As a wise person once said, there are only two certainties in life – death and taxes. And if you’re planning on dying at some point in the future, you’ll need a funeral plan .Okay, so that may be a little blunt. But, the fact of the matter is, if you really want to help your clients prepare for the future, a funeral plan is less of a luxury and more of a certainty.
It might be a little awkward to bring the subject of death up in conversation, but no more so than with selling life cover or writing a will. But you appreciate that sometimes talking about awkward things now can have significant benefits for your clients further down the line.
And, let’s face it, while some clients will never need to make a life cover claim, a funeral plan is pretty much guaranteed to come in handy one day. We can give you all the support and tools you need to raise the topic with your clients – and your clients (and their families) will thank you for putting some financial security in place for when the time comes.
Consumer Protection has always been pivotal to the ethics and high operational standards of the Golden Leaves organisation and its board of Trustees.
Consequently, in light of recent industry developments and in a decisive move to significantly strengthen the boards existing set of consumer protection experts, we are proud to announce the appointment of Arnold Pindar to the Golden Leaves board of Trustees.
Arnold Pindar is also currently chairman of the UK’s National Consumer Federation and is president of ANEC, the European Consumer organisation, which represents the interests of European consumers.
“As an independent trustee of the Golden Leaves Trust, it is my role to ensure that money paid to Golden Leaves Ltd for pre-paid funeral plans remains safe. As someone very active in the consumer movement across Europe and experienced in standardisation, I can personally fully endorse and contribute to Golden Leaves’ high levels of quality, standards and consumer protection within their operational activities and their work to promote these qualities throughout the Funeral Planning industry”.
Arnold is pictured above signing the “Joint Agreement on Standardisation” on behalf of ANEC, representing over 600 million consumers in the EU and EFTA countries.
Commenting on his new appointment to the board of Trustees, Mr Pindar said…,
Mr Pindar also joins consumer protection expert Jim Humble OBE amongst other experts on the Golden Leaves Trustee board. Jim is a Vice President of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute and previously served as Assistant Director of Consumer Affairs at the Office of Fair Trading.
Jim Humble OBE added …,
“I agreed to become a trustee of Golden Leaves because I found excellent transparency and an absolute determination to protect consumers.
The company’s terms of fairness and value are exemplary. The trustees are also able to secure the very best financial advice to ensure every customer is fully protected.”
As Golden Leaves continue to forge ahead with an active programme to deliver even higher quality standards and operational excellence across their business and networks, more important announcements are expected during the coming months.
Barry Floyd – Managing Director of the Golden Leaves Group commented..,
“We believe that consumer protection and elevated consumer outcomes are delivered by a consumer centric approach coupled by high quality operational standards.
We have always adopted this approach to conducting business and the appointment of Arnold to our board of Trustees clearly illustrates, that our determination to continue in this fashion has not waivered.”
Steve Rowland – Chairman of Golden Leaves praised his new arrival …
“I am absolutely delighted to welcome Mr Pindar into the Golden Leaves family at such a vital time; not only in terms of our brands evolution but also in light of the current regulatory and political change impacting the industry as a whole. We are already twelve months into a three year development programme and as we push on into phase two, his help, advice and guidance will be immeasurable, especially as it directly aligns with our complete determination to deliver best of class products, the highest level of quality and operational standards coupled with superior levels of consumer protection.”
According to City AM Golden Charter, the UK’s leading independent funeral plan provider, has appointed Suzanne Grahame as its new chief executive officer. She takes over from outgoing CEO, Ronnie Wayte, whose 10-year stewardship of the company saw it grow into the UK market leader in funeral plans with over £1bn of live plans. Suzanne joins Golden Charter from UK top-20 law firm Addleshaw Goddard where she was executive director following the amalgamation with leading Scottish commercial law firm HBJ Gateley, where she was chief executive. A professionally qualified accountant with experience across many sectors, Suzanne also worked for the Financial Conduct Authority-regulated investment fund manager Standard Life as well as serving as group finance director for Alternative Investment Market-quoted UA Group. Her focus will be building on the recent success at Golden Charter while creating a robust and forward-looking company.
Hit the sales target or Funeral Directors pay gets cut.
Funeral Plan Quotes
The National Association for Pre-Paid Funeral plans has expressed concern about the new Golden Charter policy of paying inflation increases on funeral plans on a discretionary basis, depending on the willingness and ability of the funeral director to meet sales targets for new Golden Charter plans. From July 2009, unless funeral directors sell as many new Golden Charter plans as they have old plans maturing, the funeral payment on their old plans will be frozen at March 2008 levels.
“Our Executive Committee accept that funeral plan providers may offer bonuses and incentives to encourage sales,” says NAPFP Secretary Nigel Burton, “but the new Golden Charter policy is different, because this discretionary payment replaces the inflation increase on funeral payments for the last year and Mr Auchincloss (Golden Charter National Sales Manager) has indicated that it may do so for next year as well. This means that many funeral directors who sold these plans in the past will not get the full payment for the funeral that they reasonably expected, just because they do not sell enough new Golden Charter plans this year. Our members feel that an important matter of principle is at stake: inflation payments on funeral plans should be universal, not a matter of discretion and not dependent on undertakers meeting sales targets.”
The NAPFP are concerned about the reputation of prepayment plans among undertakers and also with the general public, because if funeral payments fall behind it could affect the service provided and the amount included in the plan for disbursements.
Matthew Aldridge, of Somerset funeral director F H Halliday and Son has warned potential funeral plan purchasers to beware of buying funeral plans from cold callers or email campaigns, according to The Funeral Service Times.
Funeral Plan Quotes
We would echo his concerns, but remind readers that most sellers of funeral plans have a vested interest which is not that of the family. Very few funeral directors sell more than one “make” of funeral plan – they will typically sell the Coop Plan, or the Dignity Plan or the Golden Charter one. All of which are good plans, in the right circumstances. But a person who sells only one of the many funeral plans on the market will always try to sell you their plan. They probably won’t have a clue what advantages other funeral plans might have in your specific circumstances, They will consider the restrictions and penalties their plan has are normal. But they may well not be.
Cold Calling Funeral Plans – Not the way to go.
As Mr Aldridge says, this is not a subject to be discussing on the doorstep with a complete stranger. We believe that it needs time, full and frank discussion of your needs, wishes and potential future moves. Once your real needs are worked out, then the only way to get the best possible advice is to contact a firm which offers genuine INDEPENDENT advice on the choice of funeral plan. And that is where we come in. Explore our site, download our initial questionnaire, and when you are ready, contact our researcher for Independent advice. All we ask is that, if you accept our recommendation, you use the form we supply so we earn a little money to keep the service running. Is that fair?
Or just give us a ring on 01323 740844 and specify that your message is for the Prepaid Funeral Review – the number is 01323 740844.