Planning for every possibility abroad

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Planning for every possibility abroad

When most of us make plans for a new life abroad we'll make big lists about the things we must consider: healthcare costs, residency rules, pension transferability, tax laws and the like.

The more pragmatic amongst us might even contemplate inheritance tax, and the fact we might need to change our wills in accordance with local inheritance laws.

But funeral plans?

Along with taxes, only one thing in life is guaranteed: death.

Yet many of us will happily spend thousands of pounds on things that may not happen: insurance premiums for homes, cars, personal possessions and health etc.

Once we get settled abroad, we might be too busy enjoying our new life abroad to think about what will happen when we die, yet the reality could be that our family might face additional expense and heartache if we don't anticipate the fact that the business of death works very differently from what we're used to back in the UK.

Funerals abroad often happen much more quickly after a person's death than they do in Britain; they may be paid for on the day and in most cases payment is requested in cash.

Sometimes, as in Spain, funerals happen so rapidly that family members are not contacted in time and if you don't speak the language, you are very vulnerable. This can be extremely traumatic for families especially living thousands of miles away.

Many ex-pats living in Europe have experienced problems incurred by death overseas, so perhaps, so a little planning could be prudent.

Becky Laurie talks about funeral arrangements across Europe

There are several details to consider:

• Cost - funerals can be in excess of €4,500 and are rising by 10 per cent per year: how can I or my family afford to pay for my funeral, will my savings cover this? Will the funeral director demand immediate payment?

• Distress - Funerals can be completed within 24 hours, a very big change from your home country: will there be time for my family and friends to pay their respects?

• Control - How can I be sure that I will get the type of funeral that my family and I wish for? Will the local funeral director follow normal tradition in my adopted country?

• Language difficulties - If you can't speak the language you are potentially vulnerable; will I get a service that I want and at the right price?

• Health - My health has prevented me from buying life insurance!

By taking out a funeral plan you gain peace of mind and remove the stress and worry away that you may inadvertently leave behind for your friends and family.

For example, with Avalon, Europe's leading provider of funeral plans, you can:

• Fix the funeral cost - at today's levels so the longer you live the more you save against rising costs. It doesn't matter whether you live 5 or 50 years.

• Secure trust fund - Monies are deposited with major banks in trust fund held separate to the company. The funeral director is paid his fee from the trust fund upon satisfactory completion of the funeral. This eliminates financial worries compared to the upfront method of payment.

• Control - All funeral arrangements are put into place according to your requirements. There is just one call to a 24-hour bereavement line number and the funeral director is under a legally binding contract responsible for having up to 50 arrangements in place according to your plan.

• Flexible payment methods - The funeral savings account allow members to make payment to suit their pocket, full payment or deferred. Some people have cash sums set aside for emergencies and funeral expenses, but you can also pay by installments.

• Health requirements - no restrictions. Unlike insurance companies, a declaration of health is not needed; there are no age limits

With help from Avalon Funeral Plans


Author

A Place In The Sun