Funeral Plan Terms and Conditions January 2016

1. Definitions

1.1 Plan Costs

The costs in all plans are made up of three components: the funeral director’s costs; disbursement costs; and an administrative charge. The plan documentation will clearly show the amount of each of these three components and all the elements that have been included in the cost of the plan.

1.2 Funeral Director’s costs

These are the costs that your funeral director charges for the provision of services and products that they supply directly. They include the funeral director’s professional fee for taking care of the funeral arrangements, collection from place of decease or public mortuary (within normal working hours), storage, attending on the day of the funeral, provision of bearers, and supply of the selected coffin. It also covers the supply of mainstream forms of transport, i.e. traditional hearse and limousines (up to 15 miles, and 2.5 hours duration), but not specialist forms of transport.

1.3 Disbursement costs

Disbursement costs cover the payment of those items and services which are supplied by people other than the funeral director.
They include, but are not limited to: the fees payable to doctors for the signing of cremation forms; payments made to clergy and other officiants for leading funeral ceremonies; organists’ fees; church fees; crematoria fees; and, in the case of a burial, the charges for burial rights and for interment.

They also include the amount that is set aside within the plan for any specialist form of transport (e.g. white hearse, motorcycle hearse, horse drawn hearse, railway train, etc.), flowers, newspaper announcement(s), or as an additional contribution towards burial costs.

1.4 Administrative charge

This is the cost to process the plan throughout its whole life span, from plan sale to the plan being executed. This money is separate from the funds that are used to pay for your funeral.

1.5 The Planholder

The Planholder is you if you are purchasing a funeral plan for yourself, or the person for whom you are purchasing a plan if you are buying a plan for a third party.

2. How the Scheme Works

2.1 Guarantees

Provided that the Planholder does not cancel his plan in his lifetime, and subject to both the approval of the funeral plan, and the Planholder not dying within 12 months of taking out the plan, we make the following guarantees:

That the Funeral Director’s Costs for carrying out the chosen funeral will be covered in full at that time provided that the plan is fully paid. (For plans that are not fully paid, see sections 7.2 and 7.3.)

That the Disbursement Costs that have been set aside within the plan will have increased in value in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the beginning of the 13th month after the plan date (see section 8.2 below). If the actual costs of the disbursements at the time that the funeral is carried out are higher than the amount that has accrued for disbursement costs, the balance will be payable to the funeral director by the person organising the funeral, in line with that funeral director’s terms and conditions. If the indexed payments made to the Trustees during the lifetime of the Planholder exceed the cost of the funeral, only the cost of the funeral will be paid to the funeral director carrying out the funeral.

If the Planholder does die within 12 months of the plan being taken out, a sum of money equal to all the payments made to the Trustees for that plan during the lifetime of the Planholder less the administrative charge and any costs that we have incurred from third parties (e.g. merchant account companies, banks) for processing your payment(s) will be paid by the Trustees towards the cost of the funeral. No interest will be paid on any payments that have been made

2.2 Security of your funds

With the exception of the administrative charge, all the income received from funeral plan sales is lodged in the Ethical Funeral Plans Trust Fund. This Fund is independently managed by Trustees. The terms of the Trust are such that, outside of very specific legitimate operating costs (e.g. accountancy costs, actuarial costs), funds can only be withdrawn on the production of evidence of the death of the Planholder or upon the written request of a Planholder, or their representative, to cancel their plan.

2.3 Ethical Investment

The Trustees who look after, and invest, the monies that have been paid for the funeral plan are charged with investing funds as ethically as possible, subject to this being compatible with a prudent investment strategy.

2.4 Choice of Funeral Director

Your funeral director will carry out your funeral arrangements.
If the person organising the funeral wishes to choose a different funeral director the plan will be regarded as cancelled. We will make a payment to the selected funeral director in line with the terms for refunds shown in section 5.1 below.

3. Our Commitments to You

3.1 Taking Care of your Money

We will deposit all funeral plan payments into the Ethical Funeral Plans Trust, which is controlled by the Trustees in accordance with the Trust Deed.

3.2 Paying your funeral director

Following registration of death, and establishment of entitlement to claim under the funeral plan for the provision of the funeral of the Planholder, we will arrange for the appropriate amount to be withdrawn from the Trust.

(No payment of any benefit arising under the terms of the Trust on the death of the Planholder will be made unless, and until, proof of the death of the Planholder and entitlement to benefit is given to the Trustees.)

3.3 Ensuring confidentiality

We will maintain confidentiality concerning your funeral plan and only discuss matters arising with the Trustees, the Planholder, the person funding the plan, the personal representative or next of kin of the Planholder and your funeral director.

3.4 Plan documentation

Within 30 days of the (concluding) payment being made, a Funeral Plan Certificate will be sent out by post.

4. Your Responsibilities

In sections 4 and 5 of these terms and conditions, ‘you’ means the Planholder if you are purchasing a plan for yourself. In the case of a third party purchase, the term ‘you’ should be taken to mean:

In the case of the Planholder being … ‘You’ should be taken to mean …
A person under 18 years old That person’s parent or guardian
A mentally-incapacitated person That person’s receiver or attorney
All other cases The Planholder

 

4.1 Providing accurate personal information

The person purchasing the funeral plan (referred to in sub-clauses 4.1 and 4.2 of these terms and conditions as “the Purchaser”) is responsible for providing the Planholder’s correct name, date of birth and address (i.e. usual place of residence) on the plan application form. If any of this information proves to be incorrect, we reserve the right to cancel the funeral plan and make you a refund in line with the provisions of section 5.1 below.

4.2 Notifying others

The Purchaser is responsible for notifying the Planholder’s next of kin, their executor, or whoever will be responsible to arrange their funeral, that he has purchased a funeral plan and for telling such person or persons what needs to be done in the event of the Planholder’s death in order to be able to claim under the funeral plan.

4.3 Taking Care of Documents

You are responsible for keeping all papers relating to the funeral plan in a safe place and for making sure that the Planholder’s next of kin, or personal representative, or person who will arrange the funeral, have access to them. If the papers become lost, copies can be obtained from Ethical Funeral Plans Trust at a small charge, although a first replacement Plan Certificate will be provided free of charge.

4.4 Change of address

It is important that you let us know when the Planholder changes address as this could have a bearing on the cost guarantees relating to the plan. If the Planholder moves to a new address in the same pricing zone as the original address, we will amend the address details on our records and all other matters will remain unchanged.

If the Planholder moves to an address which is in a more expensive pricing zone than his/her previous address, there will be a balance to pay on the plan in order to retain the price guarantees listed at the top of this document. Alternatively, you can opt not to make any additional payments at this stage but instead leave the balance to be payable to your funeral director by the person organising the funeral, in line with their terms and conditions.

If the Planholder moves to an address which is in a less expensive pricing zone than his/her previous address, you have two options. Firstly, you can choose to leave the difference in the cost of the new plan in the Trust Fund. This will give you an extra level of protection against rises in disbursement costs as the excess funds will be transferred to the disbursement allocation. Alternatively, you can request a refund of the balance. However, the refund will be subject to an administrative charge.

4.5 Changing your plan choices

Once you have purchased your plan, if you wish to change any of the Planholder’s choices, you must make a request in writing or by phone if they cannot be made online. If there are any cost implications of the new choices, we will advise you, and we may levy a charge for making the alterations to the plan. The plan changes will not be in force until you receive written confirmation from us in the form of a revised Funeral Plan Certificate.

5. Your Right to Cancel

5.1 Entitlement to a Refund

If a funeral plan is purchased from us, but the purchaser subsequently decides that he/she wishes to cancel within 14 days of the purchase, we shall make a full refund to him/her of any monies that have been paid to us. We shall require the Funeral Plan Certificate to be returned to us before this refund can be made.

If you wish to cancel the funeral plan at any later stage, we shall refund to you the full amount that has been paid to us less: the administrative charge, and any costs that we have incurred from third parties (e.g. merchant account companies, banks) for processing your payment(s). We will not pay interest on any payments that have been made and we will strive to make the refund within 28 days of receiving your written request and the Funeral Plan Certificate

Once we have made a refund, we have no further responsibilities for the funeral arrangements. A funeral plan cannot be canceled after the funeral of the planholder has already been carried out.

6. Limitations

6.1 Areas where plans are available

The services of your funeral director are currently available only to those people who are normally resident in areas in proximity to (one of) your funeral director’s branches. If the Planholder dies outside of those areas, or if the person arranging the funeral wants the funeral to take place outside of those areas, the Trust reserves the right to refund the payments, in accordance with the rule for refunds in section 5.1 above. We may still be able to help with the funeral arrangements although it is likely that this will incur an additional charge.

6.2 Free text preferences

The Funeral Plan application form, and the website application process, provide the opportunity to enter some free text to further explain the funeral wishes of the Planholder. This can include anything from, say, the choice of music to be played at the funeral ceremony; what is to happen to the ashes; what dress code should be adopted at the funeral; etc. No financial provision is made within the plan for the wishes expressed in this section unless they relate to an option chosen in the main part of the application form or an additional allowance has been made for ‘Extra Wishes’.

6.3 Oversize coffins

The cost of coffins is based upon the assumption that the coffin being supplied will not need to be especially strengthened and is not in excess of 6’ 6” x 24” internal measurements. If either, or both, of these assumptions is not valid, a premium may be payable for the selected coffin at the time of the funeral.

Also, if it is necessary for safety reasons for the funeral director to supply more than four bearers to carry the coffin, the cost of the additional staffing will become payable to Your funeral director by the person organising the funeral, in line with Your funeral director’ terms and conditions.

6.4 Collection from place of decease

Unless specifically expressed to the contrary, the funeral plan includes the cost of transport from the place of decease, or public mortuary, within normal working hours, to Your funeral director’ premises, subject to that journey being within a maximum of 25 miles of the planholder’s address. No allowance is included for any ferry or air fares, or tolls. If collection requires a journey of more than 25 miles, a supplementary charge may be levied. This will be payable to your funeral director by the person organising the funeral, in line with your funeral director’s terms and conditions.

6.5 Funerals on days other than normal working days

If it is the wish of the person arranging the funeral that it is carried out on a day other than a normal working day, and if Your funeral director are willing to agree to this request, a supplementary charge may be payable to your funeral director by the person organising the funeral, in line with your funeral director’s terms and conditions.

6.6 Removal of Artificial Limbs, etc.

A reasonable additional amount extra may be charged by your funeral director for the removal of artificial limbs, pacemakers, etc. This will be payable to Your funeral director by the person organising the funeral, in line with your funeral director’s terms and conditions.

6.7 Viewing

If viewing has been included as part of the plan, this facility will be provided at your funeral director’s premises during normal office hours. There may be an additional charge for any viewing outside of these hours. This will be payable to your funeral director by the person organising the funeral, in line with your funeral director’s terms and conditions.