22 03 2016
You may not wish to stop for death, but as Emily Dickinson once so eloquently put it, it will kindly stop for you.
Yes, our demise is one of the few certainties in life. And yet so many of us do our very best to avoid all thoughts of death, dying or funerals.
This was Valerie Vetter’s experience some years ago when she lost both her parents. “When my parents died, I was very unprepared for it,” she says, recalling a visit to a funeral director which completely passed her by.
“I couldn’t take in what he was telling me; I found it just too hard,” she says.
So why don’t we take some time ahead of the eventuality – either on our own behalf or for our nearest and dearest – to do a bit of research and planning?
Well, as Vetter says, “we’re all in denial”.
But if you want move past the denial and accept the inevitable, what do you need to know?
09 02 2015
Product aims to enable people whose investments have been decimated by the downturn to cover the cost of their funeral and still provide for loved ones in their will.
Today sees the launch of an innovative new insurance based funeral plan from Massey Bros. Funeral Directors which also allows policy holders to include a legacy for a loved one as part of the sum assured.
The plan is the latest collaboration between Massey Bros. Funeral Directors and Insurances & Financial Services Ltd. and has been created to assist the large number of people in Ireland who have saved diligently over the years for their funeral only to see the value of their investments decimated by the economic downturn.
Massey Bros. believe that this solution will appeal most to people who are aged 50-plus. “We are seeing increasing numbers of people take care of their own funeral arrangements well in advance of their passing, mainly to remove the financial and emotional burden from their loved ones,” said Peter Maguire of Massey Bros.
“We are aware of many people who have had their hopes of being able to leave their children or other loved ones a sum of money on their passing dashed by the economic downturn, perhaps because they had invested their savings in shares or property. Having seen the peace of mind a pre-paid funeral plan can bring to people concerned about being able to meet future funeral expenses, we set about exploring the possibility of developing a plan that would also allow for an additional sum of money which could be used as a bequest.
“Parents in particular take great comfort in knowing that their children will not be left with a financial burden on their passing. It must be extremely distressing to suddenly be in a position whereby their best efforts have been eroded away and being faced with the reality of not being able to rebuild their nest-egg through savings alone.
“Having already developed an insurance based international repatriation plan with Insurances & Financial Services Ltd. for people who have made Ireland their home but who, on their passing, would like to have their remains returned to the place of their birth, we felt we had the perfect basis for a domestic product, particularly as the international plan already allows for the provision of an additional sum of money to pay for loved ones to travel with the remains.
“While every person’s requirements and circumstances are looked at individually, the average non-smoker who is 60 at their next birthday could take out a policy valued at €10,000 (index linked) which would more than cover their funeral costs for as little as €22.50 per month. Increase that to €50,000 to allow for a bequest and the premium would likely be in the region of €103.00 per month. This is subject to proposal and acceptance. So it very often makes sense to take out life cover, rather than saving, as we never know when we will pass away and often is it far sooner than expected leaving little time for savings to build.”
Gerard Downey of Insurances & Financial Services Ltd said that this product had been more than a year in the planning to make sure that it had the right level of flexibility to meet a wide range of personal and financial needs. “We are pleased to be able to partner with Massey Bros. to create yet another unique and bespoke insurance based plan which will meet the needs of people who are concerned about being able to meet their funeral costs and look after their families beyond their own lifetime,” he said.
The Massey Bros. funeral plan is available to people who at the time of application are aged up to 80 years at their next birthday and is subject to terms and conditions. It requires payment of a monthly premium which is determined by the insurer based on individual circumstances. The cover provided is on a Whole of Life basis where the premium and benefit are guaranteed for the whole of the insured’s life. A legal agreement ensuring that Massey Bros. carry out the wishes of the policy holder i.e. arrange the funeral of their choice is also signed which includes a commitment from Massey Bros. to return any surplus from the amount paid by the insurance company to the estate of the deceased. The legacy portion of the insured sum is covered by a separate legal agreement assigning the amount directly to the estate of the deceased or a named individual. The Insurance Broker, Insurances & Financial Services Ltd. and any insurance company/product provider chosen are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. The Terms of Business from the Broker and the Terms and Conditions of the policy will be issued with every quotation requested in advance of commencement of any Life Assurance Plan/Funeral Plan.
For more information, please contact Peter Maguire – [email protected] / 1800 740000
14 08 2014
Ask yourself a question: If you could attend your own funeral, what would it be like? Up until recently, that is something most of us would never have dared or wanted to ask. However, recent television programmes and media coverage, as well as the Irish Hospice Foundation’s ‘Think Ahead’ initiative, have started a national conversation on just that – thinking ahead.
Massey Bros. have been helping people to think ahead for generations and, to help you consider your options, we have produced a new booklet which explains the choices available to you. To download a copy, simply click here.
So, what does thinking ahead involve?
Basically, two things:
- Deciding what you would like to happen at your funeral
- Protecting your loved ones against rising funeral costs
Deciding what you would like to happen at your funeral is the starting point.
Anything is possible, including a funeral overseas or one that takes place somewhere other than in a place of worship or crematorium. We have listed below some of the key things you need to consider, remembering that all the time, the choice is yours:
- Where would you like your funeral to take place?
- Would you like your favourite hymns, music, readings or poetry to be included?
- Who would you like to take part in your funeral service and what would you like them to do?
- Would you like your remains to be buried or cremated?
- If you opt for a burial, where would you like that to take place?
- What type of coffin would you like?
- What kind of hearse would you like?
- What kind of flowers would you like?
- How would you like your loved ones to travel to your funeral?
- Would you like people to make a donation to charity in your memory?
Protecting your loved ones against rising funeral costs is the second key consideration.
Traditionally, people have been able to do this by making a once-off payment for the funeral of their choice at today’s prices, protecting loved ones against future cost increases which, as shown below, can be considerable when taken over several years:
The average total cost of a funeral has risen from €4,000 in 1999 to €7,000 in 2013. Had you put your €4,000 in a simple bank, building society or credit union deposit account in 1999, by 2013 it would have grown to approximately €5,000, well short of what might be required.
Because we know that it is not always possible to make a once-off payment, we have partnered with Insurances & Financial Services Ltd to create a new affordable insurance-based funeral plan which allows you to make monthly premium payments – the first plan of its kind in Ireland.
While this new plan still lets you plan the funeral of your choice, it also allows you to leave an extra sum of money to loved ones or to cover other expenses if you would like.
We are here to help you take care of every detail. To find out more, please contact your local Massey Bros. funeral home.
Deciding to plan your own funeral is the most thoughtful decision you could ever make.
Download our “Pre-Planning Funeral Guide” here as a PDF for more detailed information.