Coronavirus and COVID-19 FAQs
Last updated: 25 Jun 2020
Section 1 - What is the impact of coronavirus and COVID-19?
At Golden Charter, we remain open at this unprecedented time of lockdown. We are still here to provide help, support and guidance while things are different and so have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions about funerals and funeral plans during coronavirus and COVID-19 which you can view below.
Section 2 - How can I register a death?
The process for registering a death has temporarily changed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Death registrations are now taking place remotely. The doctor will send the medical cause of death certificate electronically directly to the registrar, rather than giving the certificate to the next of kin.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the registrar will contact the next of kin to arrange a time to complete the registration over the phone.
In Scotland, once the doctor confirms they have sent the death certificate to the registrar, the next of kin should contact the registrar by telephone or email to make arrangements.
In the Republic of Ireland, you can apply to register a death or purchase a certificate of death by e-mail or by post. There is no requirement or facility for you to attend the civil registration service offices in person.
Funeral directors are now also authorised to register a death if they are arranging the funeral and have permission from the next of kin. However, they are not obliged to do so.
Section 3 - In what ways are funerals now different?
The duties of funeral directors have not changed in that your loved one will still be given the utmost care. All funerals will require to be scaled back in terms of the numbers able to attend. However, many families are choosing to organise an additional celebration at a later date, after the funeral has taken place and restrictions have been lifted.
Section 4 - Who is allowed to come to the funeral?
The number of mourners should be as low as possible to ensure a safe distance of at least 2 meters can be maintained between attendees. Alongside the funeral director, chapel attendant and funeral staff only the following should attend:
members of the person’s household
close family members
or if the above are unable to attend, close friends
a celebrant of choice if requested by the bereaved.
Mourners should follow social distancing when travelling to and from and during the funeral service.
In order to adhere to strict government guidelines some smaller venues may have further restrictions in place. Some crematoria have put measures in place to allow mourners who cannot attend a funeral to do so remotely via video link. Your chosen funeral director will be able to advise you on this.
Section 5 - What if some of the funeral attendees are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus?
Anyone experiencing symptoms should not attend a funeral in person, in line with government advice.
Section 6 - Can I still arrange a Golden Charter pre-planned funeral?
Yes. You can still initiate funeral proceedings in the same way, with a single call to the chosen funeral director who will advise you on the next steps.
Section 7 - I am self-isolating. Can I still arrange a pre-planned funeral?
Yes, but you should continue to follow all the government guidance and contact the funeral director by phone instead of visiting their office.
Section 8 - What if I’m unable to get in touch with the selected funeral director?
If you’re struggling to contact the funeral director selected to carry out the funeral plan, please contact our Customer Service team and we will assist. Call us free on 0800 833 800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team is available from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm.
Section 9 - Can I still take out a funeral plan?
Yes, you can still take out a funeral plan either over the phone or by going online. The cost of our funeral plans is frozen at 2019 prices.
Section 10 - What if I am struggling to pay my instalments?
We understand that restrictions are affecting many people’s income. If you’re struggling to make your monthly payments, please get in touch with our Customer Service team to discuss how we can help. Call us free on 0800 833 800 or email email@example.com. Our team is available from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm.
Section 11 - Will my funeral plan still cover the cost of my funeral?
Yes – the current situation has not affected the ability of the Golden Charter Trust to pay for funeral in any way.
While economic fluctuations can be a worrying time for all, the Golden Charter Trust uses a careful and diverse strategy which has meant that they have felt a fraction of the impact seen elsewhere in the stock market.
This excludes the Fixed monthly payment option where money is paid to a UK life insurance company and managed by them. For more information, please contact our Customer Service team on 0800 833 800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team is available from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm.
Section 12 - What if part of a funeral plan can’t be delivered due to current restrictions?
Where particular services included in a funeral plan can’t be delivered due to current restrictions, a refund will be made to the estate or next of kin. For more information, please contact our Customer Service team on 0800 833 800 or email email@example.com. Our team is available from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm.
Section 13 - Not answered your question?
If you still have questions or for more information, please contact our Customer Service team on 0800 833 800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team is available from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.
We will also be providing updates via our Facebook page too. Please stay safe, we will get through this together.