Golden Leaves Funeral Plans - Our Review
Golden leaves is a long established funeral plan company which enables you to pre-plan and pay for your funeral with their 'From 50 plans'. This review explains what plans are available, as well as some limitations.
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Limitations of Golden Leaves
Questions on Golden Leaves
How much are Golden Leaves funeral plans? (click to expand)
Golden Leaves offer 6 plans for UK residents:
- From 50 Copper plan: £1,844 or you can pay in instalments of 12-60 months. (Direct cremation only with £840 contribution as apposed to £940 contribution for the rest except the Bronze plan)
- From 50 Bronze plan: £2,394 or you can pay in instalments of 12-60 months. (No contribution towards disbursements at all - these will need to be paid by the family)
- From 50 Zinc plan: £2,859 or you can pay in instalments of 12-60 months.
- From 50 Silver plan: £3,204 or you can pay in instalments of 12-60 months.
- From 50 Gold plan: £3,559 or you can pay in instalments of 12-60 months.
- From 50 Platinum plan: £3,809 or you can pay in instalments of 12-60 months.
What we disliked?
There's a note about regional variations in pricing - which they will make you aware of if the funeral director does not accept the plan. In other words the price advertised might not be the same price you are offered.
Cremation fees & Ministers fees are not guaranteed - just a £940 contribution on all plans except the Copper which is direct cremation only and a £840 contribution toward disbursements.
Golden Leaves have a guarantee that the funeral directors' fees will be 'met in full'. This would include:
- Funeral director services
- Funeral director guidance and help with documentation
- A coffin
- There are no guarantees for the cremation or burial service fees.
Will my money be safe?
Golden Leaves enables you to pay money into a funeral fund, which is kept in a secure trust. For a full overview see our compare funeral plans page which lists the major providers.
What is a secure trust?
A secure trust is for when the time comes to pay for your funeral it can be done right away. This in itself is a key advantage: funeral costs can leave next of kin and other loves ones with a large, sometimes unexpected bill that can cause stress and financial difficulty at a time when it is least wanted.
What's included in the cost of the plan?
From 50 Copper plan: £1844
Direct cremation only - no service, no hearse, no use of the chapel of rest
- Funeral directors services
- Advice on funeral registration, docs, certificates
- Collection of the deceased
- Basic coffin
- £840 contribution towards cremation fees.
From 50 Bronze plan: £2,394
- All the above including a hearse
- Funeral services on the day
- No collection of the deceased
- Removal from the place of death to funeral directors' premises (25 mile radius limit)
- Chapel of rest available for friends & family visitation
- Basic coffin
- No contribution towards cremation or burial service fees.
From 50 Zinc plan: £2,859
- All of the Bronze plan features plus
- £940 contribution towards burial or cremation fees
- Time of funeral service chosen by funeral director NOT family
From 50 Silver plan: £3,204
- All of the zinc features but family can choose time of funeral service
- Thank you cards
From 50 Gold plan: £3,559
- All of the silver features but includes a standard coffin
- 1 limousine
- Full listing of floral tributes
- 24hours removal from place of death to funeral directors premises within a 25 mile radius
From 50 Platinum plan: £3,809
- A high quality coffin
- 2 limousines
How much does a Golden Leaves plan cost per month?
This plan provider focuses on delivering fixed and monthly payments for funerals for those aged fifty or over. A founding member of The National Association for Pre-paid Funeral Plans it offers a wide variety of both cremation and burial plans as well as a dedicated direct funeral only plan, a unique concept where no service is required.
Another unique aspect is its variety of green burial plans. Quite dissimilar from a traditional burial the deceased will be buried or ashes laid in a woodland area or meadow with unmarked graves leaving only natural splendour behind and a GPS co-ordinate of where the deceased was put to rest. Compare the many packages and decide which one meets your needs and budget.
One off - £1844 or 12 months £132.83 interest free.
24 months at £70.40 = £1939.64.
36 months at £49.75 = £2041.02.
60 months at £33.54 = £2262.39.
No Sun Life Policy available.
Includes: **Direct Cremation Only - No Service** Basic coffin. Collection of deceased from hospital or coroner within working hours. Funeral director's professional services. Advice, guidance, paperwork. Care of the deceased and preparation. Doesn't include ability to set time and date of funeral. Disbursements allowance - contribution of £840.
One off - £2394 or 12 at months £178.67 interest free.
24 months at £94.69 = £2522.64.
36 months at £66.92 = £2659.00.
60 months at £45.11 = £2956.75.
Lowest monthly payment at £18.88 with Sun Life Policy.
Adds: Transport deceased within 25 mile radius within within working hours. Chapel of Rest visit for relatives and friends. Offers conductor and four pallbearers. Hearse for service to Crematorium or Cemetery. Enables Thank You cards. Removes disbursements. Bereavement counselling.
One off - £2859 or 12 months at £217.42 interest free.
24 months at £115.23 = £3015.54.
36 months at £81.43 = £3181.47.
60 months at £54.90= £3543.80.
Lowest monthly payment at £22.70 with Sun Life Policy.
Adds: Removes ability to set time and date of funeral. Disables Thank You Cards. Disbursements allowance - contribution of £940.
One off - £3204 or 12 months at £246.17 interest free.
24 months at £130.47 = £3381.24.
36 months at £92.20 = £3569.11.
60 months at £62.16 = £3979.36.
Lowest monthly payment at £25.54 with Sun Life Policy.
Adds: Enables Thank You Cards.
One off - £3559 or 12 months at £275.75 interest free.
24 months at £146.15 = £3757.54.
36 months at £103.28 = £3967.99.
60 months at £69.63 = £4427.54.
Lowest monthly payment at £28.46 with Sun Life Policy.
Adds: Standard coffin. Transport deceased within 25 mile radius within 24 hours. A limousine for cortege. Supply list of floral tributes.
One off - £3809 or 12 months at £296.58 interest free.
24 months at £157.19 = £4022.54.
36 months at £111.08 = £4248.89.
60 months at £74.89 = £4743.16.
Lowest monthly payment at £30.51 with Sun Life Policy.
Adds: High quality coffin. A second limousine for funeral procession.
Notes: Arrangement fee of £99 applies. Also read that all Disbursements are not covered and it is a contribution up to a certain amount. There is no immediate mention as to whether this is RPI linked and if amount rises with age of policy to meet rising cost of funeral services. Meaning the bereaved are left to pay the difference. A funeral home plan often includes 50 mile radius deceased body collection, this is 25 miles. Cumulative management fee of 6% per year for overseeing instalments. Deposit may be higher and above requested initial £250 if wish to further lower monthly payments.
Specific to Golden Leaves Green Funeral plans
One off - £2633 or 12 months at £198.58 interest free.
24 months at £105.25 = £2775.98.
36 months at £74.38 = £2927.54.
60 months at £50.14 = £3258.48.
Includes: Professional services of a funeral director. Advice, guidance, paperwork. Removal of body from location of death to funeral home with working hours within radius of 25 miles. Chapel of Rest visitations. Care and preparation of deceased - no embalming. Veneer coffin. Carbon replacement. Donation to community. Choice of natural memorial. Four pallbearers with conductor. Inclusion of hearse. Bereavement counselling. Does not include disbursements.
One off - £3105 or 12 months at £237.92 interest free.
24 months at £126.10 = £3276.30.
36 months at £89.11 = £3457.88.
60 months at £60.07 = £3854.37.
Adds: Moving deceased from place of death within 24 hours up to 25 miles. Upgrade to Bamboo coffin. Makes available one limousine. Allows for list of floral tributes.
One off - £3484 or 12 months at £269.50 interest free.
24 months at £142.84 = £3678.04.
36 months at £100.94 = £3883.72.
60 months at £68.05 = £4332.85.
Adds: Upgrade to Pine, Willow, Wool or Reflections coffin. Enables use of two limousines. Offers Thank You cards.
Notes: Natural memorials are separate from any memorial placed at the site of a green burial which is usually designated by map or GPS or a specific tree. Instead a sapling can be delivered to your home, planted in a wood or sponsoring a rainforest.
It's conceivable same sapling could be planted at site of green burial if using a Bios urn. Disbursements for Crematorium or Cemetery fees, Medical, Minister or Religious Venue fees can be included at an extra cost and will be RPI index linked rising with rate of inflation. However still does not exclude top up request if required to meet the difference.
What's NOT included in the cost of the plan?
Cremation or Burial fees are a only contribution and may not be adequate to cover the cost.
What happens to my Golden Leaves plan if I die before paying it off?
This is where it gets a bit murky...
If you're paying by instalments the full benefit will only be paid if it's an accidental death - if not 120% of the fixed payments you've paid to date will go to the funeral director and used as a contribution towards the funeral costs, leaving your family to pay any outstanding balances.
So in short, your family or executors will have to pay any outstanding balances before Golden Leaves will go ahead with the funeral.
If that doesn't happen the plan will get cancelled and anything paid in will be returned to the purchaser or estate, but in special circumstances to the funeral director. There will be a cancellation fee taken from the funds as well. If this happens, any guarantees will lapse and family will have to pay the current day rate for a funeral at that time.
What's the Defaqto rating for Golden leaves?
Out of the 6 plans featured on the Defaqto website 5 of them got 3 / 5 stars
The Copper Plan got rated 2/5 stars as of 2018.
What are the cancellation fees?
You can cancel your golden leaves plan within 28 days and receive a full refund. If you want to cancel after 28 days, the charge is a hefty 20% taken from the cost of your plan. Here's what it would cost based on their prices:
- From 50 Copper plan: £1,844 - Cancellation charge: £368.00
- From 50 Bronze plan: £2,394 - Cancellation charge: £478.80
- From 50 Zinc plan: £2,859 - Cancellation charge: £571.80
- From 50 Silver plan: £3,204 - Cancellation charge: £640.80
- From 50 Gold plan: £3,559 - Cancellation charge: £711.80
- From 50 Platinum plan: £3,809 - Cancellation charge: £761.80
What if I move house?
If you have informed Golden Leaves of the change of address before the time comes, there may be an additional charge based on regional differences of funeral directors, crematoriums and cemeteries.
Can I choose the funeral director?
As plans from Golden Leaves are accepted by funeral directors nationwide you only find out who your funeral director is once you've applied - other than that, there's not much info on number of directors or coverage.
Golden Leaves also offer Green Funerals & European funeral plans for expats.
Our Opinion on Golden Leaves
We feel there are much better value for money funeral plans out there based on the points summarised below.
Golden Leaves Customer Reviews
Here are some reviews we have found on Golden Leaves from around the internet...
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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, Hertfordshire