Hinckley Funeral Director Takes National Stance

Hinckley Funeral Director Takes National Stance

Joseph Barsby, 3rd generation director of family funeral directors G. Seller calls for tighter regulation of Pre-Paid Funeral Plans, to ensure best practice and clearer disclosure in the interests of bereaved families.

Joseph and the dedicated team at G. Seller are passionate about providing the highest levels of bereavement care to the families they are privileged to serve. He took part in the ITV Tonight Pay Now, Die Later documentary which looked into some mis-selling of pre-paid funeral plans.  As presenter, Chris Choi explained on air, “Our lives are full of special moments, each marked in its own special way, be it a birthday, wedding or death and there are ways that you can plan your death whilst still alive and kicking.”

As Joseph points out, “A pre-paid funeral plan should allow people to plan ahead, removing the uncertainty of your final wishes and financial pressures on your family. However, many plans are set, meaning that they don’t provide the personalised options, no matter how simple or unique. There is often a complete lack of clarity in what costs are or aren’t covered. But by going directly to a company like us, you can have the peace of mind that all of these pitfalls are not faced.”

A bespoke plan, no matter how simple or bespoke is tailored to the individual and G. Seller pride themselves on going the extra mile to meet the needs of the families that they serve, providing the highest levels of bereavement care to the families that they are entrusted to look after.  The same attention to detail is placed on creating the funeral plan to meet the needs of the individual too.  As a family business, family and real values are at the heart of all that they do and it is important to get it right.

Joseph recognises that there is a need for change to prevent families being distressed in the future and is calling for more regulation and clarity over the sector to ensure best practice, better standards of communication and clearer information for families as to what is and isn’t included in a plan, and whether the family may need to pay for anything separately when their loved one does sadly pass away.

Passionate about the need to raise awareness to make sure families are not duped and mis-sold to, Joseph has outlined the following considerations when thinking of taking out a pre-paid funeral plan:

  1. Speak directly to your funeral director, avoiding all third parties and call centres.
  2. Choose your own plan. G. Seller recommends are bespoke plan, allowing you to choose the options you want, no matter how simple or bespoke. Be careful with set plans that don’t cover a lot of costs that you may think is covered.
  3. Make sure you understand whether any fees are being deducted from the plan.
  4. Find out how and where the monies will be held.
  5. Seek out what flexible options there is to pay for the plan and find the way that is best for you.

Pre-paid funeral plans are a great way to provide clarity for the family and to ensure that a funeral is carried out the way that the deceased intended and to avoid unscrupulous practices and fee deductions that could lead to the plan not covering the intended costs, it is important to understand the plan and get things clarified in writing.  As a firm, G. Seller work in association with Golden Charter, a trusted independent plan provider and put together a fully itemised quotation of the fees involved, being completely clear and transparent.

As Joseph concludes, “With over 1.3 million people in the UK having a funeral plan, and the costs of funerals expected to continue to rise in years to come, more people are looking into the options and need to be careful.  Checking the small print is essential to the process and I would strongly recommend speaking to your funeral director that will be looking after you.  The local funeral director is also clearly able to explain the details of the plan and to work in a professional manner to meet the needs of any individual too.”

“Programmes like Tonight are important if as a sector we are to be totally professional in the work that we do and that we retain our values and ethos in really caring for the people that matter, the families we serve.  I am passionate about what we do and it is upsetting to see people being taken advantage of by unscrupulous organisations.  I am fully behind the need for the Government to review the sector and to come up with guidance to ensure the sector is better regulated to provide clearer disclosure and protection of the consumer.”

“We are pleased to be pushing for change, to raise the bar for families to get better service at their time of need and to lead the way in the national debate on this important issue.  As a family business with values and integrity at our core, we are keen to make a stance and proud to call for changes to ensure that no family is left with a funeral plan that is not what they thought they were taking out, only find out when it is really too late, and to create greater clarity around the terms, conditions and fees involved with these plans.”

Funeral Plans – Read The Small Print

G. Seller & Co. Ltd are on a mission to dispel some of the myths around funeral plans and have sound advice for anyone considering such a plan.

More and more people are considering Pre-Planning their funeral due to the rising costs and the impact on their family of having to pay for a funeral when they pass away.  However, care needs to be taken when considering a funeral plan and who to approach because all may not be as it seems.

At its simplest, a funeral plan allows you to pay upfront for your funeral so your relatives don’t have to cover the costs themselves – although they are allowed to pay for your funeral from your estate when you pass away.

You can buy a funeral plan from either a funeral-plan provider or directly from a funeral director and as Joseph Barsby, Managing Director at Independent, Family Funeral Directors, G. Seller & Co. explains, “Care needs to be taken as to who a plan is taken out with as some plans come with restrictions and there has been a lot written recently about plans being sold incorrectly, individuals not getting the funeral or the funeral director they wanted, and families facing distressing situations where they are not able to provide the funeral that was intended due to the mis-selling going on.”

Funeral plans can vary in what they include and in the majority of cases a funeral plan will have a set options and not include everything that is needed for a funeral to take place. Most set option funeral plans will include some of the main elements for a funeral to take place, other costs such as the cost of flowers, obituaries in the newspaper, funeral stationery or a headstone will be excluded. Terms vary from provider to provider and it is important to pay attention to the details and the terms and conditions too.

As Joseph continues, “This is an incredibly sensitive topic as the funeral plan will only ever come into being when a loved one has passed away, which is an emotionally difficult time for all those concerned. To find out at that stage that the plan does not allow you to use the funeral director that you wanted to, possibly one that has looked after members of the family for generations, or that there are significant costs to be borne by the family is insensitive and unacceptable to say the least.”

“We do not believe in the set plan approach and truly believe in doing everything on a bespoke basis, recording in full the plan holders wishes giving peace of mind that everything has been recorded with us and that we are the funeral director who is going to have the privilege to look after them. By talking through the options, we can also include notices in local and national newspapers, choices of music for a service and other personal requests too.”

As an independent funeral director, G. Seller & Co. Ltd are able to put together individual, bespoke plans in association with Golden Charter and within the bespoke plan their costs for professional services are fixed at today’s costs so that there are no surprises down the line.

Funeral costs can vary depending on the nature of the wishes of the individual and by putting together the right plan with the funeral director, there is peace of mind that the costs of the funeral are covered and the wishes of the individual will be carried out too.

As Joseph explains, “We feel incredibly strongly in the need for better regulation of the sector and are clear in the way that the plans we provide are structured. We will put together an itemised quotation based on the wishes of an individual and the only additional charges are a one-off administration fee of £249 that is paid to Golden Charter who administer the trust fund and a £50 arrangement fee for completing the details of the plan with the individual concerned. The plan is personal and bespoke and the charges transparent with all the monies then paid into the plan being put towards the funeral as and when it is needed.”

As Joseph concludes, “Transparency is really important and as a family business we have been serving the communities in which we live and work for over 100 years, we strongly believe that more regulation is needed to avoid some of the situations that keep coming to light. Some of the practices that we have evidenced are distressing to all concerned and we are passionate about the need for the provision of the highest levels of bereavement care and the need to care for the families that look to us in their time of need. Greater clarity, transparency and regulation would provide a better outcome for all concerned and is something that we strongly advocate.”

A funeral plan can provide peace of mind and provision for the payment of a funeral when needed, but for the time being at least, care needs to be exercised to ensure that the plan is going to do what is expected, and that there are not going to be any unnecessary surprises in the future.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact us

What’s In A Name?

We are a truly independent, family run business which has served Hinckley and the surrounding area for over 100 years, but with change in our industry taking place constantly and more people than ever taking out prepaid funeral plans,  it is important to know who is going to be carrying out your funeral.

Our latest advertisement below reinforces our position as a family owned funeral directors in the heart of our community – something that we are incredibly proud of.

Click the image to view in full size