Are funeral plans safe for you to spend your money on?

When funeral planning, it's common to wonder are funeral plans safe? Who keeps funeral plans safe? And what happens if your situation changes after you've taken out a funeral plan?

We've answered these questions below so you can make an informed decision about whether a funeral plan is right for you.

There are a number of ways we at Distinct Cremations and other regulated funeral providers keep funeral plans safe.

Once you take out a plan you can be reassured that the funeral service you’ve paid for will go ahead as agreed. Or if this is not possible you have the right to claim your money back.

How do funeral plans work?

What are funeral plans?

Laptop For Researching Funeral Plans On Table

Pre-paid funeral plans are products that let you pre-arrange and pre-pay for your funeral.

This means your loved ones don’t have to cover the costs of your funeral or make funeral arrangements while they are grieving.

Getting a funeral plan also makes sure you get the type of send-off you want.

How funeral plans work

How to pay for a funeral plan

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Plans are sold by either funeral providers who carry out the funeral themselves or third parties who have relationships with funeral directors.

There is usually flexibility in how you can pay for a funeral plan.

Options include either paying upfront or in monthly instalments over a fixed period.

Ways to pay for funeral plans

Regulations mean funeral plan providers must:

  • Undergo "fitness to operate" checks
  • Guarantee a funeral if payment terms are met
  • Give a full refund if a plan is cancelled within 30 days
  • Charge a reasonable admin fee if a plan is cancelled after 30 days

Funeral plan providers are not allowed to:

  • Cold call
  • Produce misleading advertising
  • Engage in pressurised selling
  • Give commission to third parties selling plans on their behalf

What funeral costs does a funeral plan cover?

What a funeral plan includes can vary from plan to plan depending on what type of funeral you’d like e.g. a burial or cremation funeral.

It’s worth having a think and deciding what you’d like for your funeral before you pick your plan.

Feel free to give us a call if you'd like to talk through our funeral plan options.

Plans usually include key funeral elements like: Some plans will also include other services like:
The collection of the deceased An urn for cremated ashes
Third-party fees Eco-friendly add ons
A coffin Embalming and viewing of the deceased
The burial or cremation A hearse or limousines

Our Funeral Plans

We specialise in simple and pared-down cremations which free up money to be spent elsewhere. That money can go towards supporting your loved ones or holding an alternative celebration of life event.

Choose between our Unattended Direct Cremation Plan, Small Attended Cremation Plans or Simple Funeral Plan.

Alternatively you can view our price list or our CMA standardised price list.

Unattended Direct Cremation Plan

From £1,699 or £18.79* per month

Our Unattended Direct Cremation Plan is a great choice for those looking for a simple, low-cost unattended cremation without a funeral ceremony.

With our Unattended Direct Cremation Plan, the cremation takes place with no service or mourners present at our high-quality crematoria where dignified care is guaranteed.

View our Unattended Direct Cremation Plan * Price advertised is for a 50 year old paying over a 10 year period. Total cost is £2,349.80 and includes administration fees.

Small Attended Cremation Plans

From £2,099 or £24.58** per month

Our Small Attended Cremation Plans offer a private funeral where the number of people attending is limited to a small gathering of friends and family.

With our Small Attended Cremation Plans, you can have up to 8 people attending a 10 minute service or up to 20 people attending a 20 minute service.

View our Small Attended Cremation Plans ** Price advertised is for a 50 year old paying over a 10 year period. Total cost is £3,044.60 and includes administration fees.

All of our cremation plans include the collection of the deceased, a dignified cremation and ashes scattered or hand-delivered back.

How we keep your pre-paid funeral plan safe

Your funeral plan is safe with us.

Distinct Funeral Plans Limited (DFPL) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and we are clear and transparent about both what you pay and what you get with one of our funeral plans.

How we look after your money differs depending on the payment option you choose:

How you can pay How your money is looked after
Upfront An independent trust
Monthly instalments over 1 year An independent trust
Monthly instalments over 5 years A whole of life insurance policy
Monthly instalments over 10 years A whole of life insurance policy

No matter which way you choose to pay, we keep your funeral plan safe. Even if prices rise, your funeral will still go ahead as planned and you won’t be charged any extra.

Daisy In Field Close Up

Paying in one go or over a year

Your money will be put into a legally separate and independent trust managed by experienced trustees.

Once the money is in the trust, we can’t claim it until after your funeral has been carried out.

Daisy Flowers In Wild

Paying over 5 years or 10 years

Your money is used to purchase a whole of life insurance policy from Scottish Friendly, an authorised and regulated insurer.

The policy will then reimburse Distinct Cremations for carrying out the funeral after it has taken place.

10 checks to help you safely buy a funeral plan

Follow this checklist for added reassurance that your money and your funeral are in safe hands.

  1. Is the company you’re looking at FCA regulated?

    All funeral plan companies operating legally should be.

  2. Do they explain on their site how their funeral plans are protected?

    This information should be easily accessible and up-to-date.

  3. Are the people you’re buying a plan from the ones carrying out your funeral?

    It’s important to some people that it’s the same company for both.

  4. Are you happy with the quality of service and level of support?

    Your loved ones may need the same support when redeeming your plan.

  5. Does the fine print make sense?

    Read the T&Cs thoroughly and get in touch with the provider if you’re not sure.

  6. Is it clear what you get and what’s not included?

    If you want specific services, make sure they’re part of the plan.

  7. Is it clear how much you’ll pay and when?

    You should be informed about how much you’ll pay and your different payment options.

  8. Is there someone you trust to redeem your plan?

    You'll need a nominated representative to get in touch with the funeral provider when needed.

  9. Is it easy to get in touch with the provider?

    Do they respond quickly via your preferred contact method e.g. call or email?

  10. Did you hear about the plan through a cold call or are you being pressured to buy it?

    Reputable companies should not be doing this. Just say you need time to think and hang up.

Get in touch

Want more information? We're happy to answer any questions you may have about our plans over the phone, or you can request a free guide for details about what we offer. If you've decided a funeral plan is right for you, you can also view our products and take out a plan online.

Have a chat with us

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Want to talk through our options? If you have questions or would like some in-person support we’re just a call away.

Call us on 01543 211997

Get a free guide

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Need some time to digest the details? You can download a PDF of our guide online or get a printed copy posted out.

Get our guide

Set up a plan online

Woman Buying Funeral Plan On Computer

If you’re happy that one of our plans is exactly what you’re looking for, you can get everything set up yourself online.

View our funeral plans

Different organisations explained

When researching funeral plans, you may come across the names of various organisations that play their part in providing you with information or protecting your consumer rights.

There are two main regulatory bodies for funeral plans.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

Since 29th July 2022, all funeral plans are regulated by the FCA. The FCA makes sure companies are being transparent and not misleading people or pressuring them to buy plans.

Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)

The CMA makes sure that funeral plan providers are displaying information about their prices clearly and accurately and that companies aren't taking actions that would stop prices from being competitive.

These three resources could also be useful for you to know about.

Financial Services Register

Woman working out expenses using a calculator, pen and paper with glasses

To make sure the funeral plan provider you’re looking at is authorised and regulated, you can check they’re on the Financial Services Register. The reference number for Distinct Funeral Plans Limited is 965289.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Senior lady arranging a funeral plan

Should the funeral plan company you’re with fail, you should either receive your money back or have your plan transferred to another plan provider. But if this doesn’t happen you can make a compensation claim with the FSCS.

Financial Ombudsman Service

Pen And Notepad On Dining Table

If you have a complaint about your funeral plan provider and you haven’t been able to resolve it with them directly, you can escalate your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

What happens if situations change

Even if a funeral plan is right for you now, you may have concerns about what will happen if your situation changes in the future.

What happens if you die before paying off your plan?

A burial or cremation plan may have a period before cover starts called the moratorium period.

If you were to die before your cover has started, your plan may be refunded or your family may have the option to settle the outstanding balance.

You can check the T&Cs of the plan you're considering taking out for details about when cover starts.

What happens if your funeral provider goes out of business?

In this case, you have the choice of compensation for the full cost of the plan or to transfer to a like-for-like plan from a new provider.

If a plan holder passes away before an alternative plan has been set up, the FSCS still provides protection of up to £85,000 per person, per company.

You can visit the FSCS website to see their advice if your provider were to fail.

What happens to your funeral plan if you move house?

If you’re planning to move to a different area in future, choosing a nationwide funeral plan provider avoids the hassle of changing your plan.

This is also worth bearing in mind if you're setting up a funeral plan for someone else.

If you’re moving abroad, a funeral plan is not likely to be a good option as most plans only cover mainland UK.

Woman Calculating Cost of Funeral

Pay with a credit card

For added peace of mind when thinking about keeping your funeral plan safe, you might like to consider protecting your money by paying with a credit card if you have one.

Credit cards protect your purchases over £100 so you can get your money back if there is a problem with what you've bought or the company you've bought from goes bust.

Are funeral plans worth it?

Only you can decide if a funeral plan is worth spending your money on.

Man Filling Out Funeral Plan Form

A funeral plan could be right for you if:

  • You have had your funeral on your mind and want to get organised and sorted in advance.
  • You want to make sure you have a specific type of funeral.
  • You want to take the burden of planning away from your family.
  • You worry about funds being available or your family having the money to pay for a funeral.

Important

Once you’ve bought your plan, keep the paperwork safe and tell your immediate family, next of kin or the executor of your estate.
If they don’t know about the plan and don’t use it your money has been wasted.

What are the alternatives to a funeral plan?

Depending on your circumstances, there may be other later-life financial planning products or funeral planning products that are of interest to you.

Funeral plans or life insurance

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Funeral plans and life insurance differ. Get to know the different costs and eligibility requirements to see which option could suit you.

Funeral plans or life insurance

Funeral plans or Over-50s life cover

Pure Cremation

Over-50s life cover is another option for later-life financial planning. See how it compares to a funeral plan to decide which one fits your needs.

Funeral plans or Over-50s life cover

Arranging a funeral when needed

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If you're expecting a death or your loved one is currently receiving end-of-life care, we can also provide you with a caring funeral when needed.

Arrange a funeral from £1,099

We offer the highest level of support, but don't take our word for it

Below are a selection of reviews from those who have arranged a funeral or purchased a funeral plan through Distinct Cremations.

"Smooth and straightforward purchase with plenty of contact and feedback."

“Easy to use and very helpful. Very easy to use their services and always called with updates. Sorry to say I've had to use their services twice now and I've already booked my own service. On both times I've used this service I've been kept informed by calls to everything going on. All my requests were made to feel like no trouble whatsoever, happy to help attitude made what was a very emotional time pass with no problems. Ty to all the teams involved"

"Quick and easy to arrange. Very good value. The information pack arrived days after I made my enquiry. It was so easy to arrange the plan that I wanted. The follow up call was very reassuring. I am very happy with the service provided."

"Already recommended to other family members. Easy to access and apply for a plan at a good price, and even better, in 20 years time there will be no additional cost. It's not a subject that anyone wants to think about but now I have it sorted it has given me peace of mind knowing my family won't have the worry or cost when that time comes, now I can forget it and enjoy many more years, highly recommended. Hassle free application that was completed in minutes but I'm not planning on using this plan anytime soon!!"

"I was very pleased with the prompt efficient service that I got, everything was explained to me, and the paperwork was easy to understand, and there was no pressure put on me for a decision. I would most certainly recommended this company for price and efficiency."

“Happy with everything. We were well pleased with the consultant Sarah Mills she was very helpful and made us feel very confident that we were doing the right thing about our funeral plan."

"Positive without being pushy. Easy to understand the scheme, helpful brochure and a realistic price. The staff I contacted were polite and professional. Great value. An ideal alternative for those of us who don't want a lot of fuss."

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