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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Eesha
    • By MSE Eesha 11th Oct 16, 5:00 PM
    • 66Posts
    • 19Thanks
    MSE Eesha
    Prepaid Funeral Plans
    • #1
    • 11th Oct 16, 5:00 PM
    Prepaid Funeral Plans 11th Oct 16 at 5:00 PM
    Hi!

    This is the discussion thread for the



    Click reply below to discuss. If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply. If you aren’t sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide.


    Thanks folks ,
Page 1
    • Andysue
    • By Andysue 12th Oct 16, 1:00 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    Andysue
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 16, 1:00 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 16, 1:00 PM
    Anyone know if Golden charter are any good?
    • Redla15
    • By Redla15 12th Oct 16, 1:20 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Redla15
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 16, 1:20 PM
    I'm interested
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 16, 1:20 PM
    I can't help with your query but I am looking for more information re funeral plans so will be interested to see what knowledge is out there.
    • ratcatcher
    • By ratcatcher 12th Oct 16, 1:34 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    ratcatcher
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 16, 1:34 PM
    Security of Investment in Funeral Plans
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 16, 1:34 PM
    Please bear with me, I am unsure whether this should count as a new Thread but I couldn't understand how I should create a new thread! Help in this respect would be appreciated.
    I want to share my concern about the security of ones's investment in Funeral Plans. I am approaching 81 y.o.a. and my wife and I have oft thought of taking out such a plan. However, I am always put off because I can never get the assurance that I need about the security aspects of the money to be invested! Usually, I am talking to the personnel of the plan providers who, I can tell, have little knowledge of such matters. What happens if the fund goes bust I say, I have never yet had a satisfactory reply!
    • Faith177
    • By Faith177 12th Oct 16, 1:47 PM
    • 2,397 Posts
    • 3,830 Thanks
    Faith177
    • #5
    • 12th Oct 16, 1:47 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Oct 16, 1:47 PM
    The Funeral Planning Authority pledge to cover funerals in the event a plan goes bust as long as the company is registered with them for example Golden Charter are registered with them so the FPA would look to cover in the event of them going bust

    My mum took her plan our with Dignity in 1991 and it paid out last year though I wouldn't recommend them as their customer service was awful!
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    • poppystar
    • By poppystar 12th Oct 16, 4:17 PM
    • 85 Posts
    • 103 Thanks
    poppystar
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 16, 4:17 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 16, 4:17 PM
    My parent started by selecting the funeral director they wanted to use - plenty of experience since attending funerals becoming a regular occurrence - and then approached them for advice. They chose a pre payment rather than an ongoing plan but I'm sure that even for the latter the funeral directors have far more experience of which companies clients have had good or bad experiences with. If they think they may get business later too then helping you helps them in turn.
    • tkwinston4
    • By tkwinston4 12th Oct 16, 8:55 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    tkwinston4
    • #7
    • 12th Oct 16, 8:55 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Oct 16, 8:55 PM
    Andysue we use Golden Charter at our fd and yes they are good. There is a £249 admin fee to be paid to them on top of the plan that you select. We prefer to do bespoke plans because they are more personal to each family. GC don't dictate when the day of the funeral is. Neither do we.

    Our funerals average £2300 not £5000 as mse stated. We cover East and West Sussex and some of Surrey and Kent. We are very open about costs but it's the big players like co-op and dignity that charge £4000/5000 for a simple funeral.

    We also offer a delivery only service which means there is no chapel service. This is considerably cheaper than a simple service. Our fees, the coffin, pw, hearse, bearers, drs fees are all included.

    If someone is going to claim from the dwp they will be investigated along with direct members of the family. The dwp will only pay the cost of the cremation fee which does not include using the chapel at the crem. The dwp will find out the cheapest price in the area and only pay that fee. They will pay £700 towards the fd fees which includes the cost of the coffin. They will also pay the two Dr's fees of £82 each.

    I hope the above clears up a few things. I just felt that mse were generalising the whole industry. X
    • HOv3
    • By HOv3 12th Oct 16, 9:47 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    HOv3
    • #8
    • 12th Oct 16, 9:47 PM
    Co-op
    • #8
    • 12th Oct 16, 9:47 PM
    Hi

    I took a prepaid plan for my father circa 2009 with a local Co - op Funeral Directors in West London. He passed 3 years later in Herts. I went into his local branch and was pleased to say the service was excellent with no questions asked and no hiccups. The plan was accepted and everything needed was done straight away.

    Went to Co - op as a default as I had no other info at the time re options. Am now thinking of the need to deal with this matter on my own account and am pleased to get feedback re other providers. Am looking forward to MSE's summary of all providers as promised in latest weekly email. Thanks
    • Sueke
    • By Sueke 15th Oct 16, 12:17 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Sueke
    • #9
    • 15th Oct 16, 12:17 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Oct 16, 12:17 PM
    My dad paid £3685 last November for a plan from golden charter, he died suddenly less than 6 months later. When we received the final bill from the funeral director it showed that golden charter's allowance towards the cost had been less than £3050. We then had to pay a further £95 to cover disbursement costs, this is an allowance given by golden charter towards paying for crematorium and doctor's fee's that golden charter won't guarantee as part of the funeral plan. The allowance had not been sufficient less than six months after the start of the plan.
    I appreciate that when you take up any financial product that there are costs involved but I felt this was excessive. Personally I shall put money aside for my own funeral - it might not accrue much interest but at least it's all still there!
    • Co-op Funeralcare
      Verified User verified user
    • By Co-op Funeralcare Verified User verified user 17th Oct 16, 9:37 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    Co-op Funeralcare
    Re the above post re Co-op and Dignity costs. Fully guaranteed Funeral Plans, which also completely guarantee all 3rd party fees start from just £2945 at Co-op. As stated in one of the other comments on this post, it's important people understand exactly what is covered and I note the other person saying just 6 months after buying a Golden Charter Funeral Plan, their 'contribution towards' instead of fully guaranteeing the third party fees (disbursements) meant they had more to pay at the time of the funeral.
    • colinicky
    • By colinicky 18th Oct 16, 8:54 PM
    • 163 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    colinicky
    I convinced the Mother in Law to purchase a funeral plan back in 2011 from Age UK at a cost of £2660. We are now at the stage of making use of the plan via our local funeral directors & so far have been very happy. It made it a lot easier for my wife especially as she did not have to choose coffins etc . Will update in a couple of weeks when everything is over & we see what was not covered .
    • dignity
      Verified User verified user
    • By dignity Verified User verified user 20th Oct 16, 3:48 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    dignity
    @RatCatcher You can request a copy of the trust fund annual report from both Age UK and Dignity - in which the Statement of Net Assets show the amount held in respect of future funeral obligations. The trust has been able to meet it's liabilities every year since it was set up in 1986 and continues to be able to meet it's liabilities. They are the only providers to consistently publish an annual report each year for the trust fund.
    • geminilady
    • By geminilady 20th Oct 16, 5:20 PM
    • 1,657 Posts
    • 7,044 Thanks
    geminilady
    My dad paid £3685 last November for a plan from golden charter, he died suddenly less than 6 months later. When we received the final bill from the funeral director it showed that golden charter's allowance towards the cost had been less than £3050. We then had to pay a further £95 to cover disbursement costs, this is an allowance given by golden charter towards paying for crematorium and doctor's fee's that golden charter won't guarantee as part of the funeral plan. The allowance had not been sufficient less than six months after the start of the plan.
    I appreciate that when you take up any financial product that there are costs involved but I felt this was excessive. Personally I shall put money aside for my own funeral - it might not accrue much interest but at least it's all still there!
    Originally posted by Sueke
    What you need to understand is what cost £3000 plus now could cost a lot more by the time you die so what you put aside probarly will not cover it.The thing with a good plan is the amount you pay now is guaranteed to cover the funeral and also the disbursement costs IF it states so in the plan.
    Last edited by geminilady; 20-10-2016 at 5:26 PM.
    • Sueke
    • By Sueke 23rd Oct 16, 11:08 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Sueke
    Geminilady, the plan stated there was an allowance towards disbursement costs but we expected it to cover them as the plan had only been in place five months. Also the plan only paid out just over £3000. When I asked Golden Charter about the other £600 that my dad had paid I was told there were " costs to taking these plans." I realise that putting money aside might mean that it may not be enough - but then as it turned out neither was the money paid for the funeral plan!
    • Tappers
    • By Tappers 24th Oct 16, 8:51 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Tappers
    Depending on how and where you buy a Golden Charter plan depends very much on how much of what you pay actually goes to the chosen funeral director and how much you're paying in admin fees.
    Base admin fee in £250 but funeral directors can be offered many hundreds of pounds less than you pay, in many cases over £1,000 less than you pay.
    Funeral Plan Comparison sites and self proclaimed 'experts' often receive £500 commission from plan providers for selling their plans.
    So, as ever, buyer beware and ask questions.
    • Tappers
    • By Tappers 24th Oct 16, 8:53 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Tappers
    The FPA don't pledge to cover a shortfall should a plan provider go bump. The FPA members agree to look at the possibilities of providing support, nothing more.
    • Tappers
    • By Tappers 24th Oct 16, 9:35 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Tappers
    Funeral Plans Paid by Instalments
    This is a minefield but one thing to watch.

    Beware of a plan provider that insists that they receive the outstanding balance due on the plan if the plan holder passes before all payments have been made.

    One of the current national plan providers insists on this and it's only so they can take their full admin fees, in one case £850 in total.

    Needless to say the family involved were distraught.
    • dignity
      Verified User verified user
    • By dignity Verified User verified user 24th Oct 16, 11:19 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    dignity
    This is a minefield but one thing to watch.

    Beware of a plan provider that insists that they receive the outstanding balance due on the plan if the plan holder passes before all payments have been made.

    One of the current national plan providers insists on this and it's only so they can take their full admin fees, in one case £850 in total.

    Needless to say the family involved were distraught.
    Originally posted by Tappers

    Tappers - please be careful what you are advising others, as it is not always correct. Customers should see the plan as the price of a product - which if paying by instalments has not yet been fully paid for if someone does pass away before all instalments are completed. The request to make up the payment is the right thing to do to fully pay for the service. It is by completing this payment that the price and service guarantees that were confirmed when the plan was originally taken out will be honoured. The alternative would be to cancel the plan - get a refund (minus a cancellation fee), lose the price guarantee and end up paying the full price of the funeral at the time is was required.
    • Tappers
    • By Tappers 24th Oct 16, 12:25 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Tappers
    MarkDignity - The right thing to do is indeed for the family to pay up the difference in value of the plan at the time the plan holder passes, and the amount due, and for the FD to carry out the plan but that balance should, morally and ethically, be paid in balance to the funeral director.

    What is wrong, morally and ethically, is when a family pay up the full value of the plan, for example £2,000 to bring the plan to fully paid status for the funeral director to be offered £850 less than the plan value the following day.

    Does that seem right or fair?
    Last edited by Tappers; 24-10-2016 at 12:25 PM. Reason: Typo
    • Sueke
    • By Sueke 24th Oct 16, 8:24 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Sueke
    Tappers - I agree with you there needs to be a lot more transparency. From what I can see funeral plans are big business and people hand over thousands of pounds at a time. People should be aware that their money is not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme nor is there any government regulation/ legislation. All you get is a sales pitch that tells you that the company ring fences a certain amount of money to meet its obligations. Should any company " overstretch" itself and have a bad day on the stock exchange ( "that's never happened before has it!") then your money goes with them and there's not a lot you can do about it.
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