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AIBU to not want my nan to pre-pay her funeral?

(80 Posts)
IWishIWasSheRa Fri 12-Oct-12 12:06:34

Bless my Nan, she just came round and told me that she is going to pre-pay £2100 each for her and my grandads' funerals so when they die we only have to make one phonecall.
I hate talking about this stuff so was a bit shocked at how morbid the whole conversation seemed, especially as they are only 76 and with reasonable health.

She said it was inflation proof and whenever she died the funeral would be at todays prices etc, it would be less for us to worry about, it is protected in case the company go bust- she's done a lot of work but I also consider her to be quite gullible bless her- often she signs up to things for a free pen or a toaster (Sunlife for example) Someone is making a profit from elderly people this way, is it really what they say it is?

They have £20,000 savings and I don't want them to part with a quarter of it now so that they may end up having to be more careful with money in a few years time, I would rather they used the cash to be comfortable in their lives. To be crass, the funeral could be billed to the estate and the funeral costs be paid after probate. Is that sensible or should I let her go ahead and do this?

I would be really grateful for any advice, she is worried they will end up in a home leaving no inheritance and no funeral money (house is worth 100k). I just want them to be comfortable and not worry about this now, I keep telling them we don't want any inheritance but she thinks this is a good option.

My mum and dad prepaid their funerals years ago. They paid about £2000 each I think...sadly my mum has had her funeral but when the time comes and my dad goes, his funeral is paid for so even if he has a funeral that would say cost £10k at the time, they cant charge him more.

It's a horrid thing to have to do/think of but really it is a sensible thing to do if you can....its hard enough when a loved one dies but at least that is one worry off your mind kind of thing.

WorraLiberty Fri 12-Oct-12 12:10:45

I think it's a lovely idea.

My Dad did this years ago (he's 80 now and still going strong)

He said he's never taken a penny off us when he's alive so why would he start when he's dead? He said we've all got families and mortgages to think about so he doesn't want the 'burden' to fall on us.

It presumably makes her happy to think shed be helping the family with arrangements and payments once she's gone. Let her. In general I agree though money should be spent on the living.

dexter73 Fri 12-Oct-12 12:11:08

It is a really good idea and I would let her do it.

MrsKeithRichards Fri 12-Oct-12 12:11:46

I think it's very sensible and quite a common thing to do.

My nan did and it was so easy, she had it all sorted, venues, songs, everything. It was exactly what she wanted.

She arranged all this at the same time as her 80th birthday (bless) and succumbed to Alzheimer's 3 years later. She lived for another 2 years but wasn't there at all.

I know my mum and her siblings were relieved it was all in place, not just financially but her wishes were recorded.

EchoBitch Fri 12-Oct-12 12:15:03

My Mum had a policy for her funeral and it was a relief for me (financially)that she did,it was what she wanted and i will be doing the same for me and DP so our DC don't have the worry at a difficult enough time.
All in all it has cost nearly £4000 including the interment of her ashes in her baby sister's grave.
If they have only £20,000 in savings they will be under the threshold for paying for home care although property can be taken into account if they need to go into a care home or have to have carers at home.
They (SS) don't force the sale of houses and will pay up front but reclaim from their estate after they have died when applicable.

halcyondays Fri 12-Oct-12 12:15:21

It's up to her. If she wants to do it, then I don't see how you can stop her. You say they are in reasonable health, so presumably your nan knows her own mind?

BrittaPerry Fri 12-Oct-12 12:16:55

Is that how much a funeral costs? Eek.

AMumInScotland Fri 12-Oct-12 12:17:43

Lots of older people like to sort this out beforehand, it's a comfort tothem to know that everything is "taken care of" and that they won't be leaving it to family to sort out when the time comes. It's not a scam, plenty of very respectable companies have these arrangements.

If you don't like talking about death it can seem strange to make definite plans for your own funeral, but lots of people do this.

oreocrumbs Fri 12-Oct-12 12:18:02

I don't think you are unreasonable because I agree with all of your points. I do think that your Nan and Gdad are reasonable to do this too.

If it will give them piece of mind and they are not leaving themselves short in doing so, then I can't see a problem.

Hopefully thay have many years left and it will be a good financial decision, as funerals are expensive and are only going to cost more as time goes on.

I have heard of these schemes before as they seem to be genuine rather than a scam. Perhaps you could read through the small print with them just to put your mind at rest.

SugariceAndScary Fri 12-Oct-12 12:19:05

I had no idea Funerals could be so expensive, Good God! shock

Narked Fri 12-Oct-12 12:20:54

My grandparents did it, my parents have it sorted - including details of the service with hymns chosen - and DH and I have it.

It removes any burden from the estate, and stops arguments between surviving relatives about costs or what the deceased 'would have wanted'.

Narked Fri 12-Oct-12 12:22:59

Funerals cost a lot. Headstones aren't cheap either.

oreocrumbs Fri 12-Oct-12 12:23:01

Also, my dad died suddenly and I had no idea what he wanted for a funeral. Didn't know where to start and making decisions in grief was very hard.

Had his wishes been recorded then I would have felt better, knowing I was doing what he wanted.

Funerals are very expensive Britta, depending on what you have and want they can cost thousands. My dad's was extortionate.

EchoBitch Fri 12-Oct-12 12:23:03

That included the reception afterwards for about 60 people at £10 a head,the cars,the flowers,the service sheets,the funeral directors costs,the Drs fees,the crematorium and the celebrants fees.
I have paid for it all but will get it back when we have the probate sorted.

WorraLiberty Fri 12-Oct-12 12:24:10

Funerals are extremely expensive

And because we generally don't like talking about them, the price does often come as a massive shock.

That's what my Dad meant when he said we have families and mortgages to worry about...he doesn't want us getting in debt/stressing about funeral costs too.

If I remember rightly, he paid his from a lump sum payment he got with his pension or something.

Catsdontcare Fri 12-Oct-12 12:24:35

I think it is a very reasonable thing for them to want to do and I don't think it 's your place to put them off the idea.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 12-Oct-12 12:25:34

YABU. If doing this gives her peace of mind, why try to persuade her out of it?

BlueSuedeWitchesHat Fri 12-Oct-12 12:26:53

I was a bit sad when my nan told be she had booked hers. But apparently it's very common now, and it means that she gets exactly the funeral she wants without us having the stress of arranging it. I would obviously have no problems with doing it for her after the event but she wanted the peace of mind that we would not have the worry of trying to fulfil her wishes.

She basically made me see that It's a very sensible option. She has also signed papers awarding power of attorney to me and my dad in the event of her becoming unable to manage her own affairs. This is also very sensible as taking over running someone's estate is a complicated procedure if they have lost decision making abilities without filling out the paperwork. This would leave us unable to pay bills and so on on her behalf. Again, hearing this made me sad but it is a sensible step as people get older. My nan is in good health sharp as a tack, but as she says the mind and body are fragile things and.the situation can quickly change.

So, although I don't think YABU for an emotional reaction, sometimes its good to be practical so you can put these things out of your mind until the time comes. I'd also question whether it's really a case of 'letting' her. Surely 76 is old enough to make your own decisions about your money AMD future?

Narked Fri 12-Oct-12 12:27:47

It's the worst possible time to be dealing with making decisions.

IWishIWasSheRa Fri 12-Oct-12 12:27:49

Thank you so much for all of your advice, I am reassured that so many of you have heard of this concept and sorry to hear some of you have had to make the call.
I've never lost anyone before so don't have a clue about what's best, this has really helped. I'll have a look at it with her and like you say, follow her wishes.

Narked Fri 12-Oct-12 12:30:01

it's worth checking the small print of what she's arranged, but it is a sound concept.

EdithWeston Fri 12-Oct-12 12:30:44

If you are expecting to pay for the funerals from their estate, then you are expecting them not to use part of their savings; so they may as well do that through a funeral plan.

I think you need to get over your initial qualms about it seeming morbid to you, respect her choices about what she does with her money, and then help her find a reputable plan (checking the inflation-proofing part and other T&Cs very carefully with her). Start with a chain that is unlikely to go under - the Co-op?

lurkedtoolong Fri 12-Oct-12 12:32:31

I don't think you are BU at all but I think you're nan is quite sensible in doing what she has. Funerals are terribly expensive and £2100 each sounds around a reasonable price.

If it helps to reassure, all of my family members who have had these pre-payment plans have been with a reputable firm and no-one has been scammed. Maybe to put your mind at ease check if the company is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors and see if their plan meets their standards?
www.nafd.org.uk/funeral-profession/about-us/code-of-practice.aspx

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