Funeral plans - do I need one?

Having recently returned to the office from maternity leave, I have had plenty of time between nappy changes to enjoy the delights that daytime television has to offer!
While Homes under the Hammer and Bargain Hunt may make for easy viewing (*other property and antiques based programmes are available), the countless adverts advising viewers that they will be leaving their families in a terrible mess if they don't take out the latest over 50s funeral plan make for far less enjoyable viewing. Not least because they are quite simply inaccurate.
Yes, funerals have become increasingly expensive - £3,500 upwards is not an unreasonable amount to pay these days - but as long as you have sufficient in your bank account to cover this expense when you die then there should be nothing for your family to worry about. Of course, for some, a funeral plan may provide peace of mind.
While you may be aware that a Grant of Probate is generally needed to release a deceased person's assets, you may not be aware that there are two specific purposes for which banks and building societies will release funds prior to the Grant being obtained:
  1. To fund the payment of Inheritance Tax; and
  2. To pay for the funeral.
So, as long as you have sufficient funds in your account when you die, there should be no need for you to take out any sort of funeral plan now. So make yourself a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy that re-run of Midsomer Murders!
By Kathryn Smith Cowap
Associate Solicitor, Private Client Team

Last updated 23/06/2017