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? 

  • Those who has a preferred funeral director that they would like to deliver their funeral 
  • Someone 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

Reading time:

 8.5 mins

Can I have a choice of funeral director's I would like to carry out my funeral?

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

Here are the most common scenarios: 

Number 1

The plan provider lets you choose from a shortlist of funeral directors.  

Number 2

The plan provider leaves the choice of director entirely up to you.

Number 3

The plan provider will choose the funeral director.

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

If the 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.

Is it a good idea to choose my preferred funeral director?

You may be comforted by the fact that your funeral will be carried out by a funeral director you've used before, or one who has been recommended by someone you trust.  But you should 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.

So in short, it you need to consider whether it's worth sacrificing the funeral plan you want for a funeral director you want to nominate.

However, if you want to take the risk, rest assured a funeral plan provider chooses the funeral directors in its network carefully. The plan provider's reputation depends upon on 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 the 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 (typically up to 30 days), you will get a 100% refund.  

Why shouldn't I go to a funeral director's direct to buy my funeral plan?

At face value, going direct to a funeral director 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. 

Here's some advice if you decide to go direct to funeral director's to buy your funeral plan

  • 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.
  • Is your funeral plan portable?
  • Ask the funeral director what would happen to your plan if you moved out of the area, or the director retired, or went out of business.
  • 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 funeral trade associations: 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.
  • Shop around.
  • 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. 

Get your FREE 
Funeral Wishes Planner

(No funeral plan purchase necessary)

Don't leave loved ones to worry about the detail of your funeral.  Leave clear instructions in this FREEand simple 
Funeral Wishes Planner

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About the author 

Derek Thompson

Derek Thompson is a writer and author, who has written extensively about grief and the funeral industry. He thinks humour is a much-underrated commodity. And thanks to a mix-up, when his name was read out during a committal, instead of his brother’s, he has technically been to his own funeral.

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