A pre-paid funeral plan can provide reassurance for your loved ones and ensure that your wishes are met when the time comes.

Claire Austin from Austin’s Funeral Directors in Hertfordshire, answers some commonly asked questions about funeral plans, including the benefits of taking one out now and what's included.

Q: Firstly, what is a funeral plan?

A: It's where you decide the arrangements for your own or a relative's funeral, and pay for it in advance. Our bespoke Hertfordshire Funeral Plan differs from many other packages as it can be tailored to your needs, whether you want a simple funeral or something more elaborate.

We also offer a selection of set funeral plans that can be purchased online.

Q: What is included in a funeral plan?

A: Plans vary depending on the provider, so it’s important to check the details so you are aware of exactly what’s covered before signing up. Most funeral plans include care of the deceased and the arrangements for the day such as the service and vehicles for the procession.

You can also contribute to third-party costs or disbursements – this can include cremation or burial fees, the cost of the minister, flowers and obituary notices.

Amendments can be made to the plan if you change your mind, but there may be further charges for any services added on.

Q: Who can take out a funeral plan?

A: Most of our customers are aged 60 plus, but our Hertfordshire Funeral Plan can be taken out by anyone over the age of 18 no matter what their health condition is.

Q: What are the benefits of a funeral plan?

A: A pre-payment funeral plan gives you the reassurance that the day is going to be exactly as you would like. Having discussed your wishes in advance with a funeral administrator, the proceedings will also be made much easier for your family and friends and help to take some of the stress out of the situation.

Another benefit is the potential savings you can make. With the cost of funerals going up every year, arranging a plan now means that you pay today’s price, regardless of inflation. Your loved ones also won’t have to worry about covering the costs as it will already have been paid in advance.

Q: How much does a funeral plan cost?

A: It depends on the type of arrangements you choose. After the details of the plan have been agreed with our funeral administrator, they will provide you with a written estimate which will include the funeral fees, the management fee paid to the plan provider and a contribution towards third-party fees.

Our funeral plans are financially secure and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure that the money will only ever go towards what was intended.

Q: Can I use my funeral plan if I move to a different area?

A: If you move to somewhere outside of Hertfordshire that’s not serviced by Austin’s, you should be able to transfer your plan to a local funeral director. However, bear in mind that there may be further charges depending on local prices.

Q: Why should I take out a funeral plan with Austin’s?

A: We’re a trusted, family-run funeral directors who have been operating in Hertfordshire for more than 300 years. Unlike other firms, you’ll have the guarantee that the funeral will be carried out by us with a caring and sympathetic approach.

Our bespoke plans allow you to choose every aspect of your funeral, right down to the smallest details such as the music played during the service.

If you would like to find out more about your options, we can arrange a no-obligation meeting at one of our funeral offices, over the phone or in your own home. You’ll also have plenty of time to discuss your plan with your family before signing up to make sure it’s the right choice for you.

To speak with your local Austin’s Funeral Director branch in Hertfordshire, visit austins.co.uk/contact.html or contact the team on funerals@austins.co.uk.