Do you qualify for this Plan?
The Empathy UK Funeral Plan (the ‘Plan’) provides the funeral services set out in the Plan so long as you make all of the payments in accordance with the detail set out in your Plan.
This Plan covers the cost of certain funerals provided they are conducted in mainland Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The funeral must be conducted in the territories mentioned above. The Plan does not cover the costs of repatriation.
Glossary of Terms
‘Additional Special Requests Form’ means the form, which we will send to you after we have received your Application for the Plan, which allows you to notify us of any alternative or additional Special Requests;
‘Agreement’ means the written Agreement between us made up of the Application, the Funeral Plan Schedule, Funeral Plan Services document, the Key Features Summary and these Terms & Conditions;
‘Application’ means the Application form you have completed and either returned by post, submitted online via a website or portal or completed over the telephone;
‘Funeral Plan Schedule’ means the schedule setting out all the details of your Plan, which we will send to you once we have received your Application for the Plan;
‘Funeral Plan Services document’ means the document setting out the details of the services which are included in the Plan, which we will send to you once we have received your Application for the Plan;
‘Inflation’ means a change in the general level of prices for goods and services measured as an annual percentage increase or reduction in line with the Retail Prices Index;
‘Instalment Charge’ means the additional payment included in the price of any Plan where instalments are being paid over a term of 12 months or more;
‘Key Features Summary’ means the document summarising the key features and benefits and exclusions and limitations of the Empathy UK Funeral Plan to allow you to assess whether it meets your requirements;
‘Funeral Director’ means the Funeral Director, the details of which are set out in the Funeral Plan Schedule, or such other Funeral Director as we may appoint to carry out your chosen funeral;
‘Nominated Funeral Organiser’ means your Personal Representative(s) after your death, as defined by the Administration of Estates Act 1925;
‘Plan’ means the Funeral Plan you have chosen, as governed by the Agreement;
‘Planholder’ means the person named in the Funeral Plan Schedule whose funeral is covered by this Plan;
‘Price’ means the price in respect of the Funeral Director charges or any funeral costs indicated as in the Agreement;
‘Special Requests’ means any personal wishes as to how you would like your funeral performed which have been notified to us in your Application, Additional Special Requests Form, by email, in writing or over the telephone;
‘Trust’ means the Trust described in more detail in the ‘Care of your Money’ section at Point 3 of this document;
‘we’ or ‘us’ or ‘our’ refer to Empathy UK Funeral Plans and our details are set out at the end of this document; and
‘you’ or ‘your’ or ‘applicant’ means the person applying for the Plan.
As the purchaser of the Plan, the rights and benefits set out in this Agreement accrue to you and you are responsible for making payments to us in accordance with this Agreement. If you have named a different person as the Planholder on the Application, the rights and benefits set out in the Agreement will nevertheless accrue to you and not to the Planholder.
1. What the Plan Covers
Subject to these Terms & Conditions, and as set out below, details of the services guaranteed by your Plan are set out in the Funeral Plan Services document. Once you have fully paid the amounts set out in the Plan, we promise to cover these goods and services at no further charge to your Nominated Funeral Organiser. This price only applies to the services set out in the Empathy UK Funeral Plan Services document (provided upon purchase)
1.1 Your Funeral Director
Your Plan covers the services of the Funeral Director to provide the goods and services described in your Agreement after receipt by us of the Application. If any of the goods or services, which are to be directly provided by the Funeral Director are not available at the time of the funeral, we will provide a reasonable alternative at no further charge. This alternative will be as close as reasonably possible and of at least equal quality and value to that originally specified.
If your Nominated Funeral Organiser does not agree to the alternative arrangements, we may cancel the Plan and refund to your estate any monies due less a cancellation fee (see Section 5 for details). We will appoint the Funeral Director to carry out your chosen funeral. If the Funeral Director cannot for any reason perform your funeral, we will appoint an alternative Funeral Director for you.
If you do not wish to use the Funeral Director please call us or inform us in writing at the address shown at the end of this document and we will endeavour to accommodate your wishes. Please note that we reserve the right to appoint a different or new Funeral Director to carry out your chosen funeral for any reason. We will inform you if we do so.
1.2 Change of Address
The Plan provides for the Planholder’s funeral to be carried out by the Funeral Director. You must notify us at the address shown at the end of this document of any permanent change of address so that, if appropriate, we can appoint an alternative Funeral Director for you.
1.3 Cremation Services
If you choose or have chosen a cremation funeral as part of your Plan the price you have paid for your Plan will cover:
• The cremation fee charged by the crematorium. We reserve the right to select the crematorium used. This will usually be a crematorium close to and normally used by the Funeral Director.
The cremation fee does not include any additional charges made by the crematorium, for example, any cost payable to the crematorium for use of an organist or extra staff.
• The Minister of Religion or an Officiant’s fee, equal to the amount paid for a standard funeral service at the crematorium or cemetery as listed in the Church of England Table of Parochial Fees.
In the unusual event that the Minister or Officiant charges more than this amount, then you or your Nominated Funeral Organiser will be responsible for paying that additional amount to the Funeral Director.
1.4 Burial Funeral
If you require a funeral with burial, your Funeral Director will arrange certain services which are provided by third parties, for example, the provision of a burial plot, digging a new plot or opening an existing grave, and cemetery fees and fees for a Minister of Religion or Officiant may also be payable. However, as the cost of these services varies widely throughout mainland Great Britain and Northern Ireland, your Plan does not guarantee to cover these costs.
Your Plan contains a contribution towards these burial costs and other third party costs. The current rate is £1,000 which will rise in line with inflation. We will advise your Nominated Funeral Organiser of the value of the burial contribution at the time of arranging the funeral.
If the contribution towards burial costs does not cover the actual burial costs in full your Nominated Funeral Organiser will be required to pay the additional sum at the time of the funeral. Where the actual burial cost is less than the value of the contribution towards burial costs, we will either repay the difference to your Estate or put it towards other funeral costs incurred at the time.
2. What the Plan Does Not Cover
The Plan includes the services described in the Funeral Plan Schedule, which forms part of the Agreement. The cost for other services, for example a memorial, headstone, flowers, and catering are not included in the Plan. If you have purchased any Plan and you would like to make a provision for services not already included in your Plan you may do so by making a contribution towards these costs. We will make sure the value of that contribution increases in line with inflation. However, if that contribution does not cover the current rate for those goods or services, you or your Nominated Funeral Organiser must pay the difference between the value of your contribution (adjusted for inflation) and the actual cost at the time of the funeral. Where the actual cost is less than the value of your contribution, we will repay that difference to your Estate. Any fees payable to doctors or a Coroner for the issue of death or cremation medical certificates, or Coroner’s certificates, are not included in your Plan and, if they are charged for, they will need to be paid for separately at the time of the funeral.
2.1 Your Special Requests
You may ask for Special Requests or any changes to your plans for your funeral, but please note that if you have chosen a Direct Cremation Plan, Special Requests do not normally apply. If Special Requests incur additional costs they will fall outside the Plan and will not be covered by the price (Empathy Funeral Plans may charge an administration fee for changes or additions to your Plan). Once you have notified us of any Special Requests we will send you a Special Requests Certificate confirming these Special Requests. Your Special Requests will be used as a guide for your Nominated Funeral Organiser and the Funeral Director. You are required to make a contribution payment for the cost of any Special Requests and any contribution you do pay towards Special Requests will be increased each year in line with inflation. However we do not guarantee that your contributions will cover the cost of all of the Special Requests. Your Nominated Funeral Organiser will be advised of the value of this contribution at the time of arranging the funeral. If you have any queries please contact us. There are a number of common requests which incur additional costs which are not included in the Plan. These might include (but are not limited to):
• an additional charge for conducting the burial, cremation or funeral service on a weekend or public holiday;
• a religious service, or other service where the venue charges for the use of that venue;
• heating, an organist, choir, etc;
• if the crematorium charges extra for music, choir or an organist, or any other services (including any levies);
• headstones, horse drawn hearse, woodland burial etc.
• scatter ashes in space.
• make ashes into a diamond.
• celebration of life video.
• any extra/special request
2.2 Extra Charges
Save in respect of any service specified as paid for in the Agreement, the Funeral Director may charge reasonable extra amounts for the following requirements:
• the removal of mechanisms such as pacemakers (which must be removed before a cremation);
• any doctors’ or Coroners’ fees that the Funeral Director is asked to pay on your behalf;
• providing a funeral which is not a normal funeral service;
• conducting the funeral, burial or cremation on a weekend, at an unusual hour or public holiday, or;
• any adjustments to prices that reflect the additional cost to us of any change in regulations, tax, laws or generally accepted practice, and affect the conduct of the funeral.
2.3 Repatriation and Transport
This Plan does not cover the costs of repatriation from outside mainland Great Britain or Northern Ireland to the Funeral Director. The arrangement and costs will need to be borne by your Funeral Organiser. Your Plan will activate once the Planholder is within 25 miles of the chosen Funeral Director. However, Empathy UK will organise repatriation if required but reserve the right to charge an additional administration fee, over and above the costs of repatriation.
3. Care of Your Money
Your Empathy UK Funeral Plan fund payments are safe. The money is paid into the ‘The Empathy UK Trust’, an indepedent special purpose Trust Fund. The Trust is run by an independent Board of Trustees who are supported by appropriately regulated key professionals including international fund managers, qualified actuaries and award winning accountants. The Trust is managed on behalf of the Planholders to safeguard future payments.
Payments are made out of the Trust to us for funerals when they are performed and for refunds to the purchasers of the Plan.
4. Instalment payments
If you choose to pay for your Empathy UK Funeral Plan by instalments the Trust does not have all the money to invest at the Plan inception, therefore the following rules apply. 4.1 If the Planholder dies before all of the instalment payments for the Plan are paid, but at least 75% has been paid, we will provide the funeral in accordance with this Agreement. However, your Nominated Funeral Organiser will be responsible for paying the outstanding instalments due before the time of the funeral. If your Nominated Funeral Organiser does not pay the outstanding instalments before the funeral, Empathy Funeral Plans will return all monies paid to your Estate, less an administation fee. If the Planholder dies 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. The administation fee will be calculated in line with the applicable cancellation fee as set out within section 5.2.
4.2 If you fail to pay all of your instalment payments or if any instalment is not paid within 30 days of its due date, the price agreed in your Plan will be considered cancelled in line with Section 5 below. However, provided that the Plan has not been cancelled, you or your Nominated Funeral Organiser may request, and we may agree, to arrange for the funeral to be carried out by a Funeral Director appointed by us. The cost of the funeral will be charged at the Funeral Director’s then current market rate and we will credit any instalment payments already made towards the cost of the funeral. The balance will have to be paid prior to the funeral by your Nominated Funeral Organiser.
4.3 For these purposes the value of the payments made will be increased annually in line with inflation, from the date on which the Price Guarantee has lapsed to the date of the funeral. Your Nominated Funeral Organiser will be liable to pay the difference between the amounts paid (subject to inflation) and any outstanding amount to the Funeral Director. If any instalment is not paid within 30 days of its due date and the Plan has not been cancelled, you may reinstate the Plan by restarting payment. However, the total amount payable for the Plan will be increased to the current price of the Plan you have chosen. We will take account of payments already received, increased by inflation from the date the Plan lapsed, and we will adjust future instalments accordingly.
4.4 You can ask to take ‘Payment Holidays’ for up to 6 months, but only once at least 50% of the total cost of the Plan has been paid and 12 consecutive instalments have been received. ‘Payment Holidays’ are granted at the sole discretion of Empathy UK Funeral Plans and may be subject to an increase in the current Plan price in accordance with 4.3 above.
4.5 You can ‘Top Up’ your payment plan by making surplus payments at any time. We will not charge any penalty fee if you choose to do this.
4.6 You can request repayment of your money at any time. If your request will leave £149.00 or less against your Plan balance and in the absense of any other written agreement, we reserve the right to consider your Plan cancelled and therefore apply the appropriate cancellation fee as set out in Section 5.
Repayment of funds will be granted at our discretion and in order to protect and preserve the integrity of the Empathy Trust Fund, repayments will not be granted in any 12 month period where the total withdrawals from the Trust will exceed 10% of the total Trust balance, or exceed £250,000.00. We retain the right to review and adjust these provisions at any time and retrospectively apply them if required.
If you do decide to cancel your Plan, you must:
• notify us by completing and returning the cancellation form entitled “Notice of the Right to Cancel” which will be included with the documents that make up your Agreement; or
• otherwise notify us in writing, by post or by email to: Empathy UK Funeral Plans Stafford Court, 145 Washway Road, Manchester M33 7PE, Email: email@example.com
5.1 Cancellation within one calendar month
You have a 1 calendar month “Cancellation Period” from the day you make your initial payment to decide that the arrangements you have made meet your requirements and that you do not wish to cancel your Plan. If you wish to cancel your Plan within this period we will return to you all monies paid within 14 calendar days of receiving notice.
5.2 Cancellation after one calendar month
5.2.1 If you have chosen to pay for your Funeral Plan with a single payment we will retain £149 as a cancellation fee and return the balance to you.
5.2.2 If you have chosen to pay in 12 monthly instalments or the low cost monthly instalments extending up to 15 years, we will retain any monies paid up to £149.00 as a cancellation fee. Any balance remaining will be returned to you.
5.3 Unused Plans
In the event that the Plan is not used and cancellation is requested after the death of the Planholder, we may require additional information from the person cancelling the Plan before we can complete the cancellation. Any refund will be made to the person who originally paid for the Plan or to the Planholder’s Estate in accordance with the terms set out in section 5.2 above. Cancellation requests made over 90 calendar days from the Planholder’s date of death will not be considered for return of funds.
5.4 Empathy UK Funeral Plan’s Rights to Cancel
Empathy UK Funeral Plans may cancel your Plan by giving notice to you at any time if:
• an instalment remains unpaid more than 60 days after it is due;
• the funeral is to be conducted outside mainland Great Britain or Northern Ireland
• the funeral cannot be performed because of circumstances outside Empathy UK Funeral Plan’s control or outside the control of a Funeral Director.
If we cancel the Plan we will refund any money you have paid, less a cancellation fee in accordance with section 5.2 above, and we will have no further obligations to provide the benefits set out in the Plan. The Plan is designed to cover funeral costs and is not an investment product, and we will not pay interest on money refunded.
6. Value Added Tax (‘VAT’)
VAT is not currently charged on a funeral service. However, if VAT or any other form of tax becomes chargeable on a funeral service or part of it in the future, you or your Nominated Funeral Organiser must pay the VAT or additional tax at the time of the funeral. If you are paying for any Special Requests as part of your Plan, then any third party suppliers who provide those goods or services may charge VAT, and the price we quote will include this element.
Any notification of cancellation should specify all of the following details: (i) the Plan number; (ii) the full name and address of the Planholder; (iii) the Planholder’s date of birth; and (iv) a telephone number and/or email address for contact purposes should there be any issue with the cancellation. There will be additional security questions where the Plan is cancelled by email.
• The Funeral Plan is personal to the named Planholder but can be transferred to another person upon written request from the Planholder, and subject to approval by Empathy UK and payment of an administration fee of £5.
• Empathy UK reserve the right to change the Funeral Director named in the Plan. (The Planholder will be advised if such a situation occurs.)
• Empathy UK reserve the right to change or amend these terms and conditions from time to time.
8. The Agreement
Once we have confirmed your Application for the Plan, the following documents all make up the Agreement:
• your Application
• the Funeral Plan Schedule
• the Funeral Plan Services document
• the Key Features Summary
• these Terms & Conditions.
Please keep these documents in a safe place for the attention of your Nominated Funeral Organiser. You are advised to discuss your funeral arrangements with the person who will be your Nominated Funeral Organiser.
These documents together make up the Agreement concerning your funeral arrangements. Anything which is not documented in writing in the Agreement will not be effective. If there is any ambiguity between the documents, the terms set out in this document take precedence over the others. English Law shall apply to this Agreement.
If anything in this Agreement is invalid or unenforceable, then this Agreement will be interpreted as if that part were modified or deleted to make it valid and enforceable, and the rest shall remain in force. If we fail to exercise or delay in enforcing our rights (such as our right to cancel the Plan in the event of unpaid instalments), such failure or delay will not restrict our rights to do so, and a waiver of any such rights or of any breach of any term will not be deemed to be a waiver of any other right or any later breach.
You may propose a change to the Plan, but no change will take effect unless it is agreed in writing. If you wish to change your Plan then this will take effect through a new Agreement.
The Agreement is personal to you and may not be assigned (transferred) or made the subject of any Trust, mortgage or charge given as security for any obligation to any third party. Only you or your Nominated Funeral Organiser is entitled to claim the rights or benefits set out in this Agreement. The Funeral Director may not claim the rights or benefits set out in this Agreement. Otherwise, no other person (including the Planholder or their Nominated Funeral Organiser) has any right under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 to enforce any term of this Agreement. This does not affect any other rights these people may have.
These Terms & Conditions apply to Empathy UK Funeral Plans entered into from 1st April 2018.
9. Refer a Friend Promotional Offer
The Refer a Friend promotional offer is available to customers who purchase a Funeral Plan from Empathy UK and successfully refer a friend who also purchases a Funeral Plan from Empathy UK.
A successful referral is a referral that results in the sale of a Funeral Plan where payment is completed and the 30 day cancellation period has expired.
Referrals that do not use the Refer a Friend form or do not request the Refer a Friend offer on the telephone will not qualify for the reward.
Referral links can be shared by any means, including online, and there is no limit on the number of referrals that can be made by any individual referrer.
This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer and Empathy UK reserves the right to withdraw or amend the structure or terms of the offer at any time, including if, in our opinion, the offer is being abused. Any decision made by Empathy UK with regards to this offer will be final.
10. How To Make A Complaint
We make every effort to excel in the service we provide. However, if you feel we have not met your expectations, please contact our Client Liaison Officer, who will acknowledge your complaint within two working days and will do their utmost to ensure any complaint is dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Contact details are as follows:
Empathy UK Funeral Plans Ltd
145 Washway Road
Manchester M33 7PE
Telephone: 0345 200 3218
Direct Debit Guarantee
This Guarantee is offered by all banks and building societies that accept instructions to pay Direct Debits.
If there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit, Empathy UK Funeral Plans will notify you 10 working days in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed. If you request Empathy UK Funeral Plans to collect a payment, confirmation of the amount and date will be given to you at the time of the request.
If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit, by Empathy UK Funeral Plans or your bank or building society, you are entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid from your bank or building society. If you receive a refund you are not entitled to, you must pay it back when Empathy UK Funeral Plans asks you to.
You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time, by simply contacting your bank or building society. Written confirmation may be required. Please also notify us.
Terms & Conditions correct as of 30th November 2018