We hear lots of stories every day from families who have received bad service from other funeral directors, scams relating to pre-payment funeral plans, or they know someone who has.
David and I pride ourselves on being open and honest Funeral Directors and it is challenging to manage what is deemed acceptable in relation to promotion, advertisement, social media and technology. We received lots of positive feedback about the 360 tour of our Funeral Home which has led to people feeling comfortable to call or email us and asking questions they may not have felt able to do so before. The fear of the unknown has been conquered for some.
With all of this in mind we have decided that once or twice a month we will use some of the questions we have already been asked and respond on social media with the answer. We hope to create an area where anyone can ask anything and somewhere we can educate people on one of the hardest situations many will ever find themselves in, removing the fear of the unknown for them so that when the time does come for loved ones you can make informed decisions.
Question: Can I Pre Purchase my Funeral Plan?
Answer: Yes, you can.
Pre-payment funeral plans are becoming more and more popular. Taking control of the inevitable by making your wishes known, taking the burden of ever rising funeral costs off your family’s shoulders are all reasons why many are now pre-purchasing payment plans.
More and more companies are now being set up, either by independent people or corporate companies; here lies the problem. Your local family run funeral directors will most likely be part of a governing body. We are, we are part of SAIF (Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors established 1989), please note this is different to safe hands. Other funeral directors in the area are also part of SAIF. This means that we have to adhere to their strict code of conduct, our premises must reach high standards, we are subject to inspections and our working practices are of the highest quality.
This extends to pre-payment plans. We are part of Golden Charter; they are a trusted and regulated body who only work with independent funeral directors. We sell bespoke independent plans and all funds are protected with the Golden Charter Trust – this gives our clients peace of mind.
There are many ways to purchase a plan, perhaps through a life insurance policy, whilst preparing a will, or through a company you may have seen advertised in the local newspaper, online and even television advertisements. Whist many of these companies will be trusted and regulated, with an ethical and moral stance you will expect from a reputable firm, it’s important to remember that not all are.
It is vital that you research your chosen company, ask your friends, look on Companies House, ask for references and company numbers and ask your local funeral director if the company you are thinking of is a reputable firm. Any funeral director would be more than happy to give you this answer with no obligation over the phone. Some companies may tell you that you can choose your own funeral director as part of the plan – whilst in many cases this is correct but in others it is not. Check with your chosen Funeral Director that they have received documentation with your instructions.
We have heard that plans are sold, the client pays in full and choose their funeral director…Yet when the plan has matured and the person has passed away the family call the chosen funeral director to being the arrangements to find out that the plan was never allocated or accepted. This is the last thing you will want to deal with during a bereavement but sadly many times funds are never recovered.
Please look out for these logos: GOLDEN CHARTER, SAIF, NAFD and Funeral Planning Authority.