Does a funeral plan allow me to choose the funeral director?


When you buy a funeral plan, either the funeral plan provider will nominate the funeral director, or you will be offered a choice.

We outline the options and what you can do about switching to another funeral director.

Who is this guide for? 

  • Anyone who has a preferred funeral director that they would like to deliver their funeral 
  • Anyone who might want to change the funeral director if they aren't happy with the plan provider's choice
  • Anyone who wants to understand why going to a preferred funeral director to buy their funeral plan may not be the smartest move

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 8.5 mins

Can I always choose which funeral director will deliver my funeral?

The option to choose your funeral director depends on the plan you buy and whether your preferred funeral director is included within the funeral plan provider's network. 

Here are the most common scenarios: 

  • The plan provider lets you choose from a shortlist of funeral directors.  
  • The plan provider leaves the choice of funeral director entirely up to you.
  • The plan provider will choose the funeral director.

Can I choose a funeral director who is outside the funeral plan provider's network?

If the funeral director you want is outside the funeral plan provider's network, the funeral plan provider will sometimes approach your preferred funeral director to see if they will take on the plan. Your preferred funeral director's willingness to accept the plan will depend on the terms of the funeral plan you want to buy and the following:
  • Supplementary cost  - The funeral director may require a top-up fee from you. This will be added to the funeral plan price.
  • Commercial restrictions  - The funeral director may have a contract with another plan provider that means they are unable to accept a different provider's plans.

Why might I want to choose the funeral director?

You may be comforted by the fact that you will be cared for by a funeral director you've used before or one who has been recommended by someone you trust.
If getting your preferred funeral director means that you have to sacrifice the funeral plan you want and select a different plan, be aware that by the time your funeral is needed the funeral director may have retired, the funeral home may have changed hands, or you may have moved some distance away so you wouldn't have the services of your preferred funeral director anyway. Rest assured, a funeral plan provider chooses the funeral directors in their network carefully. The plan provider's reputation depends upon it.

Can I change the funeral director that's been appointed by the plan provider? 

If you're not keen on the funeral director that has already been appointed or those funeral directors on the shortlist, it may be possible to choose another one.  Check the terms of your plan.  If you're still not happy with your options, you could cancel your plan.  Providing you do this in writing within the cancellation period (of up to 30 days), you will get a 100% refund.  

At face value, this seems like the obvious and easiest way to purchase your plan.  However, there are a couple of things you should bear in mind: 

  • Not every funeral director sells funeral plans.  
  • Some funeral directors only offer one plan provider's range of funeral plans.  (Funeral directors may be commercially restricted from selling other providers' plans.)  This limits your choices and could mean missing out on getting the best value plan for your needs. 
Some advice if you do decide to go directly to the funeral director 
  • Make sure that the plan the funeral director is selling is from a Funeral Planning Authority registered (FPA) provider. Registration is voluntary and gives you the reassurance that the plan provider is complying with the FPA's strict rules around the security of plan funds, beyond the exemption rules set by the Financial Conduct Authority. Being a registered member also demonstrates that the plan provider is operating above the basic required professional standards.
  • Ask the funeral director what would happen to your plan if you moved out of the area, or the funeral director retired, or the funeral director went out of business.
  • When buying your funeral plan, make sure your conversation with the funeral director is confirmed in writing or that your call is recorded and that you can receive a copy if requested.  Should you or your family have an issue with the funeral plan you have been sold, or you believe you haven't been treated fairly, you will have the documentation or a recording to support your case.  You can raise a complaint with the FPA - providing the plan you are buying is from an FPA registered member, of course.
  • For your added protection, make sure the funeral director is a member of a funeral trade association. There are two: The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) and the Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF). If your family should have a complaint about the funeral director's services, they can seek official redress through one of these organisations.
  • Before you buy from the funeral director, shop around to ensure you are getting the best plan at the right price. You can do that in person or by using an online portal such as ours.
Choosing a prepaid funeral plan gives you the final say over your final journey.  Finding the right funeral director is an important part of that process.  Selecting a funeral director included in the plan provider's network takes the worry and hassle away from finding the right one.  At Before You Go, we help you make informed decisions about every aspect of your funeral and help you find the funeral plan that's right for you.  Leave great memories, not loose ends. 

About the Author

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Sophie can usually be found reading a book. Writing a novel has always been on her bucket list. When not absorbed in the latest page-turner, Sophie likes to explore and gain a deeper understanding of peoples' attitudes towards end-of-life planning and how it impacts their lives. She hopes that in some small way her writing around these topics can make a positive difference to her readers.

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