Avalon Funeral Plans Review
- 5 funeral plans to choose from
- Prices range from £1,785 to £4,495
- Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
- Instalments with full cover after 12 months*
Avalon Funeral Plans is a UK funeral plan provider . They are based in Cheshire and offer their funeral services throughout the country, using a network of independent funeral directors
In the review: To help you compare Avalon Funeral Plans, this reviews looks at the plans they offer, pros and cons, payment options and how your money is held.
Who are Avalon Funeral Plans?
They work in association with over 1,800 independent funeral directors in the UK and 70 funeral directors abroad. They have been established for more than 25 years and are also known for offering European funeral plans to expats either with second homes or living abroad in Spain, Cyprus and Portugal.
What prepaid funeral plans do Avalon offer?
Avalon offer 5 funeral plans ranging from £1,485 to £4,345:
- Cremation only plan
- Celebration plan
- Standard funeral plan
- Plus funeral plan
- Premium funeral plan
Avalon’s cheapest plan is for direct cremation, which is a cremation without a funeral service. The 4 remaining plans are more traditional in that they include a funeral service that family and friends can attend.
Here’s how each of the 5 Avalon funeral plans work:
Avalon direct cremation only funeral plan
Cremation only plan – an unattended dignified cremation that has no funeral service.
It includes the funeral director’s help and guidance with the documentation; collection and transportation of the deceased anywhere in mainland Great Britain, a simple wood-effect coffin, cremation fees and ashes either scattered in the garden of remembrance or collected by the family.
With this direct cremation funeral plan, the location, date and time of the cremation is chosen by the funeral director and friends and family cannot attend.
Avalon traditional plans with a funeral service
Avalon Celebration funeral plan - a simple cremation that includes a family led service but without the ceremony of a hearse or limousines.
It includes the funeral director’s services and guidance to arrange the cremation and personalised service; collection and transportation of the deceased anywhere within mainland Great Britain, funeral services on the day; a simple wood-effect coffin, the cremation fees and minister or celebrant’s fees.
This plan does have certain limitations. For example, it doesn’t include a hearse or limousine and the service must be held between 9am and 11am.
Avalon Standard funeral plan - covers the essential elements of a cremation or burial funeral plus an allowance towards third party costs.
It includes the funeral director’s help and guidance with the documentation; collection and transportation of the deceased anywhere within mainland Great Britain and Northern Ireland, funeral services on the day; a simple wood-effect coffin and a hearse.
This funeral plan also includes a £1,000 allowance towards third party costs.
Avalon Plus funeral plan - a midrange plan for burial or cremation that also includes additional services such as a car for family.
It includes the funeral director’s help and guidance with the documentation; collection and transportation of the deceased anywhere within mainland Great Britain and Northern Ireland, funeral services on the day; a quality veneered coffin, use of the chapel of rest, a hearse and one limousine.
This funeral plan also includes a £1,000 allowance towards third party disbursement costs.
Avalon Premier funeral plan - their most comprehensive funeral plan that can be used for burial or cremation.
It includes the funeral directors help and guidance with the documentation; collection and transportation of the deceased anywhere within mainland Great Britain and Northern Ireland, funeral services on the day; a high quality veneered coffin, use of the chapel of rest, a hearse and two limousines.
This funeral plan also includes a £1,000 allowance towards disbursement costs.
What are third party costs?
Third party costs, frequently referred to as disbursements are the essential costs that are beyond the control of the funeral director, namely the:
- Cremation or burial fees
- Doctor’s fees if required
- Minister or celebrant’s fees
Avalon’s standard, plus and premier funeral plans include a £1,000 allowance to help with these costs. This allowance increases in line with the Consumer Price Index on the 1st July every year, however if there are insufficient funds available to cover these third party expenses when the time comes, there may be more to pay.
Avalon funeral plan need to knows
To help you review your options, in addition to the advantages of a prepaid plan, there’s also the disadvantages to consider too. Here we look at the pros and cons of Avalon funeral plans to help you decide if it’s the best funeral plan for you.
- 5 plans to choose from
- Guarantees the funeral director’s services as detailed in the plan
- 3 of the plans can be used for cremation or burial
- Collection anywhere within mainland Great Britain and Northern Ireland*
- Uses a nationwide network of 1,800 funeral directors
- Authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority
- Flexibility to pay in full or spread your payments
- With instalment plans, you are covered for the services included in the plan after the first 12 months, as long as your payments are up to date
- You are immediately covered if death is as a result of an accident
- Expat funeral plans available plus dual certification for those with second homes in Spain, Portugal or Cyprus
- Free access to Lifelocker – secure online storage to record memories and keep documents safe
Important to know
- Your services are only provided once you have paid the full amount or have made at least 12 monthly payments
- Instalment plans over 12 months are subject to an annual instalment charge 5.2% each year (this could be more or less than other providers)
- If you pay monthly over 2 or more years but die within the first 12 months, you will not be covered for the funeral services. Instead, your chosen representative will have the option to either pay the balance for the funeral services to go ahead or cancel the plan
- There could be more to pay when the time comes for third party costs
- Plans do not include the cost of a burial plot
- Doesn’t include additional funeral services such as flowers, a memorial, the wake, or a funeral procession
- The cremation only and celebration plans don’t include doctor’s fees if required
- If the ashes are to be returned to family, they will need to be collected
Avalon funeral plan reviews by their customers
Avalon funeral plans are reviewed by their customers on independent UK review website Trustpilot. They have a rating of 4.9 out of 5 which is classed as excellent.
Avalon funeral plan reviews by the industry
In addition to customer reviews on Trustpilot, Avalon funeral plans have also been reviewed by consumer champions Which and independent researcher of financial products Defaqto. And they have won the ‘The Money Pages Personal Finance Award’ for best funeral plan provider 3 years in a row.
Is my money held securely with Avalon funeral plans?
Avalon is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority which means they must prove and continue to demonstrate that they abide by the FCA rules and principles which ensures your money is held responsibly.
Should any issues arise, consumers have added protection with access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Financial Services Ombudsman.
How can I pay for an Avalon funeral plan?
You can pay for an Avalon plan either with a single payment or by instalments:
You can choose to pay in one go or spread your payments over 12 months and the cost will be the same. This is the cheapest way to pay for an Avalon funeral plan as there are no additional charges.
If you prefer to spread your costs over a longer period, then instalment options are available between 1 and 15 years with a deposit that varies depending on the level of service you use.
As always with monthly instalment options, additional fees are added which vary from company to company. Avalon charge 5.2% per year for instalment plans greater than 12 months but you may want to see how their fees compare with other funeral plan providers before making a decision.
Also, the Avalon Promise ensures that if you were to pass away before your monthly payments are fully paid, they will still honour the funeral services. You just need to have been paying into the plan for at least 12 months and ensure your payments are paid when due.
Am I eligible for an Avalon funeral plan?
The is no upper age limit with the Avalon funeral plan when paying in full or by regular instalments – you just need to be 18 years or over.
If you prefer to pay by instalments, your monthly premiums will need to be complete by the time you reach 80 years of age.
Can I choose either a burial or cremation funeral?
Avalon standard, plus and premium funeral plans can be used for either cremation or burial. The contribution included in the plan is designed to help with these third party costs but there could be more to pay for these services when the time comes.
Can I cancel my plan?
When you buy an Avalon funeral plan you automatically get a 30 day free cancellation period that allows you to review the details and if necessary, cancel the plan and receive a full refund.
If you pay in full or over 12 months and cancel after this period, the money you have paid into the plan would be returned, minus the following cancellation fees:
- Cremation only plan - £95
- Celebration plan - £295
- Standard, plus and premium plans - £395
If you choose an instalment plan over two or more years but cancel within the first 12 months, you will receive a full refund. After this period, the above charges apply.
Who will be my funeral director?
Avalon work with more than 1,800 independent funeral directors throughout the UK and will allocate one to you when you apply. You can nominate a preferred funeral director but if they don’t accept your Avalon plan, it will be placed with another company.
What happens if I move?
If you move home and inform Avalon of your new address, they will move the plan to a local funeral director at no cost. If Avalon is informed of the change of address at the time of need, then a fee will apply.
What should I do now?
Now you have read the Avalon funeral plan review, you may want:
- Compare FCA regulated plans
- See how other companies compare with our funeral plan reviews
- Find out more about direct cremation by reading our guide and company reviews