Skip to content
Home > Funeral Plans > Funeral Plan Terms and Conditions

Funeral Plan Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions

Last updated: 18 Aug 2020

Section 1 - Definitions

We use the following definitions in your funeral plan and other related documents:

Deposit

This is the first payment of at least £49 made by you if you are paying by the 12 monthly payment option or the low cost instalment option.

Estate

This is anyone legally authorised to act for you after your death. This term also covers anyone legally authorised to act for your nominated family member if you choose to transfer your funeral service benefits (see Section 8).

Fixed Monthly Payment

If paying by the fixed monthly payment option, this is the amount you will pay each month which will be used to purchase the life assurance policy referred to in Section 7.

Funeral Director’s Costs

This is the selected funeral director’s fees and costs for your funeral. It does not include third party costs (see below).

Funeral Director Terms and Conditions

These are the terms and conditions accepted by the selected funeral director for your funeral plan which include the guarantee.

Funeral Plan

These are the pre-paid funeral services offered by us and the terms on which they are to be provided as set out in (1) our application form (2) these terms and conditions (3) the payment information sheet we give you (4) our brochure (which includes our key features document) and (5) the funeral director terms and conditions.

Funeral Services

These are all the services connected to your funeral (or your nominated family member’s funeral – see Section 8) which will be provided by us or the selected funeral director. The services are described in our brochure.

Guarantee

This is the guarantee given by the selected funeral director to provide your funeral services. It is included in the funeral director terms and conditions.

Nominated Family Member

This is a family member nominated by you to receive the funeral provided by your funeral plan (see Section 8).

Outstanding Balance

This is the amount of money you still have to pay under your funeral plan at any point in time if you are paying by the 12 monthly payment option or the low cost instalment option.

Representative

This is any person you named as your representative on your application form.

Selected Funeral Director

This is the funeral director selected by you or by us to provide the funeral services.

Set Period

(1) If paying by the 12 monthly payment option this is the period of up to 12 months agreed with you over which you will make payments. (2) If paying by the low cost instalment option this is the period of at least 24 months and up to 30 years as agreed with you over which you will make payments.

Start Date

This is the date on which you receive our written acceptance of your application for a funeral plan. It is the date on which our contract with you begins.

Third Party Costs

These are costs and fees that are paid by us or by the selected funeral director to other suppliers or professionals to carry out funeral services; this includes burial or cremation costs and payments to the person conducting your funeral service and covers anyone except us or the selected funeral director.

Total Cost

This is the total amount you will pay for your funeral plan (excluding any additional sums you have to pay as described in Section 3.6) if you are paying by the single payment option, the 12 monthly payment option or the low cost instalment option as detailed in the payment information sheet and in your membership pack.

Trust

The Golden Charter Trust which is further described in our brochure.

Value Plan

This is a version of your funeral plan which you may choose as described in Section 3.7.

We / Us

Golden Charter Ltd.

You

This is the person named on the funeral plan who we will provide with funeral services under the funeral plan. This will include a family member (or friend) who is nominated to receive the services (see Section 8).

We refer in various places to the possibility of you having to pay additional costs because of a change to your circumstances or to your funeral services. In the key features document for your funeral plan we give examples of the changes of circumstance in which additional costs might arise and the nature of those additional costs. Please note that additional costs will only arise where you either choose to make a change or where your own personal circumstances change. We will not make changes to your funeral plan and impose additional costs without your agreement. 

Section 2 - Payment options

2.1 There are 4 different ways to pay for your funeral plan:

2.1.1 the single payment option where you make one payment to the Trust described in Section 4 – if you choose this option you can ignore Sections 5, 6 and 7 of this document;

2.1.2 the 12 monthly payment option where you pay a deposit and up to 12 monthly payments to the Trust described in Section 5 – if you choose this option  you can ignore Sections 4, 6 and 7 of this document;

2.1.3 the low cost instalment option where you pay a deposit and monthly payments over 2 to 30 years described in Section 6 – if you choose this option you can ignore Sections 4, 5 and 7 of this document; or

2.1.4 the fixed monthly payment option where your monthly payments are used to buy a life assurance policy on your life from Phoenix Life Limited described in Section 7 – if you choose this option you can ignore Sections 4, 5, 6 and 8.1 to 8.3 of this document.

2.2 Your cancellation rights are detailed in Sections 4.4, 5.6, 6.5 or 7.7 depending on the payment option you have chosen. Other cancellation provisions are detailed in Section 10.

Section 3 - The single payment option

4.1 You must pay the total cost in a single payment to the Trust. The Trust will pay us a sum to cover our initial expenses. The rest of the total cost will be kept by the Trust and be used by the Trust to pay for your funeral services and for other authorised purposes as detailed in our brochure.

4.2 There are no age or health restrictions.

4.3 You must write and tell us about any change to your circumstances or your funeral services (including any change to your address or funeral requirements) as soon as reasonably possible. You should bear in mind that if your funeral plan is a value plan you cannot make any changes to your funeral services. A change which is likely to have a big impact on cost may mean that we have to appoint a new selected funeral director. It may also mean that we will need you to pay additional sums. We will tell you if additional sums will be due. You must then pay any additional sums to us within 30 days of our request. If you do not do so we will cancel your funeral plan and will refund the money you have paid less our cancellation fee of £249.

4.4 We will refund all the money you have paid if you cancel your funeral plan within 30 days of the start date. If you cancel after that 30 day period, we will charge a cancellation fee of £249. This fee will be deducted from the money to be refunded to you.

Section 4 - The 12 monthly payment option

5.1 You must pay the total cost to the Trust over an agreed set period of no more than 12 months. You must pay a deposit and then pay the Trust each month by direct debit. The Trust will pay us a sum to cover initial expenses. The rest of the money received from you will be kept by the Trust and be used by the Trust to pay for your funeral services and for other authorised purposes as detailed in our brochure.

5.2 There are no age or health restrictions.

5.3 You must write and tell us about any change to your circumstances or funeral services (including any change to your address or funeral requirements) as soon as reasonably possible. You should bear in mind that if your funeral plan is a value plan you cannot make any changes to your funeral services. A change which is likely to have a big impact on cost may mean that we have to appoint a new selected funeral director. It may also mean that we will need you to pay additional sums. We will tell you if additional sums will be due. You must then pay any additional sums to us within 30 days of our request. If you do not do so we will cancel your funeral plan and will refund the money you have paid less our cancellation fee of £249.

5.4 If, at the date of your death any payment is in arrears or any part of the total cost is still unpaid, we will only provide the funeral services if the outstanding balance is paid. If the outstanding balance is not paid we will cancel the funeral plan and will refund the money you have paid less our cancellation fee of £249.

5.5 You can pay the outstanding balance at any point before the end of the set period.

5.6 We will refund all the money you have paid if you cancel your funeral plan within 30 days of the start date. If you cancel after that 30 day period, we will charge a cancellation fee of £249. This fee will be deducted from the money to be refunded to you.

5.7 If you pay by the 12 monthly payment option you cannot later choose to pay by our low cost instalment option.

Section 5 - The low cost instalment option

6.1 You must pay the total cost to the Trust in instalments over an agreed set period. We will agree the set period with you and will confirm this separately in writing. You must pay a deposit and then pay the Trust the monthly instalments by direct debit. The Trust will pay us a sum to cover our other initial expenses. The rest of the money received from you will be kept by the Trust and be used by the Trust to pay for your funeral services and for other authorised purposes as detailed in our brochure.

6.2 You must be aged 78 or under at the start date of your funeral plan and there are no health restrictions.

6.3 The minimum set period is 24 months. The maximum set period is the shorter of (1) 30 years and (2) the number of full years between your age on the start date of your funeral plan and 80 years. If the set period is longer than 24 months it must be a multiple of full years.

6.4 You must write and tell us about any change to your circumstances or funeral services (including any change to your address or funeral requirements) as soon as reasonably possible. You should bear in mind that if your funeral plan is a value plan you cannot make any changes to your funeral services. A change which is likely to have a big impact on cost may mean that we have to appoint a new selected funeral director. It may also mean that we will need you to pay additional sums. We will tell you if additional sums will be due. If the cost of your funeral services increases, we will recalculate the level of your monthly payments. We will tell you your new monthly payment before confirming the change to your funeral plan. If you do not wish to pay instalments at the new level and you do not wish to cancel the change you have asked for we will do the following:

6.4.1 If you have paid at least 12 monthly instalments, we will treat the money paid as a contribution towards your funeral services costs in line with Section 6.6.

6.4.2 If you have paid fewer than 12 monthly instalments, we will cancel your funeral plan and refund the money paid less our cancellation fee of £249.

6.5 We will refund all the money you have paid if you cancel your funeral plan within 30 days of the start date. If you cancel after that 30 day period, but within 12 months of your funeral plan start date, we will charge a cancellation fee of £249. This fee will be deducted from the money to be refunded to you. You cannot cancel your funeral plan after 12 months from the start date and no refund will be paid to you. We describe how we will treat any instalments already paid if you stop making payments in Sections 6.6 and 6.9.

6.6 After paying at least 12 monthly instalments you may choose to stop paying your instalments. If you do so the money you have already paid will not be refunded. If you or your estate pay the outstanding balance of the total cost and pay for any additional costs when your funeral is carried out, the benefits of your funeral plan, including the guarantee, will still be available. If you or your estate do not pay the outstanding balance and you have paid at least 12 monthly instalments, either (1) all sums paid by you less our cancellation fee of £249 or, if less, (2) the total cost as informed by us had you chosen to pay by our single payment option will be kept by the Trust and used as a contribution towards the cost of your funeral services. This will be paid by us directly to the selected funeral director. If the outstanding balance and any additional costs not covered by your funeral plan are not paid when your funeral is carried out, the benefits of your funeral plan, including the guarantee, will not be available.

6.7 If you have paid at least 12 monthly instalments and you stop paying the instalments, you may, on one occasion only, restart payment at a later date. We may need to increase your monthly payments to reflect the unpaid instalments or, instead, may agree to extend the set period in order to keep your monthly payments at the same level. Any extended period would still need to be in line with Section 6.3. We will advise you in writing of any change to the instalments or set period.

6.8 If, at the date of your death, you have paid fewer than 12 monthly instalments, all money paid by you will be refunded to your estate, and your funeral plan, including the guarantee, will be cancelled. Your estate may, if it chooses, use this money as a contribution to the cost of your funeral. Your estate will then have to make a separate payment to the selected funeral director to cover the outstanding balance and any costs not covered by your funeral plan at the time of the funeral.

6.9 If, at the date of your death, you have paid more than 12 monthly instalments but the total cost has not been paid in full, either (1) all sums paid by you less our cancellation fee of £249 or, if less, (2) the total cost as informed by us had you chosen to pay by the single payment option will be kept by the Trust and used as a contribution towards the cost of your funeral services. This will be paid by us directly to the selected funeral director. If you or your estate pay the outstanding balance and pay any additional costs when your funeral is carried out, the benefits of your funeral plan, including the guarantee, will still be available. If the outstanding balance and any additional costs not covered by your funeral plan are not paid when your funeral is carried out, the benefits of your funeral plan, including the guarantee, will not be available.

6.10 You can pay the outstanding balance at any point before the end of the set period.

6.11 If you pay by the low cost instalment option you cannot later choose to pay by our 12 monthly payment option.

Section 6 - The fixed monthly payment option

7.1 The fixed monthly payments you make will be used to buy a life assurance policy on your life with Phoenix Life Limited. Phoenix Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. All funeral services are arranged by us and will be provided by the selected funeral director. We will be the beneficiary of that policy, not you or your estate. The proceeds of the life assurance policy will belong to us. We will use the proceeds to pay for your funeral services. You (or any person paying for the funeral plan for you) will need to set up a direct debit in favour of Phoenix Life Limited who will collect the fixed monthly payments.

7.2 You must be aged between 50 and 80 and a UK resident at the start date of your funeral plan and there are no health restrictions.

7.3 You must write and tell us about any change to your circumstances or funeral services (including any change to your address or funeral requirements) as soon as reasonably possible. You should bear in mind that if your funeral plan is a value plan you cannot make any changes to your funeral services. A change that is likely to have a big impact on cost may mean that (1) additional sums have to be paid to your existing selected funeral director at the time of your funeral to carry out your wishes, or that (2) we have to appoint a new selected funeral director and the guarantee given by the original selected funeral director will lapse. While we will make reasonable efforts to obtain a guarantee from the new selected funeral director, the new selected funeral director may also require additional sums at the time of your funeral to carry out your wishes. We will write to you and give you an estimate of any additional costs to be paid to the existing or new selected funeral director. Your monthly payments will not change. The existing or new selected funeral director will treat the proceeds from the life assurance policy (see Section 7.1) as a contribution towards your funeral costs. Your estate will have to make a separate payment for any additional costs to the existing or new selected funeral director at the time of the funeral.

7.4 Except as stated in Section 7.3, you will not be able to make any changes to your funeral services before the funeral. Changes can be agreed with the selected funeral director at the time of your funeral. Any additional payment for these must be made directly to the selected funeral director without our involvement.

7.5 The fixed monthly payments will be fixed and cannot be altered. The amount of the monthly payment depends on the funeral plan chosen by you, the options included within your funeral services and your age. The fixed monthly payment will be confirmed in writing once your application has been received and processed.  The first payment will be taken within 7 weeks of the start date of your funeral plan. You must keep making monthly payments until your 90th birthday or until your death, if sooner, when payments stop. Phoenix Life Limited will tell you if any monthly payments are not made on the due date(s). They will try to collect the outstanding amount. If they receive the money within 30 days of the due date your funeral plan will be unaffected. If the outstanding amount is not received within 30 days you will be sent a reminder. If the outstanding amount is not paid within 30 days, then we will cancel your funeral plan and you will not get any money back.

7.6 If you have paid less than 24 fixed monthly payments at the date of your death, the funeral services, including the guarantee, will not be available. Instead, provided that all the fixed monthly payments due at the date of death have been paid we will pay a sum equal to 120% of the monthly payments actually paid to (1) the selected funeral director as a contribution towards your funeral costs, or (2) your estate, if confirmed in writing. If we pay the money to the selected funeral director your estate will have to make a separate payment directly to the funeral director for all additional costs incurred in carrying out the funeral arrangements, as advised by the selected funeral director.

7.7 We will refund any money you have paid if you cancel your funeral plan within 30 days of the start date. If you cancel after that 30 day period no refund will be made. Your funeral plan has no cash in value.

Section 7 - Transferring your Funeral Plan to someone else

8.1 For all payment options, except the fixed monthly payment option, you can transfer the benefit of the funeral services to a nominated family member who dies before you. Where you pay by the low cost instalment option you can only transfer the benefit of the funeral services if the total cost has been paid.

8.2 Any change of arrangements (for example, due to a change of address for the nominated family member leading to increased transportation costs) for funeral services following such a transfer may mean that we have to appoint a new selected funeral director. You should bear in mind that the funeral services cannot be changed if your funeral plan is a value plan. It may also mean that we will need you to pay additional sums.  We will write and tell you if additional sums will be due. You must pay these additional sums. If these additional sums are not paid the transfer cannot go ahead.  The funeral services will automatically stay with you in line with the arrangements originally agreed.

8.3 Your funeral plan provides funeral services for you or your nominated family member only.

8.4 If there is any dispute with family members under this section, the funeral services benefits of your funeral plan will stay with you. We will not be responsible for resolving any such dispute.

Section 8 - Your chosen funeral director and funeral services

9.1 Appointment of selected funeral director

We will appoint the selected funeral director as our subcontractor to provide the funeral services. The selected funeral director will provide the guarantee. We will use reasonable efforts to make sure that the selected funeral director provides the highest quality of service.

9.2 Change of selected funeral director

Unless you are paying by the fixed monthly payment option you may write to us at any time prior to your death to request a different selected funeral director. We will use reasonable efforts to meet your request and will let you know if we are able to do so. You may have to pay an additional sum because of this change. We will notify you of this. You must pay these sums or we will cancel the funeral plan and refund the money paid less our cancellation fee of £249 unless, if you are paying by the low cost instalment option, Section 6.4.1 applies. We will have no liability to you if the change cannot reasonably be made. If it is not possible to appoint a different selected funeral director for any reason, or you do not pay any additional sums required, we will cancel your funeral plan and refund the money paid as described in Section 10.2.

9.3 We have the right to appoint a selected funeral director if (1) you do not appoint one, or (2) there is no selected funeral director appointed because of the operation of Section 9.2, or (3) there is any failure on the part of the selected funeral director appointed by you or by us (see Section 9.4).

9.4 Provision of funeral services

We will make sure that the selected funeral director provides your funeral services in line with your funeral plan. In the event of failure by the selected funeral director an alternative selected funeral director, chosen by us, will provide the same funeral services. Failure could include the selected funeral director ceasing to trade or refusing to provide the funeral services to our satisfaction and/or in line with payment and other arrangements in place between us and the selected funeral director.

Section 9 - General provisions (A)

10.1 Your funeral plan cannot be cancelled after your death unless this is agreed with us. If any person wishes to have your funeral carried out by someone other than the selected funeral director, unless otherwise agreed by us, they must pay for such funeral arrangements themselves.

10.2 We may cancel your funeral plan where there is good reason and it is reasonable in the circumstances. Good reasons will include (but are not limited to) the following:

10.2.1 a conflict of interest arises;

10.2.2 you fail to provide us with adequate instructions;

10.2.3 you fail to pay any sums which are due by you as referred to in Sections 4.3, 5.3, 5.4, 6.4, 6.9, 7.5 and 9.2.  If we cancel for such reasons we will write to you immediately to tell you. Without affecting your statutory rights, we will refund the money you have paid less our cancellation fee of £249.

10.3 In order to cancel our contract you can contact us by any of the methods set out in Section 10.9. Your rights to cancel under Sections 4, 5, 6 and 7 are more favourable to you than the cancellation rights given to you under The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. You therefore do not need to use the statutory cancellation rights available to you under these Regulations. To exercise your right to cancel, you  must inform us of your decision to cancel by a clear statement using any of the contact methods referred  to in Section 10.9 (e.g. a letter sent by post or an  email or a phone call to us at 0800 833 800). If you cancel by post, we recommend you obtain proof of postage. You may use the model cancellation form which can be found in our key features document for your funeral plan, but you do not have to use that form. You do not need to give us any reason for cancelling but you can do so if you wish. All your statutory rights are unaffected.

10.4 All refunds made by us will be paid (1) to the person who made the original payment to us and (2) in line with the original method of payment.

Section 10 - Funeral director terms and conditions

1 Guarantee

The selected funeral director unconditionally and irrevocably guarantees to (1) carry out your funeral services under your funeral plan and (2) not charge you and/or your estate any additional sums for doing so unless permitted by Sections 3.3 and 3.6 of the funeral plan terms and conditions. The selected funeral director agrees that this guarantee will be enforceable against the selected funeral director by any and all of us, you and/or your estate.

2 Funeral services

Subject to such Sections 3.3 and 3.6, the selected funeral director undertakes that it will carry out your funeral services in accordance with the funeral plan terms and conditions and to the highest quality standards. The selected funeral director will comply with such procedures as we may intimate to it from time to time. The selected funeral director will indemnify both us and the Trust from all costs, claims, liabilities, losses or expenses (whether from or due to you and/or your estate or any other person) arising from its failure to comply in any respect with these funeral director terms and conditions.

3 Payment

3.1 In consideration of the selected funeral director providing your funeral services, the selected funeral director will be entitled to payment from us as detailed in Sections 3.2 and 3.3 of the funeral director terms and conditions.

3.2 The selected funeral director will be entitled to the advance payment, which will become due after our acceptance of your funeral plan and be paid in accordance with such procedures, amount and timescales as we intimate. The advance payment must be repaid by the selected funeral director immediately on our demand if (for any reason) the selected funeral director does not subsequently provide your funeral services.

3.3 Upon completion of your funeral services the selected funeral director will be entitled to payment from us and should invoice us for the sum we intimate for the relevant funeral plan as at the date of your death. The level of that sum may depend on the selected funeral director’s status with us at the relevant time and other factors. Invoices for the sum referred to in this Section 3.3 should be issued upon completion of your funeral services.

3.4 The selected funeral director will have no recourse against us or the Trust in the event that the total of the sums detailed in Sections 3.2 and 3.3 of the funeral director terms and conditions is lower than any indicative figure we have previously provided. The selected funeral director will have no recourse against you and/or your estate except to the limited extent detailed in Sections 3.3 and 3.6 of the funeral plan terms and conditions. The selected funeral director will only be entitled to obtain reimbursement for any third party costs where permitted under Section 3.6.

4 Change of funeral director

In the event of a change of selected funeral director under the funeral plan terms and conditions, the existing selected funeral director agrees to co-operate fully with us and the new selected funeral director in the transfer of the funeral plan for your benefit and peace of mind and further agrees that we may provide all information we regard appropriate regarding the funeral plan to the new selected funeral director.

5 Data protection

The selected funeral director undertakes to process your personal data (and that of any representative or other person whose data is obtained and held in connection with your funeral plan) only in accordance with: (1) our data protection and privacy policies as intimated by us from time to time (2) any data processing agreement entered into between us and the selected funeral director and (3) all applicable laws. The selected funeral director will take appropriate technical and organisational measures against the unauthorised or unlawful processing of your personal data and against the accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, your personal data.

6 Definitions are contained in the funeral plan terms and conditions as current from time to time. In addition, the following definition applies specifically to these funeral director terms and conditions: “advance payment” means such amount as is specified by us as payable to the selected funeral director as advance payment for the expected completion of your funeral services including for initial work undertaken in arranging the funeral services and payable as detailed in section 3.2 of the funeral director terms and conditions.