Your questions answered
Below is a list of questions we’re asked most and our answers. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, simply get in touch with us.
Can anyone apply for a Golden Charter funeral plan?
Our plans are available to all UK residents, regardless of age or state of health. If you choose to pay by the instalment payment option you must be aged under 78 at the start date of your plan and pay the total cost by your 80th birthday. There are no maximum or minimum age limits if choosing to pay by single payment or by 12 monthly payments.
What happens once I've bought my plan?
We’ll send you a plan documents folder with all the information about your plan, as well as a membership card. If you have opted to have a nominated representative for your plan, they will receive a letter shortly after you have purchased your funeral plan. This will advise that you have put a plan in place and provide details of your appointed funeral director.
You will also receive a customer statement which will be sent to you every three years using your preferred method of contact.
What if my circumstances change?
If your personal or financial circumstances change, please get in touch if you wish to update us on this.
What if I change my mind?
If you cancel within 30 days we will refund the payment you have made. For details of cancellation terms after 30 days of receiving our written acceptance, please see our separate Key Features document.
Can I choose my own funeral director?
Yes, if you have a preferred funeral director please let us know when you call or at step five of the online purchase journey. If it isn’t possible to appoint your plan to your preferred funeral director, we’ll let you know so we can work with you to choose an alternative. If you don’t have any preference we’ll simply appoint a funeral director near to you from our network of local, independently owned funeral directors.
What if I have special requests for my funeral?
You can tell us about any special wishes for your funeral when you apply. If these involve extra costs, you may be able to add these on to the total cost of your plan.
What happens when I die?
Your plan documents folder contains the contact details for your funeral director. When the time comes your family contacts the funeral director and quotes your plan number. The funeral director will then take care of your funeral arrangements.
What if I die while in another country?
If you intend to travel overseas, we recommend that your travel or medical insurance policy includes cover for repatriation costs back to mainland UK. Your funeral plan covers the cost of transportation of the deceased from the relevant UK airport or port to the funeral director’s premises.
What happens if I die before I've made all the payments?
This will depend on the type of payment method you have chosen. Please refer to our separate Key Features document for more information.
Can I transfer my plan to someone else?
You can transfer the benefit of your funeral plan to a nominated family member or friend who dies before you, once the total cost of the plan has been paid. Any change of arrangements following such a transfer (for example, a change of address for the nominated family member or friend leading to increased transportation costs) may mean that we have to appoint a different funeral director. It may also mean that you need to pay additional sums.
Can I take out a plan for someone else?
Yes, you will be appointed as the plan holder’s representative, and we’ll arrange for all correspondence to be sent to you.
What is the difference between a plan representative and a nominated representative?
A plan representative is someone who can take out a plan on the plan holder’s behalf. They will have the authority to make changes to the plan and will receive the plan documents rather than the plan holder. A nominated representative is someone who the plan holder would like to make aware that they have taken out a plan. A nominated representative has no authority to make changes to the plan.
What if I move to a different area?
Please let us know you are moving so we can update our records. You will have the option to move your plan to a different funeral director, if required, and this may incur additional costs.
Why do you charge an arrangement fee?
All of our funeral plans include a £285 arrangement fee which is retained by us as a contribution for setting up the plan.
What happens to my payments?
Your money will be transferred and held in the Golden Charter Trust (“The Trust”) after we deduct our arrangement and marketing fees. The Golden Charter Trust is operated by a Board of Trustees, completely independent of Golden Charter. Their role is to hold your payments and ensure that the funeral director services in your plan can be paid for at the time they are required – however far into the future that may be.
How does the Trust work?
The Trust is a distinct legal entity from Golden and the Trust’s assets are held entirely separately from the assets of Golden Charter. Therefore, the money you paid for your funeral plan is ‘ring fenced’ over the term of your plan. The monies paid by all customers are invested by the Trust until needed to pay the funeral director who performs the funeral service of maturing plans.
Can the value of the money I paid for my plan fall while held in the Trust?
A Golden Charter funeral plan is not an investment product that fluctuates in value or on which you earn interest. When you buy a plan, you receive a guarantee of the funeral director services contained within the plan being provided at the time they are required, however far into the future that may be. The overall value of the Trust Fund can rise or fall but this does not impact on the guarantee of the funeral director’s services under your plan, or on your cancellation rights.
What would happen to my money if Golden Charter ceased trading?
If Golden Charter ceased trading, your money would continue to be held in the Trust until the time of need. You would also retain the right to cancel your plan and receive a refund subject to the terms and conditions of your plan. The Trust would continue as long as is necessary to make payments to funeral directors for all plans as they mature.
What happens if the Trust ceased to exist?
Should the Trust cease to exist, your payments are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). In such circumstances you may be entitled to compensation subject to FSCS limits (currently £85,000 per individual plan holder with some exceptions) or the FSCS may instead arrange for continuity of your plan through another authorised funeral plan provider as an alternative to compensation. Please refer to the FSCS website www.fscs.org.uk for further information.
What if my chosen funeral director can't perform my funeral?
If the funeral director can’t perform your funeral we will select another funeral director to carry out your funeral arrangements as detailed in your plan.
Can I change my mind and stop the plan?
For all payment methods, if you cancel within 30 days of receiving our written acceptance we will refund the payment you have made.
If you choose to make a single payment or pay by 12 monthly payments and you cancel 30 days after receiving our written acceptance, you will receive a refund of payments made less our arrangement fee of £285.
If you are paying by the instalment payment option and cancel 30 days after receiving our written acceptance, but before you have made 12 payments, you will receive a refund of all payments made. If you cancel after you have made 12 payments, you will receive a refund of all payments less our arrangement fee of £285.