Golden Leaves Funeral Plans Review
- 4 plans to choose from
- Prices range from £1,450 to £3,949
- Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
- Instalments between 2 and 8 years with immediate full cover*
Golden Leaves is one of longest established funeral planning companies in the UK. They are the only company to offer monthly funeral plans with immediate cover and provide a range of European funeral plans for expats living in Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and the Balearic and Canary Islands.
In this review: To help you compare Golden Leaves funeral plans, we look at the options available, how to pay, the advantages and disadvantages of the plans and how your money is held.
Who is Golden Leaves?
Golden Leaves was founded in 1984, although its roots go back to 1875. They helped shape the regulatory body the Funeral Planning Authority and are one of the few companies to offer funeral planning services both in the UK and Europe.
What prepaid funeral plans do Golden Leaves offer?
There are 4 Golden Leaves funeral plans to choose from that range from £1,450 to £3,949:
- The Copper funeral plan
- The Zinc funeral plan
- The Silver funeral plan
- The Gold funeral plan
The cheapest Golden Leaves funeral plan is the Copper plan. This is a direct cremation funeral plan which provides a simple dignified cremation without a funeral service.
The remaining 3 Golden Leaves funeral plans are more traditional and include a funeral service that friends and family can attend.
Here’s how each of the 4 plans work:
Golden Leaves direct cremation plan - without a funeral service
The Copper plan – Golden Leaves most simple plan provides all the services you need for a dignified direct cremation.
It includes the funeral directors help and guidance with the documentation, collection and transportation of deceased in mainland UK 24 hours a day, a basic coffin, the cremation fees and doctors’ fees if required.
With this direct cremation funeral plan the ashes can either be scattered on the garden of remembrance or delivered back to the family.
Golden Leaves traditional plans - with a funeral service
The Zinc plan – a simple plan that can be used for cremation or burial, which provides the services of a funeral director and an allowance to help with third party costs.
It includes the funeral directors help and guidance with the documentation, collection and transportation of deceased within a 25 mile radius (within working hours), a basic coffin, a hearse, use of the chapel of rest and an allowance of £931 towards the third party costs*.
The allowance will increase in line with RPI however if there are insufficient funds available to cover the third party costs when the time comes, there will be more to pay.
With this simple plan the date and time of the funeral will be chosen by the funeral director, not the family.
The Silver plan – guarantees the services of a funeral detailed in the plan and the cremation fees and minister’s fees.
It includes the funeral directors help and guidance with the documentation, collection and transportation of deceased within a 25 mile radius (within working hours), a basic coffin, a hearse and use of the chapel of rest.
The plan can be used for cremation or burial but in slightly different ways. For a cremation funeral, both the cremation fees and the minister’s fees are guaranteed. For a burial, the plan includes an allowance to help with third party costs which means there could be more to pay when the time comes.
The Gold plan – guarantees funeral directors services as detailed including one limousine as well as the cremation fees and minister’s fees
It includes the funeral directors help and guidance with the documentation, collection and transportation of deceased within a 25 mile radius (24 hours a day), a standard coffin, a hearse, use of the chapel of rest and a limousine.
As with the silver plan, the gold plan either includes a guarantee for the cremation fees and minister’s fees or an allowance for third party burial fees.
Golden Leaves funeral plan need to knows
In addition to looking at the benefits of a prepaid funeral, it’s worth reviewing the possible drawbacks too. Here we look at these in detail, to help you consider if it’s the best funeral plan for you.
- 4 plans to choose from
- The funeral director’s services as listed are guaranteed
- 2 of the plans guarantee the cremation fees and ministers fees
- The direct cremation Copper plan includes collection anywhere in the UK
- Authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority
- You can spread the cost over 12 months without incurring additional fees
- With both the credit finance option and the fixed monthly payments, you are covered immediately after your welcome call
- You could pay more for third party costs
- The instalment options between 2 and 8 years are a credit finance option so will incur additional fees.
- You could pay more than the cost of the funeral service with the fixed monthly payment option
- Guaranteed cremation plans (silver and gold) do not include doctor’s fees. If required, these would need to be paid for when the time comes
- You must keep up with your payments or your plan will be cancelled
- Doesn’t include additional funeral costs such as flowers, a memorial, orders of service or the wake
- If you live in an expensive area, there may be more to pay if the funeral director does not accept the plan
Golden Leaves reviews by their customers
Golden Leaves funeral plans are reviewed by customers on the independent review website Trustpilot. They have a rating of 4.7 out of 5 and 77% of customers class their service as excellent.
Golden leaves reviews by the industry
In addition to customer reviews, Golden Leaves funeral plans have been reviewed by independent researcher of financial products Defaqto.
Is my money held securely with Golden Leaves funeral plans?
Golden Leaves funeral plans are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This means they comply with the FCA’s strict rules that are in place to protect consumers and ensure they are treated fairly.
For added protection, customers also have access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Financial Services Ombudsman should any issues arise.
How can I pay for a Golden Leaves funeral plan?
If you are considering buying a Golden Leaves funeral plan, there are four options to choose from:
This is the cheapest option as you don’t incur any additional fees. As long as you are 18 years of age or older, you are guaranteed to be accepted and you are covered for your services once your welcome call is complete.
12 monthly instalments
With this option you pay a deposit and then remaining balance is spread over 12 months. You won’t incur any additional fees so the overall cost is the same as with a single payment and you are covered for your services once the welcome call is complete.
*Monthly Instalments – a credit financed based option
Monthly instalments between 2 and 8 years are available through the credit financed option. Acceptance will be subject to status and affordability checks but if successful, you will be covered for your services once the welcome call is complete.
If you were to die during your regulated credit agreement and before your payments are complete, neither Golden Leaves or Funeral Safe will pursue your estate or whoever took out your finance arrangement for you, for the outstanding balance. Provided that you have kept up with the payments when due, you will be entitled to the agreed funeral services as detailed in the plan.
Payments must be complete by your 85th birthday which may limit the instalment terms available to you.
Fixed monthly payments – a life insurance based option
With this payment option, you pay a fixed monthly premium that is based on your age either for life or until you are 90. You are covered after an initial period of 12 months or immediately if death is as a result of an accident.
You have to be between the ages of 50 to 75 to apply and there is a chance you could pay more in premiums than the cost of the funeral service. It all depends on how long you are paying into the plan.
Am I eligible for a Golden Leaves funeral plan?
If you are looking to pay in one go, as long as you are 18 or over can apply for a Golden Leaves funeral plan. The age restriction on the fixed monthly payment plan is between the ages of 50 to 75.
The only other restriction when buying a Golden Leaves plan is with the credit finance option as you the loan is subject to your status and personal circumstances, so you are not guaranteed to be accepted.
Can I choose either a burial or cremation service?
Apart from the Golden Leaves direct cremation copper plan, all of their other plans can be used for either a cremation or burial. See the plan details above to understand how each option works.
Can I cancel my plan?
If you change your mind within the first 30 days, you can cancel your plan and receive a full refund of any money paid. If you choose to cancel your plan after this period, the terms will depend on how you paid for your plan:
In full or over 12 months – you will receive a refund of any money paid, minus the administration charge of £249.
Credit finance option – you will receive a refund of any money paid, minus the administration charge of £249.
Fixed monthly payment option – you can cancel this type of plan within the first 12 months and receive a full refund. If you cancel after 12 months, you will not receive any money back and you will have to pay £25 to cancel the plan.
Who will my funeral director be?
Golden Leaves plans are accepted by Dignity, Co-op and independent Funeral Directors across the UK, providing they agree to provide the funeral services based on the plan terms and conditions.
What should I do now?
Now you have read the Golden Leaves funeral plan review, you may want to:
- Compare funeral plans with other FCA regulated providers
- See how other companies compare with our funeral plan reviews
- Find out more about simple funeral plans with our guide to direct cremation