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Department of Health

Care Act 2014: How should local authorities deliver the care and support reforms? Please give us your views


Question 26: Should pre-paid funeral plans be disregarded and if so should there be a limit to the size of plan that can be disregarded? If so, how much?

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12 comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    The cost of things like funeral plans whether pre-paid or reasonably bought once a service user comes into contact with us should be fully disregarded as it enables people to make meaningful plans in place on how they wish to buried/cremated etc. It also promotes the wellbeing of the individual to know that others will have to take care of this or as the council we would have to use our public health power to provide a cremation etc which may not be minuetly detailed to the individual and how they were/are as a person. I asgree that a limit should be set, but as this is usually a personal and intimate issue there would need to be flexibility with any figure quoted in the statutory guidance. I would recommend a figure of around £8,000 which should be adequet for most individuals whilst still taking into account individual preferences and other characteristics like faith needs etc.

  2. Anonymous says:

    We would agree that pre-paid funeral plans should be disregarded. The limit to size of the plan shoudl be dependent on the time of purchase prior to requiring care.

  3. Anonymous says:

    No, there is already a capital disregard that is sufficient to cover costs such as this.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Pre paid funerals should definitely be disregarded. It is an essential part of planning in the older age group to have appointed welfare and finincal LPS’s and to have arrnged ones funeral, with all its costs including a gravestone.

    The disregard should be the same as for the HMRC where the deduction of reasonable funeral expenses is specifically allowed under IHTA84/S172. There is no inheritance tax payable on these expenses which include burial and a tombstone or plaque etc.

    The daily main in January 2014 said that the average cost of a funeral was £7.600.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yes prepaid funerals plans should be disregarded. Yes there should be a limit. The limit should be the market price in the prevailing LA for a standard funeral (‘standard funeral cost’ may need to be defined).

  6. Anonymous says:

    Response: – This hasn’t been an issue for us currently we haven’t been asked to disregard from savings pre paid funeral plans. If they are to be allowed I believe that there should be a financial limit as to what is to be disregarded. If the plans have a cashable value this should be included in the financial assessment.

  7. Anonymous says:

    yes agree that these should be disregarded but that there should be a limit on the value that is disregarded.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yes, if the plans have been made before the care and support needs assessment with a perhaps a limit based on the average cost of a funeral plan.

  9. Anonymous says:

    We agree that it is reasonable to disregard these where it is a preexisting arrangement and that a reasonable limit should be applied (which would need to be subject to an annual review based on the date the policy is taken out due to market changes). We can see though that this disregard is only an advantage to people with capital over the lower limit and has no impact for poorer service users.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Yes –
    We don’t have this in Surrey

    Currently some LAs take a prepaid funeral plan into account as savings

    Surrey don’t do this

    It should be disregarded

    There should be a limit

    A question was raised – if someone has already paid it – how do you claw it back? You probably can’t. A lot of them now are through people’s insurance

    Q – If you take out a plan – of eg. £10K and the funeral only costs £6 K can you get a refund to the estate

    people in the group said yes.

    If someone is going to abuse the system – this is something someone could do

    People are taking them out as insurance policies – so this should be taken into account when doing the financial assessment

    Summary
    Consensus is that – yes they should be disregarded
    There should be a limit – the amount should be reasonable.

    SCC do not treat a pre-paid funeral plans as capital – but other LAs must be doing that

    General agreement – they should be disregarded

    is stopping you doing something you want to do with your own money during your lifetime

    funerals will happen – if you don’t pay for it – someone else will have to or it will come out of your estate. BUT is there an upper limit – should it be indexed linked?

    it is too subjective if the state starts defining what is the ‘acceptable’ funeral amount

    all feels a bit uncomfortable

    BUT flip side – potentially could reduce the number of people who have a funeral plan in place – impacts on those left behind – i.e. carers

    could have funerals to ‘to the value of…’

    funerals cost vary depending on location

  11. Anonymous says:

    Definition of funeral plan needs clarity – by funeral plan is it meant a finance plan to cover funeral costs that has already been paid for up front or one that is being paid for currently? Not always declared at the time of financial assessment and not often considered as a capital asset so information is not always asked for. It appears sensible to include a reasonable threshold for costs that would be disregarded as there could be the potential for people to use a funeral plan as a means to reduce declared assets.

  12. Anonymous says:

    arrangements made before a person needs care and support should be disregarded as this is the choice of that person and should be respected as such. Also if a partner or relative has made choices regarding prepaid funeral plans for a loved one this too should be disregarded