Golden Charter Funeral Plans Review
Find out if Golden Charter funeral plans is one you want to be spending your money with; as well as what you get for your money.
Limitations of Golden Charter Funeral Plans:
Questions About Golden Charter Funeral Plans:
How much are funeral plans from Golden Charter? (click to expand)
The amount of each funeral plan varies by age, but here are the average prices. I like the flexibility of paying all of the money up front or choosing from various monthly flex payments.
What we liked and disliked?
Golden Charter is the largest provider of funeral plans in the UK and works with more than 3,300 independent funeral directors in the UK. The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors recommends Golden Charter. Golden Charter is registered with the Funeral Planning Authority.
They also provide other services such as Wills, Power of Attorney, and Probate so that consumers can do everything in one place.
It's important to look at costs that are guaranteed vs just an 'allowance' which may not be enough, in which case your representatives will have to find the money to pay the rest. For more detail, click the 'What is included in the funeral costs?' question for a visual table.
The allowance amount of £800 (Value plan) or £1,100 (rest of the plans) goes towards third party costs which are:
- Cremation fees, or Burial fees
- Minister's fees, and
- Doctor's charges.
Where does my money go and will it be safe?
Golden Charter Trust, which is a separate financial entity run by a board of trustees, will manage my money. This board makes sure that there are no issues with Golden Charter Company and my plan is not affected
What is included in the funeral costs?
We've included what you get in the screenshot below:
There are four plans to choose from depending on your wants and budget. Wills are also included in each of these plans. Burial plots are not included in these plans, neither are headstones.
How much does a Golden Charter funeral plan cost per month?
Working with 3000 independent funeral homes across the United Kingdom, you may be forgiven for thinking you can be buried just about anywhere you may move to. 300 support staff operating from a Glasgow HQ enable many families to have comfort knowing their relatives' funeral is already taken care of.
Like many of the funeral plan providers that are members of the Funeral Planning Authority your deposited payments are kept in trust and protected by independent trustees. Ensuring services are guaranteed at the time of death. A unique aspect is the inclusion of grave cost in disbursements and the wide network of undertakers available.
One off - £2,895
Includes: Basic coffin.
Transportation of deceased to funeral home during office hours within a 25 mile radius.
Care and preparation of deceased without embalming.
Funeral at place of burial or cremation.
Funeral takes place at nearest available date to request.
Chapel of Rest access during office hours.
A bereavement guide book.
Disbursement allowance of £800.
A professionally drafted Will and Testament.
One off - £3,495.
Adds: Upgrade to plan Simple coffin.
Enables service to be held at alternative location to interment site.
Ability to choose time and date of funeral. Hearse from home to place of service.
Disbursement contribution up to £1,100.
One off - £3,850
Adds: Upgrade to High Quality coffin.
Transport deceased to funeral home any time within 25 mile radius.
Upgrade to one limousine.
Chapel of Rest access 24/7 by appointment.
One off - £4,099
Adds: Upgrade to Superior coffin. A second limousine. A list of floral tributes supplied.
Notes: You need to be at least aged 80 by the end of the plan's payment period ends and no older than 78 to start a payment schedule. Each plan begins with a £49 deposit. These funeral plans use 25 mile radius with consideration to transporting the deceased, others state 25 and 50 miles but this provider does operate with 3000 funeral homes. A disbursement fee does cover part of the cost of a grave purchase but may not be fully charged, Next of Kin will need to make up the difference if necessary.
Trust Held: Yes, either Golden Charter Trust or residing with a UK life assurance company.
What happens if I die before paying off my Golden Charter funeral plan?
The difference between funeral plans are many. There is a stand out clause in this policy that you should be immediately aware of and that is as follows. Should you take out a long term funeral plan and you die after twelve months, the balance will still be asked for from your estate or next of kin.
However, if you die within the first two years of a fixed payment plan the chosen funeral director will receive all payments made thus far plus an additional 20% on top. As long as payments are up to date. With a low cost payment plan monies will be returned to the estate.
In the instance whereby the holder dies within the first twelve months of a one year payment plan, the Executor or next of kin will be provided the option to pay the remaining balance and receive the funeral as planned or pay a £249 cancellation fee and make own arrangements and receive all previous payments.
What's the Defaqto rating for Golden Charter Funeral Plans?
At the time of writing in 2018 Golden Charter have a star rating of 3 out of 5 on the Defaqto ratings for funeral plans.
What are the cancellation fees?
GoldenCharter state a cancellation fee of £249 if requesting a refund after 30 days have passed. If you want a refund make sure you get in touch with them in less than 30 days, there won't be a cancellation fee.
You can cancel via post, fax, e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or a by making a phone call to them on 0800 171 2955.
Their postal address is:
Customer Resolution Manager
10 Canniesburn Drive
Glasgow G61 1BF
What if I move house?
Your funeral plan should stay the same in theory, as it's portable but you may incur additional costs as it will depend on the funeral director that has been appointed.
"Nationally the cost of funerals have risen by MORE THAN 90% on average since 2004" - Source: The SunLife cost of dying report 2015.
Here's a recap of the major points to consider with Golden Charter.
Reviews of Golden Charter
Trustpilot has a rating of 8.2/10 for Golden Charter, here's some of their feedback:
Reviews from TrustPilot (Click to expand)
Reviews from Golden Charter's facebook page:
Google reviews of Golden Charter plans:
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"After my father passed without any arrangements, I had to sort everything out, it was difficult. I quickly decided that I didn’t want to leave my kids with that kind of burden. Now, I pay a small monthly amount and it’s such a relief..." - Steve Bailey, Herts.