Prepaid cremation is a proactive solution for dealing with rising cremation rates in the UK. Many people who have not engaged in proper funeral planning are shocked to discover the actual cost of cremation, which today averages about £640 (according to data aggregated from local authorities that run crematoriums in the UK). As reported by the BBC, this price represents an increase of 1/3rd since 2010. Furthermore, this cost does not take into account any associated fees or funeral service costs; the actual cost of a funeral is far higher, often running into the thousands of pounds.
For those who are looking to save their loved ones as much money as possible, prepaid cremation plans are therefore highly appealing. A prepaid cremation plan will generally allow one to pay a small amount each month, eventually adding up to a lump sum. This sum will take care of not only the cremation itself, but also various associated costs. (You will need to review the ‘fine print’ of your chosen plan to verify exactly which fees are covered.) Typically, prepaid cremation plans include basic cremation services, such as:
-The professional arrangement of a direct cremation. (A direct cremation is when the deceased goes straight to the crematorium without a funeral service being held beforehand.)
-The removal of the deceased from the hospital mortuary or hospice.
-Preparation of the deceased for cremation. (The deceased must be dressed in appropriate clothing and have all medical implants, such as pacemakers, removed prior to cremation.)
-The provision of a basic cremation coffin (including a name plate for identification).
-Transportation of the deceased to the crematorium. (This should include coverage for coffin bearers if you cannot provide four able-bodied people to carry the coffin into the crematorium.)
-A provision for any Doctors’ fees needed to obtain cremation certificates.
-Provision for the cost of the cremation itself.
If you require more elaborate services than those described above, check with your funeral insurance provider for other options. Many funeral insurance providers offer a number of different funeral insurance plans to choose from, ranging from very basic funeral coverage to advanced accommodations.
There is, of course, no ability to foretell how much cremation fees will rise in the coming years. Because crematoriums are facing increasing pressure to modernise and reduce their harmful emissions (the cremation process releases both greenhouse gasses and toxic compounds into the atmosphere) their costs are steadily climbing. Many crematoriums are being forced to invest in expensive new equipment in order to conform with ever-tightening environmental regulations. As the effects of climate change worsen, this trend is likely to gain momentum.
How, then, do you ensure that your cremation will be covered irrespective of these factors? Make sure to choose a prepaid plan that adjusts to inflation and holds your money securely in a registered trust, such as the one currently held by the National Federation of Funeral Directors. If you do so, your deposit will effectively grow to match the cost of cremation services, no matter what they climb to.