Funeral Plans with Golden Charter

Who are Golden Charter?

All the funeral plans we offer are available to us through our partner Golden Charter. Golden Charter is the leading independent funeral plan provider in England and Wales. They have access to over 3,300 Funeral Directors throughout the UK and are approaching over half a million customers, they have over 400 members of staff and are owned by independent funeral directors. Founded in 1989 and they have over 25 years of experience in the pre-paid funeral planning sector.

Through them, we can offer a safe secure funeral planning service, 4 different funeral plans and several ways of paying for them. Our aim is to make your funeral as cheap as possible by offering a way to avoid paying thousands of pounds more than you need too.

What is a Funeral Plan?

A funeral plan is exactly what it sounds like, it’s a plan for your funeral, or if you are buying one for a loved one it’s a plan for their funeral. You can take the time now to sit down, choose a funeral plan that suits your requirements, your budget and pays for it all up front in either a lump sum or monthly payments. You make all the choices. It really is that simple.

Why do I need a Funeral Plan?

You need a funeral plan for protection from the ever increasing costs of funerals. Prices are increasing year in and year out and it’s those you leave behind are being forced to find the money to pay for that funeral. They are being forced to make the choice between what they can afford, what they want for you and what they think you would want for yourself. The death of a loved one is hard enough without the added stress of planning and trying to pay for a funeral. You need a funeral plan to protect your family at a terrible time. You need a funeral plan to freeze the cost of your funeral in the future at today’s funeral prices. You need a funeral plan so your wishes can be acted upon.

So, how much are Funeral Costs?

According to a 2015 Cost of Dying report, it has shown that although the overall cost of dying has fallen slightly by £300 to £8,126 the actual cost of a basic funeral has risen to £3,693. That’s the 12th year in a row that it has risen and is an increase of over 90% since 2004.

That is a UK average and regional variations do occur, for instance, Northern Ireland has the lowest average funeral costs of £3,203 and London has the highest average funeral costs sitting at £5,068. It also depends on the type of funeral that you want, whether it is a cremation or a burial . A burial funeral costs on average £822 more than a cremation funeral. Regardless of the variations, it is showing an industry trend of ever increasing costs that experts can’t see stopping.

Add on to the basic funeral costs an average of £2,000 spent covering things such as flowers, order sheets, extra limousines, the venue, costs of the wake, the memorial and the death and funeral notices. We’re now at a cost of £5,963 just for the funeral.

As you can see from the following graph, following trends since 1995 the average funeral costs are increasing. With funeral director costs, plots for burial funerals and other funeral expenses expected to carry on increasing experts believe that the average cost of a funeral could hit £8,726 by 2030. Your average 30-year-old today is said to have a life expectancy that will take them to the year 2066. What will funeral prices be like in another 50 years? If current prices continue to increase by 90% every 11 years that could see funeral costs sitting around £50,000 by 2066.

Types of Pre-Paid Funeral Plans

The Will Associates have access to 4 levels of Funeral Plan from Golden Charter.
· Base Plan – The Lowest price option offering the best value for money.
· Standard Plan – Next plan up that has a £940 allowance for third party costs.
· Select Plan – This has more on offer than standard including an extra limousine and a high-quality coffin including the £940 for third party costs.
· Premier Plan – This plan offers the same as the Select Funeral Plan but improves coffin quality to superior and offers and extra limousine.

With each plan you get:
· To choose the Funeral Director.
· The services of the Funeral Director.
· Certification and registration of the death advice.
· The coffin.
· Transportation to a suitable resting place, within 15-miles.
· Care prior to burial or cremation.
· A hearse to transport the body on the day of the funeral.
· The use of the Chapel of Rest or service rooms.
· Varying levels of family viewing of the departed.
· Varying levels of Bereavement counselling.

What Choices do I get to make with a Funeral Plan?

One of the most common queries we receive regarding Funeral Plans is about how much control you have over planning your funeral, such as can I choose my own funeral director?

You have complete control, from choosing your funeral director to any special requests you have. Not all requests will be covered by the plan but you will be informed of that when you apply, any additional costs will need to be met at the time of the funeral. As you know about these in advance there will be no surprises for your family.

Funeral Plan Prices

Funeral Plan prices start at £2,800 which is the Single Payment price for the Base funeral plan rising to £4,540 for the Premier funeral plan.

There are several payment options that also have an effect on the price. There is the Single Payment option that is the cheapest, you pay the entire fee up front, there is also the 12 monthly payments option where you pay a £49 deposit then a set amount a month (depending on the chosen plan), this results in the same overall fee as the Single Payment.

The last two options do have an effect on the overall cost because they are long term payment options. The low-cost instalment option can range from 2 years to 30 years depending on your age. Then there are the fixed monthly payments that you pay until you are 90 or until you pass away.

Your age on taking out the plan also has an effect on the payment options available to you as well as the length of payment term available.

How is my Money Protected in a Funeral Plan?

Due to the fact that Golden Charter are the UK’s leading funeral plan provider they take great pride in the fact not only are they registered with the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) but that they are the only funeral plan provider with a recommendation from the Society of Allied & Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF).

Protecting your money is of the utmost importance and depending on how you pay, your money is either paid into an AXA Wealth Ltd life insurance policy or into the Golden Charter Trust. It will be held there until the money to pay for your funeral arrangements is required. Even if the company was to close down, that money is secure and safe and will remain so until you need it.

Would I be Better Saving the Money in a Savings Account?

The short answer is no! The long answer is that if you put the money into a savings account now that would cover the cost of a funeral in the future. Say you decided on a Base funeral plan with the cost of £2,800, if you put the same amount in a savings account the interest made on that money would not cover the increases in funeral prices in the future. Savings accounts would also need to be set up in joint names so that upon your death a family member can also access the money.

Anything Else I Should Consider?

While thinking about the end of our lives there are other questions that can pop into your head, such as what happens to my belongings after I die or how can I make sure that my estate doesn’t diminish in value. The Will Associates are one of the leading UK companies who specialise in estate planning. Estate planning options include Wills, Lasting Power of Attorney as well as Trusts. Our consultants will be more than happy to discuss all the services that we offer and which would suit you best.

I Want a Funeral Plan, What is the Next Step?

The next step is simple. Just get in touch with The Will Associates on our Freephone number 0800 9500 700, or you can visit our contact us page and request a call back at a time that suits you. You will speak to one of our members of staff in our call centre who will arrange a no-obligation appointment at a location of your choosing and at a time that suits you.