Some 893 men and women aged 50 and above answered the survey and respondents who did not already have a funeral plan in place were asked where they would be most likely to purchase a pre-paid funeral plan from in the future. Of those who were interested in purchasing a funeral plan and had a preference as to how they would do so (348) 46% said they would choose their local funeral directing firm. This compares to 42% of respondents whose preference was to purchase through their local branch of a national funeral directing chain.
Just 11% of over 50s said they would purchase a pre-paid funeral plan directly from a national plan provider, for example over the internet or telephone. Some 1% of respondents revealed they would purchase their funeral plan through ‘other’ avenues.
Emma Simpson, marketing manager at Ecclesiastical Planning Services, said: “Funeral pre-planning gives people the freedom to shop around and consider all of the available options at their leisure, ensuring they end up with the right plan for their needs and budget.
“The results of this research show that a small number of people, who perhaps already have a clear idea of what they would like for their funeral service, would be happy to put their funeral plans in place without the assistance of a funeral director. Therefore, for some people, an online or telephone purchase may be preferable.”
She added: “However, we have always advocated that talking to a local funeral director is the best way to make funeral arrangements, and it appears that the majority of survey respondents would agree with us. When putting funeral plans in place with a local funeral professional, you benefit from their many years of knowledge and experience. You also have more control over what you would like your plan to include, have access to advice on what’s available locally and only pay for the services you require.”