Frequently Asked Questions
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1. Are there any age restrictions?
Empathy Funeral Plans are available to all people over the age of 18 years. There are no upper limit age restrictions.
2. Will I need to have a medical?
No – there is no medical required, any pre-existing medical conditions are not taken into account.
3. Can I take out a Plan for somebody else?
Yes – you can purchase a Plan for a relative or friend if you wish. This is a common and popular type of purchase. The same application form is used, just complete your details at the top of page 1 of the application form.
4. Can I select the Funeral Director?
You can from our network of Empathy approved Funeral Directors, or you can select your preferred Funeral Director even if not on our chosen panel.
5. Can I choose whether I want a burial or cremation?
Our plans include the cost of a cremation. Burial costs vary across the UK depending on whether your family owns a plot. Our Bespoke Plan has an allowance of up to £1500.00 (other Plans have £1000) towards the cost of burial. Once the Plan is activated your relatives can choose to top up the additional cost to arrange a burial and a headstone at additional cost if they wish.
6. Can personal touches be added now and at the time of the funeral?
You can personalise your own preferences now for song choices, readings, charitable donations, floral requests, hymns etc. At the time of the funeral additional services such as newspaper announcements or scattering of ashes can be added for an additional fee. Aspects such as horse drawn hearse, woodland burials, commemorative benches or trees etc. can be provided but only in some areas of the UK. You can amend your choices at any time by calling one of our friendly trained staff or completing and forwarding an amendments form (enclosed in your pack) or online at our secure portal.
7. How will the Plan be activated upon the Planholder passing away?
It is important for you to nominate your ‘Funeral Organiser’ and advise them of your Empathy UK Funeral Plan. They should be given a copy of your Plan which will be included in your welcome pack. One call or email will be all it takes to set your plan in action. Our advisors are on hand 24/7 to help. Our packs include cards to keep in your handbag/wallet.
8. What happens if I die abroad or away from home?
The cost of repatriation is not included in the Empathy UK Funeral Plan. Once repatriated to within 25 miles of the nominated Funeral Director, your Plan can continue as you have requested. If you die more than 25 miles from home, there may be additional mileage cost in transporting the deceased body to your chosen Funeral Director.
9. Can I make amendments to my Plan?
Yes, our system allows you to upgrade your Plan at any time. Just call one of our friendly advisors to help you on the local rate call number. You can also write to us or email us regarding your amendments and we will implement them as you wish. A special amendments form will be included in your welcome pack.
10. Can I cancel my Plan?
You may cancel at any time and free of charge within 30 days of taking out the Plan. After this, cancellation will incur an administration fee (check the terms and conditions document for more detail). Upon cancellation before activation, you will receive the contributions made (less the administration fee if beyond 30 days).
11. Can I pay in instalments or does it have to be in one payment?
Empathy UK Funeral Plans offers payment plans allowing you to spread payments over 12 months, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years or 15 years. All you need to pay is a deposit and the balance over equal payments. (There is no additional fee for payment plans up to 12 months). Terms beyond 12 months will include an instalment charge.
12. If I am paying by instalments, what happens if I die before the Plan payment is completed?
If you die before all of the instalment payments for the Plan are paid, but at least 75% has been paid, we will provide the funeral as normal. However, your Nominated Funeral Organiser will be responsible for paying the outstanding instalments due before the time of the funeral. If the you die before all of the instalment payments for the Plan are paid, but less than 75% has been paid, all of the monies paid will be returned to your Estate minus an administration fee. Please see our Terms & Conditions for full details of this aspect.
13. Do I need a Funeral Plan if I have savings and life insurance?
Taking out life insurance, or setting aside savings to cover funeral costs is a good idea, but interest rates are so low, and funeral costs are rising faster than the retail price index, therefore life insurance and savings plans will fall short of the actual funeral cost. Empathy UK Funeral Plans fix the price of the funeral costs and assist your family and loves one when they need it most.
14. Your charts show that the cost of a funeral varies across the UK, yet you offer a fixed price range. How can this be so?
Empathy invest your Funeral Plan in an Investment Trust which is audited and monitored by Independent, FCA regulated Trustees and an Actuary. Such is the performance of the Trust we are able to standardise the varying costs of funerals wherever you live.
15. What happens if the predicted cost increases are incorrect and the cost of funerals actually goes down?
This is unlikely. However, the minimum amount your family (or Estate) would ever receive once the Plan is completely paid for, would be the amount that you paid in.
16. What happens if I move address after taking out the Empathy UK Funeral Plan?
So long as you still live in the UK, all you need to do is notify us of your new address by calling us or writing to us and we will amend your Plan. If you have moved to a new area outside of the operation of your chosen Funeral Director, Empathy will reallocate your Plan to a new Funeral Director either of your choice OR from our approved panel.
17. What happens if the Funeral Director I have chosen goes out of business or is taken over by another firm?
Don’t worry, your Funeral Plan is safe. Your money is held in an ‘Independent Trust Fund’ and not by the Funeral Director. If the one you have chosen closes, Empathy UK will simply nominate a different Funeral Director, either of your choice, or from our approved panel. Indeed, you can change your choice of Funeral Director at any time by simply contacting us in writing or over the telephone.
18. What happens if Empathy UK Funeral Plans closes or has insufficient funds to pay for the funeral when required?
Your funeral fund is not held by Empathy Funeral Plans but is placed in an Independent Trust Fund, which is managed by a Fund Manager, who is regulated by the FCA and is overseen by Independent Trustees. The fund is audited annually by a firm of chartered Accountants, and reviewed by a regulated Actuary. So, even if Empathy were to close, your funds would be available for your Funeral Plan to be paid for when required.
19. What happens if I die and my family forget to use the Empathy UK Funeral Plan, or do not know of it until after the funeral?
That’s simple – all they need to do is contact us and, once verified, we will release the value of your cash payments into the fund within 30 days of proof of ownership. (This offer is only available within 6 months of the event). To guard against this, we recommend you nominate a Funeral Organiser as soon as you have purchased the Plan so that they are aware of the provisions you have made. Also carry your Empathy UK Funeral Plan card in your handbag/wallet so as to be sure it is to hand.
20. How do I write my Will?
Once your Exclusive Empathy UK Funeral Plan has been purchased one of our team will give you a call to go through your requirements. We will then forward the document to you for you to sign and return to us. We will then store this for you. You can amend or alter your Will at any time by written request.