Golden Charter Funeral Plans Review

  • Golden Charter funeral plans include an allowance for third party costs which could leave more to pay
  • Wide funeral director coverage
  • You can pay extra to guarantee third party charges for 5 years

Golden Charter is a leading funeral plan company and offer a good range of traditional funeral plans starting from £2,895 or £13.59 a month. Their funeral plans do not guarantee your cremation fees, so there could be more to pay - read our review to understand the full pros and cons.

Market Insight: The Golden Charter SimplyCremation plan is £1,749, The Golden Leaves Cremation Plan is £1,495 and has more guarantees - find out more

 

Who is Golden Charter?

Golden Charter is the largest provider of prepaid funeral plans to independent funeral directors. Golden Charter is owned by funeral directors and have over 25 years experience working with a network of more than 3,300 independent funeral directors throughout the UK. 

Which funeral plans do Golden Charter offer?

Golden Charter funeral plans cover 5 levels of service

In addition to their traditional funeral plans, they offer Golden Charter Direct Cremation plans, which are simple cremation only funerals without a service.

Golden Charter Value Plan – includes the funeral directors help and guidance with the documentation; funeral services on the day; a basic coffin, collections and transportation of the deceased to the funeral director (during office hours). Please note that the time and the place of the funeral service on this plan is dictated by the funeral director and not the family.

It also includes a £800 contribution to help with cremation or burial fees.

Golden Charter Standard Plan - includes the funeral directors help and guidance with the documentation; funeral services on the day; a plain veneered coffin, hearse and use of the chapel of rest within office hours.

It also includes a £1,100 contribution to help with cremation or burial fees.

Golden Charter Select Plan - includes the funeral directors help and guidance with the documentation; funeral services on the day; a high quality coffin, hearse, one limousine and use of the chapel of rest at any pre-agreed time.

It also includes a £1,100 contribution to help with cremation or burial fees.

Golden Charter Premier Plan - includes the funeral directors help and guidance with the documentation; funeral services on the day; a solid walnut coffin, hearse, two limousines and use of the chapel of rest at any pre-agreed time.

It also includes a £1,100 contribution to help with cremation or burial fees.

Request a funeral plan guide

Which services do Golden Charter funeral plans guarantee?

This is an important part of our Golden Charter funeral plan review as you will probably want to be clear about what services you are paying for:

Guaranteed Services

Golden Charter funeral plans include a guarantee that your funeral directors services will be covered at today’s prices. This includes their help and guidance with the documentation, services on the day, the coffin, hearse and limousine (depending on the level of service) and the use of the chapel of rest on all plans.

Services Not Guaranteed

Golden Charter funeral plans only include a contribution for third part costs which is essentially your cremation or burial fees, minister's fees and where relevant, doctors charges. This allowance either £800 or £1,100 depending on the level you choose increases in line with the trust fund on an annual basis.

No Golden Charter funeral plans include a second doctors certificate for cremation funerals however a proposed change to the law means this may not be required in the future.

 (Optional) Third Party costs guarantee

If you choose a cremation funeral plan (other than the Value plan) and pay in a single payment or 12 monthly payments, you can pay an extra £200 to guarantee third party costs for five years. After 5 years, the £200 will be added to the third party contribution included in your plan.

Will there be more for my family to pay?

Yes, there could be more for your family to pay. As there is only a contribution of £800 or £1,100 for third party costs depending on the plan you choose, so your family may have to pay more for these services when the time comes. It all depends on costs in your area and importantly how much they have increased over the years.

If you prefer a burial, then the allowance is there to help pay for these costs however it is only used for the actual burial or interment fees and nothing else; and if you don’t use all of the allowance, you lose it.

Finally collection of the deceased is only guaranteed within working hours on Golden Charter's Value and Standard plans, so there could be more to pay if you require the funeral director’s services out of these hours.

What is the Golden Charter Defaqto Rating?

Defaqto the independent researcher of financial products has rated Golden Charter funeral plans as follows:

  • 5 stars - Premier Plan
  • 4 stars - Select Plan
  • 3 stars - Standard and Value plan

To see their funeral plan Defaqto rating, please click here

How can I be sure my money is safe in a Golden Charter funeral plan?

Golden Charter is registered and regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) so has to abide by their strict rules and code of conduct.

When you buy a Golden Charter plan and pay either in one go or by one of their regular instalment options, your money is placed in the Golden Charter Trust Fund which is a completely separate entity to Golden Charter. So if anything were to happen to the company, the trust fund with your money in it would remain intact and ready to pay for your funeral.

If you choose the Fixed Monthly Payment Plan then your money is paid into a UK life insurance company which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

How can I pay for my Golden Charter Funeral Plan?

With a Single Payment

Paying in one go or over 12 months is the cheapest way to buy a Golden Charter funeral plan as you don’t incur any additional fees.

Monthly Instalments

Depending on your age you can spread your payments up to 30 years with a minimum deposit of £49. However Golden Charter instalment costs tend to be higher than most, so it's worthwhile comparing funeral plan prices before going down this route.

Fixed Monthly Payment Plan

You can also spread your costs by opting for their fixed monthly payment plan. With this type of plan you pay a fixed monthly premium which is based on the level of service you choose and your age.

You are covered for your funeral services after 2 years but pay your monthly premiums either for life or until you are 90. Therefore you could pay more into the plan than the actual cost of the funeral at the time of need – it depends on how long you live. 

Request a funeral plan guide

Is there an age limit on Golden Charter funeral -plans?

You can buy a Golden Charter funeral plan from the age of 18 and there is no upper age limit when paying in one go.

With the instalment options you need to have completed your payments by the age of 80 and with the Fixed Monthly Payment Plan you must be aged between 50 to 80. 

Can I choose a Burial or Cremation funeral?

Yes burial or cremation services are available within the plan. The £800 or £1,100 allowance that is included in the plan (depending on the level of service you choose) can be used to help with either the third party costs associated with a burial or cremation funeral. If the allowance is insufficient, there could be more for your family to pay.

If there is any money left over in the allowance, this will not be paid back to the estate or the family.

Can I cancel a Golden Charter funeral plan?

Once you apply for a Golden Charter funeral plan you have a 30 day review period where you can read through the plan details and if required, cancel and receive a full refund of any money paid. After this period the funeral plan can be cancelled but you will pay a cancellation fee of £249.

Who will my funeral director be?

Golden Charter work with over 3,000 independent funeral directors throughout the UK so you can either let them choose a local company for you or you can nominate one as long as they accept the Golden Charter funeral plan.

What happens if I move home?

If you move anywhere in mainland UK the plan will move with you. The cost of transfer if there is one will depend on the funeral director.

Do Golden Charter offer any additional features?

All plans come with free transportation of the deceased if anything were to happen whilst on holiday in the UK.

Plans are also fully transferable which means they can be used by any member of the family.

Our Golden Charter funeral plan review verdict

Golden Charter are one of the leading providers in the UK with the largest network of funeral directors, however there are a number of things to watch out for that could mean there are additional charges for your family to pay.

The plans only include a contribution for the cremation or burial third party costs, so there could be more for your family to pay.  You can choose to pay extra for a cost guarantee but it will only lasts for 5 years, whereas Dignity, Co-operative Funeralcare and Golden Leaves all guarantee third party costs as standard, with no more to pay.

Also there is no guarantee that there will not be additional charges if you move your plan because of a change of address – it all depends on what the funeral director charges so another unknown.

Our Offer

We have chosen to partner with Golden Leaves as their Silver, Gold and Platinum plans are competitively priced and fully guarantee your cremation & ministers fees at today's prices. This means your family will have nothing more to pay for the services included.

And Golden Leaves are the only company to offer monthly payment plans with immediate cover. So you can choose a plan you can afford, comfortable in the knowledge you are fully covered immediately for the services included.

Get a Quote

Updated 10th December 2021
by Ashley Shepherd
Ashley Shepherd

Ashley is the founder and managing director at Over50choices. With over 30 years’ experience in financial services, he has held senior roles in building societies, banks and insurance companies.

Content image: /uploads/funeral-planning/life insurance.jpg

See how Golden Charter compares to other leading plans

Compare Leading plans here

Don't miss out...

Sign up to our monthly newsletter for the latest updates

Our trusted partners

First Choice Health
Distinct Cremations
Age Partnership
Quotezone.co.uk
Golden Leaves Funeral Plans
Request a Funeral Plan Brochure