We call the Good Funeral Guide Prepaid Funeral Plan GFGPlan. We have created it with in partnership with Open Prepaid Funerals Ltd. There is nothing else like it on the market.
You can think of a GFGPlan as a pot marked ‘Funeral’ into which you can put up to £20,000 for a funeral, whether yours or somebody else’s. You can have a pot to yourself or you can share it with up to four other people who can also pay in up to £20,000. When you create a pot, you pay us a non-refundable fee of £195. This pays for the administration of the money you put into your pot for its lifetime and also makes a contribution of £25 to the Good Funeral Guide CIC.
The money in your pot will grow at the rate of, currently, 4% a year – a figure that could go up or down but has been stable since January 2014. Your money is exempt from tax and does not count towards probate. Your money + interest can only be used for funeral expenses. This isn’t our rule, it’s the law.
When you create a pot we ask you to record your funeral wishes. The law requires us to do that. Your funeral wishes can be as sketchy or detailed as you like. We do not offer you a choice of package funerals. We do not even require your funeral to be provided by a professional funeral director.
You can put a lump sum into your pot. Or you can deposit money in staged payments – monthly, for example. Or you can pay in money as and when you can afford to. You don’t have to reach a target figure. Whatever you pay into your pot will be there for your funeral.
Your money is invested under the supervision of the independent trustees of the Open Trust Fund. If there is a global financial meltdown, yes, there is a risk that you could lose some or all of your money. But remember: the Open Trust Fund weathered the recent global meltdown in robust financial health.
Unlike any other funeral planning company we make no deductions whatever from the money you give us to look after for you. Not one penny is spent on salaries, commissions – not even on a free gift for you.
If you want to dip into your pot for, say, a household emergency, you can do that – but only the money you paid in, not your money + interest. If you want to take all your money out, you can – but only your money, not your money + interest. This is a legal requirement. You won’t get your £195 back, either.
When you die, your personal representative (either your executor or your closest living relative) takes charge. We stand aside and let them do what they think best because we believe that no one should come between the buyer of your funeral and those with whom s/he chooses to do business. We simply pay out as soon as we receive invoices and receipts for your funeral.
Every feature of the GFGPlan has been designed to put the consumer interests of you and your personal representative first. As a result, almost every one of its features is unique. You can find out more by visiting our dedicated website here.