Golden Charter Funeral Plans Review
Find out if this funeral plan company is one you want to be spending your money with
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 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 under 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. I can also rest at ease because Golden Charter is registered with the Funeral Planning Authority, who protects my interests as a consumer.
I also like the fact that they provide other services such as Wills, Power of Attorney, and Probate so that I can do everything in one spot. Plus, with these plans, my Will is included.
It appears to be most beneficial to pay as much as possible earlier on, so the payments are cleared as soon as possible, and possibly even spending more than the lump sum.
I like that my money is held in a trust with independent trustees since this industry is new and not as regulated. I like that fact that my family won’t have to worry about paying for a funeral, and I also plan to have a savings account to handle other expenses not covered by my prepaid plan.
It's important to look at costs that are guaranteed vs just an 'allowance' which may not be enough, in which case YOU will have to find the money to pay the rest yourself. For more detail, click the 'What is included in the funeral costs?' question for a visual table.
There's an amount of £700 (Value plan) or £940 (rest of the plans) which they call an 'allowance' 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?
To help break down what I need, I wanted to see what was included in funeral costs that may not be clear. In addition to the service and the other known costs such as a casket, funeral director, etc., I looked to see if there were any other expenses to consider. These include disbursements made by the burial plots, headstones, funeral director fees, and the local authority burial or cremation fees. We've included what you get in the table 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.
What happens if I die before paying off my Golden Charter funeral plan?
If I die before the end of my payment plan, the balance will be taken from my estate. The funeral will still proceed as I planned.
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 - they have a 30 day guarantee so if you do decide you want a refund, we would suggest, emailing, faxing and sending a letter (recorded delivery) just to be sure.
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.
I want to have my funeral taken care of when the time comes. With taking out a funeral plan now, my family can worry about other things and probably save money if costs go up later. With rising prices of funerals, I feel at ease knowing I can save my family money now.
With the average funeral cost being around £3,600, I’m worried these prices will still rise and will cost my family more money than I want them to pay.