Frequently asked questions
Your local Funeral Director will be able to answer any questions you have at any time, or don’t hesitate to call us, we’re here to help and support. However we’ve also put together some answers to the questions we’re most frequently asked below to help you.
- What’s included in my funeral plan?
- What's not included in my funeral plan?
- Who will carry out my funeral?
- What if I move to a different area?
- What if I die abroad?
- How can I include personal requests in my funeral plan?
- What if I die away from home within Great Britain and Northern Ireland?
- Who can buy a plan?
- How can I pay for my funeral plan?
- What happens if I am paying in instalments but die before all instalments are paid?
- How do we keep your money safe?
- Where does my money go?
- Protecting your money
- What if Co-op Funeralcare goes out of business?
- How are we regulated?
- Can I buy a plan for memorial masonry?
- What additional costs are there to be paid for at the time of the funeral?
- What happens if I stop paying for my plan?
- What happens after I've bought my plan?
- What if I want to make changes to my plan?
- What if I want to cancel my plan?
- What if I am a Member of the Co-op?
- What happens if I lose my paper work and my family can’t find it when the time comes?
- If I pay for a plan for someone else, can I update the plan on behalf of the plan holder?
What’s included in my funeral plan?
Your plan summary will set out what’s included in your plan.
Our Simple, Bronze, Silver and Gold set plans include funeral director services and fees as well as third party charges.
If you’ve selected a tailor made plan, you’ll have told us exactly what you want to be included in your plan.
What's not included in my funeral plan?
Anything not included in your plan summary, is not included in your funeral plan.
Our terms and conditions detail fully what’s not included in our funeral plans. Some of the main items are set out below for cremation and burial.
For cremation: there’ll be extra costs for a ceremony or service held at a different location to where the cremation takes place. And there may be extra costs for the burial or disposal of ashes.
For burial: our plans do not include the purchase of a grave or the cost of a memorial; for example, a headstone.
At the time of the funeral, the person making the arrangements may also order extra services such as additional limousines, flowers, orders of service, an organist, choir or live music and newspaper notices. If this is the case, the services will need to be paid for in full when making the arrangements. However, if you choose a tailor-made plan, you can include some of these items.
Who will carry out my funeral?
Your funeral will be carried out by one of our funeral directors. You may choose your funeral home when you buy your plan or tell us later. We will record this so we know when the time comes.
What if I move to a different area?
We have Co-op Funeral homes across all of the UK, allowing you to change your chosen home at no extra cost for set plans. All you need to do is contact us.
There may be extra costs if you have a tailor-made plan and move areas. This is because different cemeteries may have different charges.
What if I die abroad?
We only cover funerals carried out in mainland Great Britain. If you die elsewhere then we can help your family with arrangements to bring you back so that we can carry out your funeral in line with your wishes. There’s an extra cost for this.
How can I include personal requests in my funeral plan?
Simply tell us your wishes and we’ll keep them safe until the time comes. A funeral requests service is available if you wish to record your wishes with us. If you buy a set plan this will be sent in the post to you with your plan confirmation and you simply complete it and send back to us. If you buy a tailor-made plan these can be recorded with the help of our colleagues who can discuss this at point of arrangement or can be added later once you have had some time to think it over. We assure you that we’ll do everything we can to honour them.
What if I die away from home within Great Britain?
Included in our funeral plans is the collection and transfer of the deceased to a resting place within a 50 mile radius. If you need to be transported further than 50 miles we can arrange this for you. Extra charges will apply.
Who can buy a plan?
Our plans are available to anyone over the age of 18 and we ask no medical questions. If you’re paying by instalments over 2-25 years, all instalments must be completed by your 80th birthday.
Another person can pay for your plan but you’re still responsible for payments. You’ll own and control your plan and will receive the documents relating to it. If the person paying for your plan is paying by instalments over 2-25 years, that person must be 18 years of age or over. All payments must be completed by their 80th birthday.
How can I pay for my funeral plan?
You may pay in full, in instalments over 6 or 12 months, or in instalments over 2-25 years.
Instalment charges do not apply when paying in instalments over 6 or 12 months. When paying in instalments over 2-25 years, you’ll pay extra instalment charges.
What happens if I am paying in instalments but die before all instalments are paid?
It depends on which instalment option you are paying by.
If paying in instalments of 6 or 12 months, your representative will need to pay the rest of the balance so that our funeral director can deliver your plan.
If paying in instalments over 2-25 years and you die after 12 months, as long as your payments are up to date, we won’t collect the rest of the balance on your plan. Our funeral director can deliver your plan. This is the Co-op Commitment.
In either scenario the person arranging the funeral could choose to cancel your plan and we would refund the instalments paid but will charge £250 for cancelling (£100 if a masonry plan).
How do we keep your money safe?
Co-op Funeralcare has been providing funerals to celebrate the lives of the nation's loved ones for over 100 years. By choosing a Co-op Funeralcare plan you can be confident that you’re in safe hands, your money is protected and your funeral will be provided when the time comes.
Unlike other funeral plan providers, we guarantee all the services in your funeral plan will be delivered at no extra cost. We provide those services ourselves and with funeral homes we have a relationship with, such as other regional co-operatives.
Where does my money go?
We put all of the money from each plan into an individual whole of life insurance policy with Royal London. When we say Royal London, this is The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited.
We receive an allowance to meet our initial costs of selling and arranging the funeral plan.
The money is released to us when you die so that the funeral can be provided. Money can also be released in other circumstances, for instance if you cancel your plan, so we can refund this to you in accordance with our terms and conditions.
Working with Royal London we regularly monitor the whole of life insurance policies to ensure enough funds are available for us to provide the services set out in your plan. We report on this annually in our accounts.
Protecting your money
In order to provide additional protection, the policies and their proceeds are held by an independent trustee, Capita Trust Company Limited, on trust for when they’re needed.
What if Co-op Funeralcare goes out of business?
We’re confident this won’t happen. But in this unlikely event, the money will be protected by the trust under the control of the independent trustee. The trustee will work with the Funeral Planning Authority or any replacement funeral director to provide your funeral. Alternatively the funds will be returned to your estate.
How are we regulated?
We’ve been registered with the Funeral Planning Authority since it was formed in 2002. We call this the FPA and it’s the industry body that monitors the operation of registered funeral plan companies. This includes the formal monitoring of the marketing, financial and service provisions of the plan.
The FPA is there to add objective scrutiny to providers who choose to register. This scrutiny is intended to add a degree of consumer protection by ensuring providers conform to the FPA Rules and a Code of Practice. The scrutiny is carried out by the FPA’s independent compliance committee.
There is an annual re-registration process to check providers continue to meet the high standards set. This includes the provider submitting detailed information, including financial information, to the FPA on the key aspects of how they run their plans. Since the formation of the FPA in 2002 no FPA registered firm has failed.
The detail of regulation of funeral plans is contained in articles 59 & 60 of The Financial Services & Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001. Funeral plans can be exempt from direct regulation through adherence to some basic protections, the key being separating the assets needed to carry out the funeral from the provider. However, Royal London (who hold the funds) are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Can I buy a plan for memorial masonry?
Yes, you can buy a tailor-made masonry plan. This plan will allow you to arrange and pay in advance for new headstones and inscriptions on existing headstones. You do not need to also purchase a set funeral plan. If you do however, you will need to pay for both plans separately.
What additional costs are there to be paid for at the time of the funeral?
Your representative making the arrangements may wish to include additional items in your funeral that are not part of your plan. These could include flowers, additional limousines, newspaper notices etc. The Funeral Director can help to arrange these and they will need to be paid for in full before the funeral.
What happens if I stop paying for my plan?
Please contact us if you’re struggling to pay for your plan, to discuss options with us.
If you’re paying in instalments over 6 or 12 months and you miss 3 instalments in a row, we may cancel your plan and pay back the money paid.
If you’re paying in instalments over 2-25 years and either you miss 3 instalments in a row, or 3 instalments in a 5 year period then you won’t be able to benefit from the Co-op Commitment. We may cancel your plan and give you back the money you’ve paid.
What happens after I've bought my plan?
When you take out a plan with us, you will receive in the post within 10 working days a documents folder containing:
- A covering letter
- 2 x plan summaries and care cards. 1 set which should be given to the person who is most likely to arrange your funeral.
- Information on what to do for the person arranging your funeral, when the time comes.
If you are the person paying for the plan and have chosen to pay by monthly Direct Debit, the covering letter will confirm the set term you are paying over, the amount of the payment and the date of your first Direct Debit payment. And if paying in instalments, the total amount you will pay over the term.
What if I want to make changes to my plan?
There’s no administration charge for making changes. We outline all of the potential change scenarios and how this may affect your plan in our terms and conditions. Please contact us if you wish to make any changes and we can talk this through with you.
What if I want to cancel my plan?
However you pay, you can cancel your plan within 30 days of the start date without giving any reason and receive a full refund.
If you cancel your plan after 30 days of the start date, there’ll be a cancellation charge of £250 on set or tailor-made funeral plans or £100 on masonry plans.
For further information on your right to cancel see our terms and conditions.
What if I'm a Member of the Co-op?
If you’re paying for the funeral plan and you are a Co-op Member, you may be able to benefit from exclusive member prices when you arrange a funeral or funeral plan with us. And we’ll also give 1% of what you spend to a local cause in your community.
For details of our exclusive member prices, please see our full Membership terms and conditions which can be found here, or call our Membership Team on 0800 023 4708.
What happens if I lose my paper work and my family can’t find it when the time comes?
Don’t worry. We keep records of all those who have Co-op funeral plans in place on our system. All your family needs to do is give us a call or go into one of our funeral homes and we will be able to find your plan using your name, date of birth and address.
If I pay for a plan for someone else, can I update the plan on behalf of the plan holder?
Unfortunately our colleagues will not be able to discuss the plan holders account or funeral plan information with the payer, where these are different. The agreement is between Co-op Funeralcare and the person who the plan is for and therefore changes to the plan must be requested by the plan holder.
There are some circumstances where the plan payer can change details of the plan. This may be where you’re an attorney under a Power or Attorney or have been authorised to make decisions for someone else; please see our terms and conditions for further detail.