Open Prepaid Funeral Plans Review
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Limitations of Open Prepaid Funerals
Questions about Open Prepaid Funerals...
How Much Does It Cost? (Click to expand)
The nice thing about having four different plans is that it is easy to find one that fits your budget, so may work well for those looking for help with funeral costs. The Simple plan costs £2,090, and the Simple Plus plan costs £3,190. The Traditional plan costs £3,745. The top of the line Select plan costs £4,295. If you choose the Direct Cremation plan, you will pay £1,895. According to the Money Advice Service, the average cost of a funeral is now £3,675 and rising every year.
When you prepay for your funeral, many of the costs are guaranteed, so if they go up, Open will cover the increased cost, and you will not have to pay any additional charges for those items. This was very important to us because we wanted to be sure that our children didn’t have to pay any extra costs or fees. Open will also refund 100% of your money if you find a better plan within 12 months. I don’t think we will find a better one for us, but if we do, it’s nice to know we can change our minds.
How much does an Open Prepaid Funeral cost per month?
This prepay funeral company works with independent funeral directors across the UK offering a financially more capable outlook (they believe) in the way funeral plans are operated.
Many of these plan providers offer linked Disbursement growth to RPI and CPI - indices that reflect inflationary costs of living. With Open however these measures are also applied to Funeral Director costs, this helps pay more in the event of a shortfall.
The plans are also slightly different in that you can choose your own funeral director and opt out of paying Disbursements and leave this area to be managed by your Next of Kin. However as these are costs that need paying in the event of death, it's wise to include them but at least you have the option to decide. While not in their best interests, they also offer a direct funeral option which excludes an actual funeral service.
Direct Cremation Plan:
One off - £1,895 or 12 months at £141.67 interest free.
24 months at £74.51 = £1983.24.
36 months at £50.87 = £2026.32.
60 months at £32.00 = £2115.00.
120 months at £17.95 = £2349.00.
Includes: Disbursements of £840. Basic coffin. Third party fees and staff for conveying deceased to crematorium. Ashes may be scattered as requested or returned to Next of Kin. Doesn't include any funeral service.
One off - £2,090 or 12 months at £157.92 interest free.
24 months at £83.05 = £2188.20.
36 months at £56.71 = £2236.56.
60 months at £35.67 = £2335.20.
120 months at £20.01 = £2596.20.
Simple Plus package includes £1100 disbursements, not used in above calculations.
Includes: Basic coffin. Pallbearers. Hearse to funeral location. Local collection of deceased to funeral home during office hours. Care and preparation of deceased. Paperwork. Disbursement contributions of £1100 - optional within Simple package. Chapel of Rest facilities. Funeral Director's professional fees. Funeral service formation. Help placing obituary notice and writing of but not cost of publication. Memorial advice.
One off - £3,745 or 12 months at £295.83 interest free.
24 months at £155.58 = £3928.92.
36 months at £106.24 = £4019.64.
60 months at £66.83 = £4204.80.
120 months at £37.48 = £4692.60.
Adds: Upgrade to genuine wood veneered coffin. Bereavement advice. Legal guidance and advice on floral tributes and charities. Funeral processional departs from a local address to service / place of burial and then returns to a local address. Conductor and pallbearers. Use of one limousine.
One off - £4,295 or 12 months at £341.67 interest free.
24 months at £179.69 = £4508.56.
36 months at £122.70 = £4612.20.
60 months at £77.18 = £4825.80.
120 months at £43.29 = £5389.80.
Adds: Upgrade to superior genuine wood veneered coffin. Collates tributes cards or list of flowers sent and by whom. Condolence book. A second limousine.
Notes: Prices may vary upon postcode and whether you allow provider to choose funeral home or you elect one yourself. Amounts contain choice to add Disbursements. Trial purchase noted £1100 added to cost for disbursements. Payments will be less if not included however but will need paying by someone at time of death. Initial deposit is £195 with any plan. Equivalent APR for reference 4.9%. Cremation and burial costs worked out to be the same during trial purchases. No cancellation fee.
Trust Held: Yes, The Open Trust Fund with independent board of trustees aside of Open Prepaid Funerals Limited. The fund uses growth to maintain specific aspects that are unique to the plan's offerings. As detailed above.
What We Liked & Disliked...
My husband and I liked the idea of being able to specify exactly what we want at our funerals and that we could pay for it all in advance. We chose the traditional plan and were very happy with the help we got from Open. We selected a local funeral director and Open contacted them to confirm our prepaid plan with them.
There's a lot of confusion with funeral plans in that customers are not always 100% sure what they will have to pay for when the time comes, and what will be paid for in full as part of the funeral plan. So here's what's guaranteed and not guaranteed.
- Costs for Funeral Director Services (Funeral Arrangements, Funeral Services on the day, Hearse, Coffin, Limousine)
There's an amount of £840-£1,100 which they call a 'contribution' towards third party costs which are:
- Cremation fees,
- Minister's fees, and
- Doctor's charges.
The contribution is between £840 - £1,100. (Does not include the Simple Plan)
Does that mean I (or my family) will have to pay money on top?
There may well indeed be more to pay, as all Open offer is a contribution of £840-£1,100 - so if fees exceed £1,100 you may have to pay the difference. It's worth noting their Simple Plan covers none of the funeral services and offers no contribution towards them, which means for that specific plan (the Simple Plan) you or your family would have to cover those fees as and when.
What If I Want Something Different?
Open will work with you if you want something other than what they offer in their plans. They will help you plan for what you want, and the funeral director you choose will give you the cost. You can then pay that up front as well, so there will be no surprise costs to your children or heirs when you pass.
My husband and I were able to specify the readings, songs and hymns we want at our funeral service. We could even decide which kinds of flowers we wanted, or if we wanted to request donations to charity instead.
What's the Defaqto Rating for Open Prepaid Funeral Plans?
At the time of writing Open Prepaid Funerals have a star rating of 2 out of 5 on the Defaqto ratings for funeral plans in 2018.
How Does An Open Prepaid Funeral Plan Work?
A prepaid funeral plan lets you pay for the cost of your funeral before you die. You can specify exactly what you want, and since everything is already paid for, there’s much less stress and work for your heirs. You decide whether you want a burial or a cremation, you choose the type of casket you want, and so on.
For the Open prepaid funeral plan, you can pay all at once, or over twelve months. For an extra charge, you can spread your payments over up to ten years. If you die before the payments are finished, your heirs will be responsible for the remaining payments.
What Funeral Plans Do Open Prepaid Funerals Offer?
Open offers four different plans.
The Simple plan is the most basic, and the least expensive. There’s also the Simple Plus plan. The Simple plan includes transportation and care of the deceased, the services of the funeral director, the viewing facility, a hearse to the funeral location, a basic coffin, and advice on registering the death and placing an obituary. The Simple Plus plan also include a contribution toward the cemetery or crematorium.
The Traditional Plan
The Traditional plan includes everything in the Simple Plus plan, with an upgraded coffin, limousine for mourners, a cortege, and advice on floral tributes, bereavement counselling, estate administration and more.
The Select Plan
The Select plan adds a second limousine, a deluxe coffin, attendance cards, and collection of floral cards.
Direct Cremation Plan
There is also a Direct Cremation plan, which bypasses the formal funeral service and covers all of the details of a cremation. This would be a good option for someone who would like to have a Memorial Service at a later date.
Will My Money Be Safe?
Generally funeral plan providers have a trust fund which is setup as a separate, independent entity - this protects the fund in case the provider 'goes under' and should not affect the trust. This is how Open Prepaid Funerals are setup.
Worth noting that they are also not registered with the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) currently.
Any Cancellation fees?
Open charge £345 cancellation fee if you cancel your plan after 30 days. If you cancel within 30 days there is no charge.
Will my plan stay the same if I move house?
It should stay the same as it's portable BUT you may incur additional costs as it will depend on the funeral director that has been appointed.
What happens to my plan if I die before paying the full amount?
This a less complicated policy offering in the event of an early death during a payment plan. Should the holder die before the balance of payments are met, the next of kin or Executor can pay the remainder to receive the funeral purchased. There are no further details about cancellation fees or other options.
With all the points mentioned above we think it's important to carefully consider choosing Open Prepaid Funerals for a funeral plan, and we want to re-iterate the points below. If you do go with Open they have a 30 day money back guarantee if you're not happy with the plan or service, make sure you cancel within the 30 day time limit.
"Nobody likes to think about their funeral, and I’m no exception. But what I thought was even worse than thinking about my funeral was the fear that my children would be burdened by having to pay for it."
Reviews of Open Prepaid Funerals
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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