plan service. 

5) Compare quotes

Once you know what you want and can afford, comparing plans is simple using online comparison websites. It’s possible to compare providers and the plans they offer, as each provider will offer a range of plans that cater to different needs and budgets. 

When you research your quotes, always check the terms and conditions of the plan and its headline features. 

It’s always best to ring up the provider and have a chat first, as funeral plans can be complex. It’s better to talk your ideas through before setting everything in place. This is especially important if you’re looking for a burial or have other special requests beyond the scope of a typical funeral plan. 

Finding a suitable funeral plan

Funeral plans are an excellent way to provide peace of mind to you and your family. They are a cost-effective and straightforward means to plan most aspects of a funeral. Whilst they can be taken out as part of over-50s life insurance, taking out an individual funeral plan allows you to choose from many major UK providers, allowing you to select a suitable funeral plan.

The content on is provided for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, you should consult a financial adviser that is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. Any references to products, offers, rates, and services from third parties or those advertised are served by those third parties and are subject to change. We may have financial relationships with some of the companies mentioned on this website. We strive to write accurate and genuine reviews and articles, and all views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors. We are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to provide advice, to act as an authorised introducer, or to otherwise sell any financial services or products. However, we endeavour to only link to and highlight brands that are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and/or the Prudential Regulation Authority, and where your money will be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme should you choose to buy a product or service from that particular brand.
See More