This week, James Sherlock shares his thoughts about the funeral plan age limit and asks whether we need to offer funeral plans at any age.
“My daughter sadly passed away of a life-limiting condition. Since that experience, I believe that everyone should have the right to buy a funeral plan and be able to organise their own funeral.
“Sadly, though, funeral plans are only available at a guaranteed price to people over the age of 50 years. Fine for many but no use if you’re planning a funeral in the case of terminal illness or someone suffering from a life-limiting medical condition.
“I approached a UK funeral company who agreed to organise a survey. They shared it at a conference.”
James is really keen that as many people as possible fill in the survey: people who are unwell, their families and professionals – and you, if you care, even if you feel unaffected by this issue at the moment.
“I want to find out if others think there is a need to develop funeral plans for people who are under 50 and dying. This could help those most in need, stop discrimination and stop over-charging.”
“A guaranteed fixed price plan, regardless of age could be on the cards if there’s a positive response. Please take two minutes to express your own views. Kindly pass it to any colleague, friend or family who may be able to help.”
Anyone can take the survey which was first used at a conference. You don’t have to complete every question.
“The responses so far have been astounding and extremely positive,” says James. “There seems to be a clear message that there is a gap that is not covered by the current market. Many feel it is discriminating that there’s a funeral plan age limit. I simply feel no one ever gave it any real thought. Certainly it wasn’t something I or my wife thought of during our daughter’s life.
“If at some stage during the latter years of my daughter’s life, one of her nurses, the hospice or consultant could have had information at hand to present to us as a family for future consideration, then we would have been able to have the choice. Having the choice is what counts. People shouldn’t he denied simply because they are ‘under age’. That’s not equality.
“I hope dearly that the industry will, with my persistence, be seen to present choice.
“My personal thanks for you interest and aid.”
Meantime, if you’re affected by the funeral plan age limit, think about a savings plan for a funeral. It makes perfect sense. Of course there are various ways of paying for a funeral – even crowdfunding these days. See more on funeral costs and consumer rights.
I’ll be interested to hear views and see how this goes.