Golden Leaves Funeral Plans Review 

Key Points

  • plans do not guarantee your cremation & ministers fees
  • third party allowance is only £940
  • they do not have their own funeral directors
  • your family could have more to pay when the time comes
  • all plans received a 3 Star Defaqto Rating form a possible 5 Stars
  • cancellation fees are 20% of the plan value

Read our Golden Leaves Review to understand the benefits and pitfalls; and then read our other funeral plan reviews

Who is Golden Leaves?

This funeral plan review will focus on Golden Leaves Funeral Plans, founded in 1984 with roots going back to a family of funeral directors in Croydon, South London as far back as 1875. In addition to providing funeral plans for the UK, Golden Leaves also provide European Funeral Plans for expats living in Spain, Portugal and Cyprus.

For the purpose of this funeral plan review, we will focus on the plans offered in the UK, also known as From50 Funeral Plans from Golden Leaves. 

Which funeral plans do they offer?

Golden Leaves offer 6 levels of service which offer variety but it can be confusing understanding exactly what each has to offer, so do compare the content of each of the funeral plans closely.

Golden Leaves Copper Plan – this plan offers what is known as direct cremation; basically funeral arrangements without a service. The deceased is transferred directly to the crematorium with no one in attendance and no funeral service. There is no hearse, service, use of chapel of rest and the plan includes a basic coffin.

It also includes a contribution of £840 to help with cremation fees.

Golden Leaves Bronze Plan - includes the funeral directors help and guidance with the documentation; funeral services on the day; a basic coffin and hearse.

There is no contribution for cremation or burial fees so these will need to be paid for by the family when the time comes.

Golden Leaves Zinc Plan - includes the funeral directors help and guidance with the documentation; funeral services on the day; a basic coffin and hearse. The time of the funeral service is chosen by the funeral director and not the family.

It also includes a contribution of £940 to help with cremation or burial fees.

Golden Leaves Silver Plan - includes the funeral directors help and guidance with the documentation; funeral services on the day; a basic coffin and hearse.

It also includes a contribution of £940 to help with cremation or burial fees.

Golden Leaves Gold Plan - includes the funeral directors help and guidance with the documentation; funeral services on the day; use of the chapel of rest, a standard coffin, hearse and one limousine.

It also includes a contribution of £940 to help with cremation or burial fees.

Golden Leaves Platinum Plan - includes the funeral directors help and guidance with the documentation; funeral services on the day; use of the chapel of rest, a high quality coffin, hearse and two limousines.

It also includes a contribution of £940 to help with cremation or burial fees.

Which funeral services are guaranteed?

The all important section of the funeral plan review which tells you exactly what you are getting for your money:

Guaranteed Services

All of the Golden Leaves Funeral Plans include a full guarantee that the funeral directors services will be covered however there are subtle differences between each, so do read the small print. For example 4 of the 6 plans don’t include the use of the chapel of rest for friends and family to visit.

In general terms all of the Golden Leaves plans include the funeral directors services, help and advice on the documentation and a coffin.

The Copper plan does not include a hearse or service as this is direct cremation where the deceased is taken to the crematorium with no funeral service and no family or friends in attendance.

The family has no choice on the date and time of the funeral on the Copper and Zinc plans.

Services Not Guaranteed

5 of the 6 Golden Leaves plans include some form of contribution, with no guarantees, to the cremation or burial fees. With the Copper plan the contribution is £840; which increases to £940 on the Silver Gold and Platinum Plans.

None of the plans include a second doctor’s certificate for cremation funerals however the law is about to change which means you won’t need this in the near future. 

Will there be more for my family to pay?

Yes, there could be. As there is just a contribution of between £840 to £940 for third party costs, this means that your family may have to pay more for these services when the time comes. The amount will depend on costs in your area and how much fees have increased over time.

Again for burial if there is any allowance left, it is lost rather than paid back to the estate.

Please note the Bronze Plan has no contribution for third party costs which means your family will certainly need to cover these costs at the time of need. 

What is the Golden Leaves Defaqto Star Rating for each of their plans?

To assist in your funeral plan review, Defaqto the independent researcher of financial products has rated the Golden Leaves Funeral Plans.

The Bronze, Zinc, Silver, Gold and Platinum Plans were all awarded 3 Star Ratings which mean that they offer an average level of features and benefits.

The Copper plan was awarded a 2 Star Rating which means it offers below average features.

How can i be sure my money is safe?

It is important to note in this funeral plan review that Golden Leaves is registered and regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) so therefore has to abide by their strict rules and code of conduct.

If you choose to pay in full or by one of the regular instalment options, then your money is paid into the Golden Leaves Trust Fund. This is totally separate to the company so if anything were to happen to Golden Leaves, the Trust with your money in it would remain intact ready to pay for your funeral service.

If you choose the Fixed Monthly Payment option then your money is paid into an AXA Wealth Ltd SunLife whole of life insurance policy, which is therefore regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

How can I pay for my funeral?

With a Single Payment or over 12 months

As with most funeral plan providers paying in full or over 12 months is the cheapest way to purchase a plan if you have the funds available as there are no additional fees. Please note you will be required to a £250 deposit on a 12 month plan.

Monthly Instalments

Golden Leaves offer a more limited selection of instalments over 12 to 60 months, all with a minimum deposit of £250. You will incur additional fees for payments over a longer period than 12 months which are subject to a cumulative management fee of 6% per year.

As I point out in the majority of funeral plan reviews, instalment options vary massively from company to company so ensure you compare funeral plan instalment prices before choosing the most suitable plan; it could save you hundreds of pounds in the long term.

Fixed Monthly Payment Plan

If you want to keep to a budget and are between the ages of 50 to 75 then you could opt for the fixed monthly payment plan. You pay a fixed amount based on your age and level of service required and are covered for your funeral services after 12 months. Premiums are payable for life or until you are 90, so there is a chance you could pay more into the plan than the cost of the funeral – it all depends on how long you live.

In addition to providing cover after 12 months as opposed to the 2 year initial period with other plan providers, the Golden Leaves From50 plan does come with a rebate guarantee with this payment option that means you are entitled to a rebate if you pay in more than the cost of the funeral.

Is there an age limit on Golden Leaves plans?

If you choose to pay in one go or by one of the regular instalment options, there are no age limitations however you do need to be between the ages of 50 to 75 to purchase a fixed monthly payment plan. 

Can I choose either a cremation or burial funeral?

Yes the £840 or £940 contribution included in the plan can be used for either third party cremation or burial fees but there could be more to pay at the time of need.

In the unlikely event of their being a surplus this would be retained by Golden Leaves.

Can I cancel my funeral plan?

When you buy a Golden leaves funeral plan you automatically get a 28 day review period to ensure you are completely happy with the details and funeral services included. If you choose to cancel during this 28 day period any money paid would be fully refunded.

If you cancel after that period there is a cancelation fee of 20% of the overall cost of the plan which is significantly higher than other companies so beware

Who will my funeral director be?

Golden Leaves plans are accepted by independent Funeral Directors across the UK but there is no information available about who these are and the coverage, however, your plan will be placed and you will be advised of which funeral director this is once you have applied.

What happens if I move home?

The Golden Leaves terms and conditions state that if you move, the plan will be moved to a funeral director local to your new address and they will endeavour to do this at no extra cost but fees may apply.

Do Golden Leaves funeral plans offer any additional features?

As mentioned previously in this Golden Leaves Funeral Plan review, the company also offer European funeral plans for expats living in certain countries, in addition to eco friendly green funeral plans.

Also if you are veering towards the fixed monthly payment funeral plan, then the Golden Leaves From50 plan offers cover after just 12 months as opposed to 2 years and of course there is the rebate guarantee that ensures you never pay more than the cost of the funeral.

Funeral Plans

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golden leaves defaqto rating

Our Golden Leaves Review Verdict

You could say that Golden Leaves have tried to cater for all requirements by offering 6 levels of service but it all feels rather confusing as to what is and isn’t included, so there is a real danger your family could have more to pay when the time comes.

Our "Key Points" at the start of this review offer a good insight to what to look out for.

Another important point worth highlighting in this funeral plans review is their note about ‘Regional variations in pricing’. Quite simply their documentation states that their funeral plan prices are based on a national average and that as some areas of the country have higher prices, they will make you aware of any regional variations if the funeral director will not accept the plan.

Therefore the prices advertised are one thing, but what you are actually asked to pay could be a whole different ball game. 

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