One of the common questions people ask when considering a prepaid funeral plan is whether their money will be safe?

What assurances are there?

In this guide you will learn

  • The role the Funeral Planning Authority has in ensuring consumers can buy with confidence.
  • What would happen to your funeral plan money if your funeral plan provider or funeral director went out of business.
  • Steps you can take to ensure the safety of your money, if the funeral plan you buy is not from a funeral provider registered with the Funeral Planning Authority.

Reading time:

 3 mins

What is the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA)?

Firstly, for those who don't know the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) is an independent body, set up in 2002 to help drive up standards in the funeral plan industry.  

Subsequently some funeral plan providers voluntarily sign up to the FPA's strict Code of Practice, Rules and scrutiny. Above the exemption rules set by the  Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) rules around prepaid funeral plans.

Leading UK prepaid funeral plan providers with portable plans, and registered with the Funeral Planning Authority, include

  • Avalon
  • Co-op Funeralcare
  • Dignity plc
  • Funeral Partners
  • Golden Charter
  • Golden Leaves
  • Pure Cremation
  • Simplicity 

How safe is my funeral plan money?

To start with, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) exemption rules, mean a funeral plan provider must set aside the money to pay for your funeral in one of the following two ways:

  • Buy a whole of life insurance policy in your name
  • Or put the money in a trust

In summary a trust is established by a written instrument often a deed. The trust document appoints the trustees and states the terms of the trust, including who the beneficiaries are and the trust property that will be subject to the trust. 

Additionally in most cases trustees have to be independent. For instance, the fund manager must be independent, and the accounts must be prepared by a statutory auditor. 

What would happen to my funeral plan if the plan provider or my appointed funeral director went out of business?

First it would depend on the provider of the funeral plan you choose. Although, if the funeral plan you choose is from a Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) registered provider. Then it would go ahead as detailed in the plan.

Furthermore, in the event the funeral plan company or funeral director is no longer around when the service is needed, the FPA gives reassurances that the funeral, as detailed in your plan, will go ahead.

"The extensive checks we carry out, and the scrutiny we apply gives customers reassurance that if they buy from an FPA registered provider, they can expect to be treated properly and receive the funeral they've paid for when they need it."

Source: / March 2021

What should I look out for if my funeral plan provider is not registered with the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA)?

To conclude if you decide to buy a plan from a non-FPA registered provider.  Whether direct, through an independent financial advisor (IFA) or funeral director. Then, you should first check that the funeral plan company is registered at Companies House.  

Following on from that, the FPA recommends you ask the following questions:

  • Firstly, what is the current solvency position of the trust fund?
  • Secondly, who are the trustees or the insurance company, and what is their relationship with the funeral plan provider?
  • Thirdly, who has assessed that position? (There should be an actuary valuing the trust.)
  • Following that, what are the assets of the fund, and who is managing these assets?
  • Finally, what are the arrangements for carrying out funerals, and how are these reflected in the valuation of the trust’s liabilities? 

Useful Resources


The detail of regulation of prepaid funeral plans is contained in articles 59 & 60 of The Financial Services & Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001.  


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About the author 

Kim Bird

Kim, the founder of Before You Go, is a funeral cost expert and regularly appears in the press, on TV and on radio. She began campaigning for greater funeral price transparency over 10 years ago. Kim is a member of Parliamentary Groups for funerals and bereavement.

In 2017, Kim was included in the Maserati 100 & The Sunday Times list of top 100 UK entrepreneurs for having a positive impact on society and her industry.

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