In the second of my four funeral plan reviews (updated December 2015), I take a closer look at the prepaid funeral plans on offer with Golden Leaves; a market leader who has launched a number of innovative funeral planning options.
Who is Golden Leaves?
Golden Leaves provide prepaid funeral plans for people throughout the UK and overseas having been at the forefront of the industry for over 25 years. They are founding members of both The Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) and The National Association of Pre-Paid Funeral Plans (NAPFP) and work with a network of funeral directors across the UK and Europe.
How do Golden Leaves Funeral Plans work?
If you pay for your Golden Leaves funeral plan by single payment or monthly instalments, your money will be held in the Golden Leaves Trust; overseen by an independent board of trustees and regulated in compliance with The Financial Services & Markets Act 2001.
If you opt to pay by fixed monthly premiums, your money is paid into a Life Insurance Plan provided by AXA Wealth Management, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
What funeral plans do they provide?
Golden Leaves offer 6 prepaid funeral plans in total. There are 3 traditional plans offering simple, standard and premium levels of cover; a bespoke plan which can be tailored to suit your needs and a Green and International plan.
For those happy to pay by fixed monthly payments, they also offer a basic plan which is similar to the traditional plans but doesn’t include the allowance for third party costs, hence the lower price.
What are the payment options?
There are 3 payment options; in full with a single payment, by monthly instalments (anything over 12 months will incur an additional charge) and fixed monthly payments until either your 90th birthday or death.
Their recently launched fixed monthly payment plan is called the ‘From50’ plan and offers cover with lower monthly premiums, aimed at making it more affordable to a much wider audience.
With the From50 plan, you are fully covered after just 12 months, which is unusual as traditionally, similar plans on the market have only offered full cover after an initial period of 2 years. If you were to die during the first 12 months, your services wouldn’t be provided but your premiums paid would be fully refunded.
Golden Leaves is also the only company to offer a rebate guarantee that ensures you will never pay more into the plan than the overall cost of your funeral services. Up until now this has been a potential risk with fixed monthly payment plans, depending on how long you live and as a result, how long you are paying your premiums.
What do they Cover?
Golden Leaves’ plans guarantee to cover the funeral directors costs, which includes their help with administration, transport of the deceased within a 25 mile radius of the funeral director’s premises, care of deceased, the service, a hearse and an allowance towards third party costs which includes cremation or burial costs and the ministers and doctors fees.
Standard and premier levels also include the use of a chapel of rest for viewing, limousines and a higher quality coffin.
Their From50 fixed monthly basic level of cover is similar to the simple plan but doesn’t include the third party allowance.
How much do Golden Leaves funeral plans cost?
With single payment or 12 monthly instalments, you should expect to pay the following: (updated 1/10/15)
• Golden Leaves Simple Funeral Plan - £3,420
• Golden Leaves Standard Funeral Plan - £3,800
• Golden Leaves Premier Funeral Plan - £4,120
The fixed monthly payments on the From50 plans depend on your age and level of cover required and start from £22.57 a month (based on a 50 year old purchasing a basic plan).
As I have previously mentioned, the majority of funeral plan providers have already put their prices up this year in line with funeral related costs however Golden Leaves have yet to follow suit. (Please note prices above have now been updated 1/10/15)
Why choose Golden Leaves?
If you are still pondering between the different plan providers, the following Golden Leaves features may help make your decision:
• They are the only company to offer full cover after just 12 months on their From50 fixed monthly payment option
• They are the only company to offer a rebate guarantee that ensures you will never pay more than the cost of your funeral on their From50 fixed monthly payment plans
• They offer Green and International prepaid funeral plans
If you are interested in learning more about Golden Leaves Funeral Plans you can visit their site and of course see how they compare with other providers in our comparison table here at Over50choices.