Spotlight On: Funeral plans

The news is full of death, destruction and poverty. And while a new funeral plan policy launched by RIAS this week does nothing to alleviate that, it could be an option for those who want everything in place when they finally pop their clogs.

Like other plans on the market, you pay the company a fee and they sort out your funeral needs through a partner funeral director, in this case Dignity. Plans start from £2,339, which you can pay as a one-off lump sum, over 12 months or over 10 years, and RIAS is offering a £50 discount.

You have to be over 50 and the contract is only valid for 10 years – probably because the effect of inflation over a longer period would probably leave RIAS out of pocket.

It may strike you as odd that under this sort of plan you give a company several thousand pounds which they may hold for years, without getting anything back in the way of interest.

But it saves your family having to work out what your wishes were. And by paying out before your death rather than afterwards,the payment is not subject to inheritance tax.

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

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