Comfort after a bereavement

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?

Funeral plans offer peace of mind by allowing you and your family to pre-arrange and pre-pay for your funeral services. This relieves loved ones from the financial burden and emotional strain of planning a funeral during a time of grief.

  1. Initial decision: First you need to choose what type of funeral you like. With a funeral plan, you can ensure that your final wishes are honoured, providing a personalised send-off that reflects your preferences and values. Whether that's a traditional service, a celebration of life, or a direct cremation, you can tailor the arrangements to suit your desires. You can call our team on 01543 211997 at any time to talk through your options.

  2. You choose a payment option: Once you have decided on what type of funeral you or your loved one would like, you can then decide between paying with a single payment, or opt for convenient monthly instalments spread over a fixed period, making it easier to manage your finances. At Distinct Cremations we offer the option to pay over 12 months, 5 years or 10 years.

  3. Recieve the comprehensive documentation: Upon finalising your funeral plan, you will receive comprehensive documentation outlining all agreed-upon arrangements and payment terms. This documentation serves as a clear and transparent contract which includes information on what the next of kin must do when the time comes, providing you and your loved ones with peace of mind.

  4. We secure and store your information: You can rest assured that all information and documentation regarding your funeral plan will be securely stored by Distinct Cremations. Our commitment to confidentiality ensures that your wishes are safeguarded until they are needed.

  5. Gain peace of mind knowing your future is set: By investing in a funeral plan with Distinct Cremations, you provide yourself and your family with invaluable peace of mind. You can take comfort in knowing that your or your loved one's final wishes will be carried out with care and respect.

Funeral plans are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Funeral plans are also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) meaning only those who have been authorised and regulated by the independent body are allowed to sell 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.

At Distinct Cremations, our funeral plans are designed to provide comprehensive coverage, offering peace of mind and support during a difficult time.

Here's an overview of the funeral costs covered by our plans:

  • Cremation Services: All our funeral plans include the cremation itself - this could be an unattended or attended cremation depending on your preference.
  • Collection and Care: We offer 24/7 collection of the deceased from anywhere in the UK mainland, followed by professional care at our state-of-the-art mortuary facilities.
  • Paperwork Assistance: Our dedicated team assists with all necessary legal and cremation paperwork, guiding you through the process with compassion and expertise.
  • Medical Preparations: We handle the removal of pacemakers, artificial mechanisms, and medical implants, ensuring the deceased is prepared for cremation in accordance with regulations.
  • Transportation Services: Transportation of the deceased is provided via a private ambulance, guaranteeing a dignified and respectful journey to the crematorium.
  • Preparation and Ceremony: Our funeral plans cover the preparation of the deceased for cremation, including the provision of a simple coffin. Additionally, a chapel attendant or funeral operative will be present during the cremation, ensuring the utmost respect and care.
  • Ashes Handling: Following cremation, ashes are respectfully scattered in our crematorium remembrance gardens or personally hand-delivered within 14 days. An ashes container is also provided for ease of scattering.
  • Environmental Options: For those wishing to minimise their environmental impact, we also offer an option to 'Go Greener', supporting eco-conscious choices in funeral arrangements.

While our funeral plans provide comprehensive coverage, it's important to note that certain services are not included:

✖️ Embalming: Embalming services is not available with our plans.
✖️ Viewing Services: Viewing of the deceased is not available with our plans.
✖️ Transportation Extras: Costs associated with additional transportation services such as a hearse or limousines.
✖️ Repatriation Costs: Any expenses related to repatriation from outside mainland Great Britain are not covered.
✖️ Special Requests: Additional services such as memorials, flowers, catering, or obituaries are not included in our plans.
✖️ Additional Charges: Any additional charges, such as VAT, incurred due to changes in laws, tax rules, or legislation affecting cremations, are the responsibility of the client.

At Distinct Cremations, we are committed to providing transparent and compassionate support, ensuring that our funeral plans meet your needs while respecting your budget and preferences.

Call our team at any time on 01543 211997 to talk through your options.

How pre-paid funeral plans are kept safe

At Distinct Cremations, your funeral plan is safe with us.

We understand the importance of trust and accountability when it comes to handling pre-paid funeral plans. That's why we take every measure to ensure that your funds are kept safe and secure, providing you with peace of mind for the future.

  1. Financial Regulation: Pre-paid funeral plans are subject to stringent financial regulations to safeguard consumers' interests. Distinct Cremations adheres to all relevant financial regulations, including those set forth by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA regulates the sale and administration of funeral plans, ensuring that providers operate ethically and transparently.
  2. Trust fund and insurance policy: To further protect your investment, the funds from pre-paid funeral plans are placed into a trust fund or insurance policy, depending on how you pay. These funds are managed independently of Distinct Cremations, with strict controls in place to ensure the funds are used solely for their intended purpose – covering the cost of your funeral arrangements.
  3. Ongoing Oversight: We believe in maintaining ongoing oversight and accountability to ensure that your funds remain safe and secure. Our dedicated team monitors regulatory changes and industry best practices to uphold the highest standards of financial responsibility.

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.

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)

As of July 29th, 2022, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has assumed regulatory oversight of all funeral plans. This regulatory body plays a crucial role in ensuring that companies operating in the funeral planning sector adhere to stringent standards of transparency and fairness.

Under FCA regulation, companies are required to provide clear and accurate information to consumers, refraining from any misleading practices or undue pressure to purchase funeral plans. This oversight aims to safeguard the interests of consumers, promoting trust and confidence in the industry by upholding ethical conduct and accountability among providers.

Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is tasked with ensuring that funeral plan providers adhere to regulations regarding price transparency and competition. Specifically, the CMA oversees that these providers display pricing information in a clear and accurate manner, enabling consumers to make informed decisions.

Additionally, the CMA prohibits any actions by companies that could impede competitive pricing in the funeral planning industry. This oversight aims to foster a competitive market environment, promoting fair pricing practices and preventing anti-competitive behaviour that could disadvantage consumers. By upholding these standards, the CMA works to protect consumer interests and maintain a level playing field among funeral plan providers.

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

Financial Services Register

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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

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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

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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.

Funeral plan payment options

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Paying in one go or over a year

Acceptance is guaranteed if you're over 18 with no upper age limit, and there are no medical questions to answer.

You can pay with a single payment or with smaller, fixed payments over 12 months, protecting you from inflation, and you can receive all your money back within 30 days if you wish to cancel.

The price of an Unattended Direct Cremation Plan is £1,699 or £141.58 if you're paying with fixed payments 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

Available for those aged between 50 & 74, at Distinct Cremations we also offer the option to pay for your funeral plan with low monthly payments.

The payments are fixed for the term protecting you from inflation and we also offer a full money back guarantee if you decide to cancel within the first 12 months.

Prices start from £19.44 per month for a 50 year old purchasing an Unattended Direct Cremation Plan over a 10 year period. The total cost is £2,332.80 and includes administration fees.

This 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.

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.

For additional pricing information and a full list of our optional extras, please see our price list.

Unattended Direct Cremation Plan

From £1,699 or £19.44* 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 £2,332.80 and includes administration fees.

Small Attended Cremation Plans

From £2,099 or £25.23** 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 £3,027.60 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.

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

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 £1,199

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

Below are a selection of reviews from those who followed their instinct with Distinct and chose to buy a funeral with us.

5/5
Based on 715 reviews Feefo Logo Feefo Gold 2024
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Anon 30 May 2024
first class
Mark 21 May 2024
Excellent communication, very helpful and we got just what we wanted in a service. Highly recommended and we will use again. Mark Oliver
Anon 2 May 2024
Service very efficient, and comprehensive. Understandably, you "chased me up" when there was a delay in my response to place an order, but this delay was whilst I contacted all those relatives who might have had a view to express.
Anon 24 Apr 2024
I was very happy with the service I received and they are only a phone call away if I or my sons should need advice or help in any way
Wendy 8 Apr 2024
This is a good company, the cremation was dealt with very smoothly without any problems. The staff were very courteous and professional throughout. Everything was explained over the phone and they were very patient answering my questions. The ashes were delivered on time to my door. Highly recommended.
Anon 7 Apr 2024
They gave a superb service, they were very professional from start to finish, but also friendly and empathetic too, at what was a very difficult time for myself and the family
Anon 6 Apr 2024
Dee was lovely and understanding and advice was easy to understand
Anon 5 Apr 2024
Very kind and helpful lady. She talked me through everything that I asked her about.
5/5
Based on 715 reviews
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