Mason & Stokes Funeral Service
54 Hewlett Road, Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, GL52 6AH
The Independent Way Funeral Plan
Tailor Made Plans
For many people, planning their funeral has become an everyday way of looking at the future.
Nearly a million people in Great Britain have taken out a funeral plan. Usually, they have known the grief of bereavement and don’t want their families to go through the stress of making arrangements. Many have established a relationship of trust with their local family funeral director. Who better to advise them on such a sensitive topic and assist them with all the details?
We believe that the Independent Way funeral plan, which is available only through independent funeral directors such as ourselves, offers you significant advantages over other plans. The following pages explain the reasons why..
Planning your funeral the Independent Way
With the Independent Way plan, we will make sure that your loved ones will be spared much of the burden of organising a funeral. You’ll have specified every detail in advance and taken care of all the costs that are within our control.
A guarantee that covers all our services
No matter how much our services may rise in cost in years to come, once your plan is fully in place, neither you nor your loved ones will be asked for a penny more for them. It’s a guarantee that gives you peace of mind. You can be assured that your family will be spared what could be a financial worry.
There are some costs that we are obliged to pay on your behalf. These third party costs include the charges of cemeteries and crematoria, as well as the fees of clergy or officiants and the costs of newspaper notices and memorials. The amount of this expenditure is not within our control and may require a further payment at the time of need.
A sound financial decision
When you take out an Independent Way plan, you have the reassurance that your money is protected. You select how you wish to pay for your plan and, depending on your choice; your money is paid into the Golden Charter Trust.
Your money grows and, when the time comes, we receive the payment, including any growth, and use this money to provide the agreed services to your family. No matter how much costs have risen in the intervening period, your loved ones will not be asked for a penny more for the guaranteed funeral director’s services included within your plan.
The Golden Charter Trust
The Board of Trustees has appointed a wide panel of Fund Managers who invest the funds in a cautious and balanced manner. Barnett Waddingham of Glasgow, the consulting actuaries, appraise the Fund performance regularly. Funds are managed by a range of well known investment companies.
Protection against rising funeral costs
Back in 2004, an average funeral cost around £1,920. However, recent research† shows the average cost of a funeral in the UK is now £3,091 – an increase of 61%
in seven years, well above the general level of inflation. If this trend continues, the average cost of a funeral in 2018 will be almost £5,000.
Paying in advance for your funeral is a sensible decision that will save money, benefiting your family or estate. We guarantee that, as long as your plan is paid for, there’ll be no more to pay for the services within our control.
A real alternative to saving
We believe a funeral plan offers a better option than saving for your funeral.
In 1991, if you had put £820 (then the average cost of a funeral) into a building society, you would have seen it grow to only £1,323.07* over the next 20 years.
However, with the average cost of a funeral now £3,091†, your family would have to find an additional £1,767.93, at a very difficult time. This dramatic
shortfall demonstrates why planning your funeral the Independent Way is the wiser way.
Your wishes fulfilled by a proven partnership
Most people don’t want to think about arranging their own funeral. That’s natural. But there is some quiet satisfaction to be gained from putting your affairs in order and reflecting on the most appropriate arrangements.
Many personal decisions have to be made. Your wishes are special – and you can be sure we will carry them out to the letter in association with Golden Charter, the UK’s largest provider of pre-paid funeral plans to the independent sector. We guarantee that your family or estate will not be asked for a penny more for the services you have selected that are within our financial control.
Funeral directors’ services typically include:
- Professional charges. These represent a high proportion of a funeral director’s costs and include making all arrangements for cremation or burial
- Conveyance of the deceased from the place of death to the funeral director’s premises, a chapel of rest or other suitable location
- Caring for the deceased and attending to the hygienic preparation necessary to allow viewing, if requested by family or friends
- Advice on the certification and registration of death and related documentation
- Provision of a hearse and other funeral vehicles
- Advice on bereavement counselling
A balanced approach to third party costs
As stated on page two, third party costs are not within our financial control. These expenses include the fees for the cemetery, crematorium and clergy or officiant, which will be costed at today’s prices in your plan.
Your payment is held with a view to maintaining a level of growth at least equivalent to the increases in inflation.
However, if at the time of need, the increase in the third party costs is greater than the growth, we would have the option to approach the family for an additional amount.
Third party costs may include:
- Crematorium fee
- Clergy/officiant’s fee
- Purchase of a grave or lair
- Cemetery fee: the opening of an existing or new grave for burial or interment of cremated remains
- Hire of church or other venue
- Fees of organist or soloist
- Memorial, such as a headstone, entry in a book of remembrance or planting of a tree
- Catering, floral tributes and newspaper announcements
Endorsed by leading bodies of the funeral profession
The Independent Way is recommended by the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors.
Golden Charter is the only funeral plan provider recommended by the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF), which was established in 1989 to serve the interests and needs of independent funeral directors nationwide.
Golden Charter has been accepted as a ‘Registered Provider’ by the Funeral Planning Authority.
The Funeral Planning Authority was created in response to Government legislation protecting money paid by consumers for funeral plans.
Customers purchasing a plan from a Registered Provider have the reassurance that they are dealing with one of the most reputable companies in the industry, one which maintains high standards and protects its planholders’ funds.Send enquiry