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  • Life insurance or funeral plan? An easy guide

    Thinking about helping pay for your funeral with life insurance or a funeral plan? We explore both options to help you decide which might work for you.

    How over 50s life insurance and funeral plans stack up

    When you discover the average cost of a funeral in the UK has reached almost £3,900, it’s no surprise that people are looking for ways to help their loved ones with the cost of the funeral, while they’re still able to do so. In this article we look at two popular choices - over 50 life insurance and funeral plans.

    How over 50s life insurance can help

    Over 50s life cover is straightforward, whole of life cover that pays out a set amount of money when you die, which could be used to help pay for your funeral.

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    You decide how much you pay

    You can decide how much you want to pay each month. This monthly premium and your age will determine the cash payout on death. Or you can choose how much you’d like to leave and pay the monthly premium needed to achieve that amount.

    Paying what you can comfortably afford each month could be a realistic way to help with your funeral costs. Even if the cash paid out when you die doesn’t cover the final bill, your loved ones are sure to appreciate the contribution you’ve made.

    The payout can go to a person

    When you die, the payout from your policy will go to the person (or people) you named as the beneficiary. They are free to spend the money as they wish, although you can of course let them know how you’d like it to be used.

    It could be put towards funeral costs, or given as gift or to help with other bills and expenses. Either way, you put the person who receives the money in the driving seat.

    Or be put directly towards your funeral

    With some over 50s life insurance policies you can arrange for the cash payout to go directly to an allocated funeral director when you die. This means the money will be taken straight off the final bill for your funeral and your loved ones will only have to pay the balance. See how funeral benefit option works.

    How a funeral plan can help

    With a funeral plan, you can help the person responsible for sorting out your funeral in two very specific ways:

    1. Financially – paying the basic cost of the funeral

    A funeral plan covers the basic costs of a funeral such as the funeral director’s services, care of the deceased, the funeral service and the fee for the person conducting the funeral. Exactly what’s included will depend on the particular plan you choose.

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    2. Practically – making some funeral arrangements

    Funeral plans cover a number of basic funeral arrangements, so your loved ones won’t have to worry about what to do when the time comes. All they’ll need to do is make a phone call and the funeral director will help and support them through the process. They’ll also be able to add any extra touches of their own should they wish to.

    If you have any personal wishes like music choices or a special theme, you can record these when you set up your plan. You can also use our Perfect Send-Off Tool to start thinking about your funeral wishes.

    You can choose a funeral package to suit you

    Most funeral plans offer different packages for you to choose from – depending on your budget and the arrangements you’d like to make. These can range from the basic, that cover the essentials, to more comprehensive packages.

    You can choose how you pay

    If you have the money available, you could pay for your funeral plan in one go and at today’s prices.

    Alternatively, you could pay monthly with a life insurance policy, sometimes called funeral insurance. The monthly premium you pay will depend on your age and the funeral package you choose.

    Things to consider with life insurance

    If you choose over 50s life insurance or opt to pay for your funeral plan monthly with life insurance, there are a few important things you need to bear in mind.

    • There’s normally a waiting period of up to two years before your plan will pay out the full cash sum or pay for your funeral. So, if you died during this time, a much smaller amount would be paid out – the minimum is usually the total of all the premiums paid in
    • You must always pay your premiums when due. If you didn’t, your plan would be cancelled and you wouldn’t get anything back
    • You could pay in more than you get back. Depending on how long you live, you could pay in more than the cash sum paid out or used to fund your funeral

    Combining both options

    Which of these plans works best for you ultimately depends on your budget and to what extent you’d like to help with the funeral itself.

    You might even consider taking out one of each for different purposes – a funeral plan to pay for some specific funeral arrangements and life insurance to leave some cash towards any extra arrangements and finishing touches.

    Whichever route you take you’ll be helping your nearest and dearest at a very difficult time. What’s more, once you’ve got your send-off sorted, you can get on with making the most of your life – with the people you love.

  • SunLife offers a range of straightforward and affordable products including over 50s life insurance, funeral plans, life insurance, pet insurance, home insurance, car insurance, ISAs and Will writing services.

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?

AXA Wealth Ltd 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. AXA Wealth Ltd is a company limited by shares and the registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham B47 6WG (registered in England, No. 01225468). AXA Wealth Ltd is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. AXA Wealth Ltd is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 119201).

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). 

‘SunLife’ (comprising of the companies AXA Wealth Services Limited, AXA Wealth Limited and AXA Sun Life Direct Limited) has been acquired by Pearl Life Holdings Limited (and now forms part of the Phoenix Group – www.thephoenixgroup.com). ‘AXA’ is a trademark that is owned by AXA SA and will be used for a short period under a licence granted by AXA SA to the Phoenix Group.

Pearl Life Holdings Limited is registered in England (4560778) at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham B47 6WG. As part of the Phoenix Group, AXA Wealth Limited will continue to be authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority. AXA Wealth Services Limited will continue to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 7054, Willenhall, WV1 9ZH or by phone on 0800 008 6060. As part of our commitment to quality service and security, calls may be recorded.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan the funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Limited. Dignity Funerals Limited is a company registered in England and Wales No. 00041598. VAT registered No. 486 6081 14. 4 King Edwards Court, King Edwards Square, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP. Telephone No. 0121 354 1557. Fax No. 0121 355 808. Part of Dignity plc. A British Company. Dignity are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but are registered providers with the Funeral Planning Authority.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

The funeral services are arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd. Golden Charter Ltd are not required to be authorised or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority in relation to funeral plans but are registered providers with the Funeral Planning Authority.

If you choose to pay for your funeral in one go, with a single payment, you will have a contract with Golden Charter. The funeral services will be arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd.

If you choose to pay for your funeral with a life insurance policy, the policy will be provided by AXA Wealth Ltd, trading as SunLife. The funeral services will be arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd.

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.