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Our guide to funeral plans

All you need to know about making funeral plans

It’s natural to put off thinking about death, but facing up to it sooner rather than later can actually be a weight off your mind. No one’s getting any younger and if illness or a condition like dementia were to strike it could be harder, or even impossible, to make funeral plans and arrangements yourself.

Time’s also of the essence when it comes to costs. Funerals can be expensive – the average cost of a funeral in the UK is £4,271* – and someone close to you will have to pay the bill. Having a funeral plan can protect you against further price rises and ultimately ease the financial pressure on them or your estate.

The benefits of funeral planning in advance can be priceless. Not only will you be supporting the people you love even when you can’t be there, you’ll also be rewarded with peace of mind to continue enjoying life to the full now.

*Source: SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2018

What is a funeral plan?

It’s a straightforward way to pay for and arrange aspects of your funeral in advance, lightening the financial and practical load on loved ones when the time comes. A funeral plan does not cover all costs associated with a funeral so always check what’s included and how much the extras could cost for your family.

So if you’ve ever wondered how your loved ones might cope with arranging your funeral, or you have a view on the kind of send-off you’d like, a funeral plan could make sense.

Making funeral plans – what to think about

1. Rising funeral costs

The average cost of a funeral in 2018 was £4,271* – up a massive 122% since 2004

And that figure is before extras like catering, venue hire, flowers, notices and memorials have been factored in, which on average add over £2,000 more to the final funeral bill.

2. The type of funeral you’d like

Your choice of a cremation or burial can also make a difference to the cost of a funeral. The average cost of a burial is £4,978, over £1,234 more expensive than the average cremation cost of £3,744.

3. How much you can afford

Remember, any contribution you make to the cost of your funeral will be a help when it’s most needed. Funeral plans often come with a range of options to work within your budget.

4. Your own wishes

Is there anything you want to make your funeral more personal? Like your favourite song or an item of clothing to be sent off in? Anything goes these days, from Hawaiian shirts to wellies.

The cost of a funeral in your area

This map shows you the difference in average funeral costs across the country.

The cost of a basic funeral is made up of the cremation or burial fees plus the cost of the funeral director, the doctor and the person conducting the funeral.

Use our free funeral cost calculator to find the average cost of a funeral where you live.

Free funeral cost calculator

funeral cost by UK region

Get your guaranteed funeral beginning from £9.25 a month*

Call FREE on: 0800 904 7649

How our funeral plans work

  • Guaranteed funeral plan – even if funeral costs rise, our plans guarantee to cover the cost of your chosen funeral services
  • We offer one of the most affordable funeral plans – beginning from just £9.25 a month*
  • Our funeral plan offers a safer way to pay - it’s one of the few plans where the cover which pays for your chosen funeral services has Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection. This is because your monthly payments will be paid into a life insurance policy provided by Phoenix Life Limited. Once you’ve had your plan for at least two years, the cost of your chosen funeral services will be covered whenever you pass away, as long as you fully pay all your premiums when due
  • We offer a choice of funeral plans to suit you and your budget
  • An easier way to get sorted – simply get in touch with our friendly team and they can get you covered in minutes

Why funeral planning makes sense

Funeral prices have risen massively over the years. With a funeral plan, your chosen funeral is sorted no matter how much prices rise, leaving loved ones with less to pay for at the time.

Also, by making funeral plans in advance, you’re more likely to get the send off you want because you decide as many of the specifics as you like. And, your loved ones won’t be left to make lots of difficult decisions as they try to second guess your wishes.

And finally, taking positive steps to ease the financial burden and worry of your funeral for loved ones whenever that may be, will give you all peace of mind to get on with living now.

Things you should know

Make sure you understand the different plans – we offer plans to suit your budget and funeral preferences. Make sure you’re happy with the cost and funeral services covered by your chosen funeral plan

Choose a monthly payment you’re comfortable with – it’s important that you’re comfortable with the monthly cost of your plan as if you stop paying your premiums when due, your funeral cover will end. The amount you pay each month will increase slightly each year for a maximum of 20 years – our advisors will talk you through how this works.

Make sure you understand how it works – our funeral plans guaranteed to cover the cost of your chosen funeral services, but only after you’ve had your plan for at least two years. It’s worth noting that you could pay in more than the cost of your funeral services.

The funeral services will be provided by Dignity Funerals Ltd, who are one of the UK’s leading funeral providers, with more than 800 funeral directors all over the country.

Help to plan your funeral

My Perfect Send-Off is our free planner that guides you through some of the choices you can make now for your funeral. It also documents your wishes so you have a lasting record to keep safe and share with loved ones.

My Perfect Send-Off

Straightforward answers to your questions

1. Can I choose my funeral director?

All funeral services are provided by Dignity Funerals Ltd. Dignity are one of the UK's leading funeral providers and have over 800 funeral directors all over the country. When you call our friendly team, they'll let you know where your nearest Dignity funeral director is and will allocate a funeral director there when the time comes.

2. When the time comes, how does my family make a claim?

When you take out a funeral plan, we will send you a welcome pack with contact details for Dignity Funerals Ltd. It’s important you let a family member know where this is kept for when they need it. You family can just give Dignity a call and they’ll advise on the next steps.

The smallest print

*For a 50 year old buying our most affordable plan. Premiums increase each year for a maximum of 20 years.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). 

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides Family Life Insurance?

SunLife Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register (registration number 110002). Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. 

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.