Funeral Planning - Pay now, die later

By Advertiser, in Business · 09-07-2021 11:11:00 · 0 Comments

Benjamin Franklin famously said “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”

We can avoid neither but funeral costs have increased by an average of 80% over the last ten years with nothing to indicate that this trend will not continue so the increases are considerably more than inflation and normal taxation levels. You can, however, make your own funeral arrangements now and potentially save your estate and therefore your family quite a large sum when you do eventually die.

A family death is one of the most traumatic times in anyone’s life and there is nothing worse than having to arrange a funeral for a loved one and choose flowers, cars, hymns etc so whilst some people consider planning their own funeral to be morbid, it is actually a thoughtful and responsible way to show that you care for your family.

This is the case wherever you are, but if you die in Portugal and your family is all in your home country the stress and confusion levels are increased – How do we get there? Who organises the paperwork? Who organises the funeral? Which Funeral Director do we choose? How do we even find a Funeral Director?

Ibex works with Golden Leaves for pre-paid plans where you pay today’s price for your funeral and no matter what happens in the future, pre-planning and pre-paying at today's prices means you can choose the funeral you want and the funeral costs are covered, no matter how prices rise in the future. Perhaps even more importantly, your family are spared the emotional and financial burden of organising your funeral, with all the decisions and problems this can entail, at a time when they can least cope.

There is a considerable amount of bureaucracy involved in arranging a funeral in any country, but by arranging a pre-paid plan your family makes just one telephone call to the Funeral Director, who will arrange everything from collecting your body, registering the death and obtaining copy death certificates as well as the funeral itself.

The question of the security of your money is often raised because you pay a substantial sum up-front, but Golden Leaves invests your money in a secure independent trust so that it is ring-fenced for protection. It will ensure future growth so that however much the actual costs rise in the future, your funds are secure and all of the services outlined in your chosen arrangements will be fully funded.

You may pay the full amount up front or spread the cost over a period of (usually) up to 5 years. There is an interest charge for the deferred payment plan, and our advisor will be able to explain the monthly and total costs. Should you die before the plan is fully paid your funeral costs may not be fully covered and your family will then have the options of either paying the outstanding balance or receiving a refund of the payments made to put towards their own choice of funeral, which they would then need to arrange themselves.

The alternative to a pre-paid plan is to arrange an insurance policy, but you will pay a monthly or annual premium until you die so that a guaranteed fixed sum will be paid on your death, but with this there are disadvantages, not least that your family will still have to arrange your funeral, using the policy proceeds to pay or offset the funeral costs. This type of policy is known as a “Whole of Life” policy, which means that you pay the premiums until you die irrespective of how long you live but whole of Life policies do not accrue any surrender value so if you stop payments at any time your cover and the appropriate benefit will cease.

Also, by the time you die your selected death benefit may be insufficient to cover your funeral costs. For instance, if you arranged a funeral policy even as recently as 2010 you would probably have arranged a death benefit of around €3,000 which would have covered the cost of a funeral at that time. However, in the interim period costs for the same funeral would have increased to around €5,500 but your policy benefit has not increased so your family would face a shortfall.

Many people believe that planning their own funeral means that they are going to die imminently. Benjamin Franklin was right, death is inevitable but there are thousands of people walking around who have arranged their own funerals and living life to the full in the knowledge that when they do pass their family will have one thing less to worry about.

If you take a funeral plan with us between the 1st and 31st of July 2021, you will eligible to receive a €150 discount.

If you have any queries, please don't hesitate to call into one of our offices in Almancil or Tavira to get the most suitable policy to meet your needs or call us on 800 860 708 / 289 399 774 for Almancil or 281 325 842 for Tavira. Or if you prefer, send an e-mail to ptnews@ibexinsure.com



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