golden leaves direct cremation review

Golden Leaves Direct Cremation Plan Review

As part of our commitment to helping families understand their choices, we have thoroughly researched and reviewed the Direct Cremation market. This detailed Golden Leaves review will help compare the Golden Leaves Direct Cremation Plan (copper plan) to others available on the market.

Headline Price
Payment Flexibility
Guaranteed Coverage
customer satisfaction
Direct Cremation Pre Paid Plan Only
Inclusive Service
Prices Start at £1,450
Cremation Funeral Plans
Coverage Throughout the UK
FCA Regulated

Inclusive Plan – Golden Leaves offers one of the most inclusive, competitively priced direct cremation funeral plans available in the UK today.

Low Cost – Their “Copper Plan” will provide you with an unattended, direct cremation service anywhere in the UK mainland for the headline price of £1,450.00. All of the essential services from 24/7 collection of the deceased and doctors’ fees to the delivery of the ashes are included. 

Working with Funeral Directors – Although founded by a family firm of funeral directors, Golden Leaves is not itself a funeral provider. Instead, they exist solely to sell prepayment plans and will nominate a funeral director to carry out the direct cremation on your behalf. They will inform you of the selected funeral provider shortly after you purchase your plan.

Funeral plans only – As Golden Leaves sells only prepayment plans, you will not be able to arrange an at-need direct cremation funeral. If therefore, you are expecting to need a funeral within the next two years, it is unlikely that a Golden Leaves funeral plan will be the most suitable option for you.

Flexible Payment options – Golden Leaves offers a number of payment options for the Copper Plan, with payment in monthly installments available for up to eight years. In contrast to many other providers, however, monthly payments for between two to eight years are made by way of a credit finance arrangement with partner Funeral Safe. 

Funeral Safe – The way this works is that Funeral Safe will pay Golden Leaves the full cost of your plan on your behalf before collecting the amount back from you in monthly installments. Funeral Safe will charge you a financing cost for this arrangement, increasing the total amount you pay.

The benefit of this arrangement is that full coverage for the plan benefits is guaranteed immediately, even if you do not finish paying for your plan before you die. In contrast, most other funeral plan providers will insist on a set period of up to two years if you opt to pay in installments.
The drawback, however, is that the total amount payable is somewhat higher than you would expect to pay with other providers of similar services. You will, therefore, need to decide whether this trade-off meets your needs.

Customer Satisfaction – Golden Leaves has achieved a very high rate of customer satisfaction, suggesting that a commitment to offering care and compassion doesn’t go out of the window when opting for simplicity and affordability.

List of golden leaves funeral directors
Where do they operate?

Golden Leaves Direct Cremation Plan Costs

What’s Included in the £1,450 Golden Leaves Direct Cremation Funeral Plan?

Golden Leaves will provide the following services with their direct cremation funeral plan. Everything is included in the headline price.

Services available throughout mainland UK

Services delivered by a funeral director selected by Golden Leaves

Collection of the deceased from any hospital or public mortuary during office hours

Collection of the deceased from any private residence or care home

Collection of the deceased out of hours

Transfer to and care of the deceased at the crematorium

Doctors’ fees (if required)

Basic Coffin

Unattended cremation service

Delivery of the ashes to your chosen address

Option to have the ashes scattered in the Garden of Remembrance

Bereavement counselling (where available)


1. Available to all adults aged 18 and over.

2. Pay in full, or spread the cost in monthly installments by up to 8 years.

3. If opting to pay in full, redemption for the plan benefits is available at any time once payment has been made.

4. If opting to pay over twelve months, redemption for the plan benefits is available once the plan is fully paid. Redemption is available within the first twelve months following the purchase if the death of the beneficiary is accidental.

5. Payment between two and eight years is by way of a credit finance option and is available for beneficiaries who will be under the age of 85 at the time the plan is fully paid.

6. A deposit of £49 is payable if paid in installments between one and eight years. You may pay a higher deposit in order to lower your monthly payments.

7. Funds are protected in an investment trust.

Golden Leaves Pre Paid Cremation Funeral Plans

Golden Leaves offers a selection of pre-paid funeral plans, that come with various options.

To keep this review as easy to follow as possible, we have compared only the direct cremation plan (their Copper Plan) to other similar products on the market.

Golden Leaves Copper Plan: How Much Will I Pay?


Number of InstalmentsDeposit*Monthly Instalment**TOTAL COST**Extra Paid**
Single Payment£1,450.00

* A higher deposit may be paid in order to reduce the monthly installment cost.

**Payment between 24 and 96 months is by way of a credit finance arrangement. The amounts payable may vary according to your credit status and personal circumstances. Acceptance is not guaranteed.


1. The timescale for collection of the deceased and return of the ashes following cremation will be dependent upon arrangements agreed with the selected funeral director at the time the plan benefits are required. You will need to bear this in mind if you would like the ashes to be present at a separate memorial or celebration of life occasion.

2. There is no option for mourners to attend the cremation with a Golden Leaves Copper Funeral Plan.

3. If opting to pay in full, redemption for the plan benefits is available immediately – there is no waiting period or moratorium.

4. If opting to pay over twelve months, redemption for the plan benefits is available once the plan is fully paid. Redemption is available within the first twelve months if the death of the beneficiary is accidental. If death is not accidental, then all proceeds to the plan will be refunded to the estate of the deceased, or the balance of the plan can be paid in full to redeem the plan benefits.

5. Payment between two and eight years is by way of credit finance option with Funeral Safe. Funeral Safe will pay Golden Leaves the full value of the plan on your behalf, guaranteeing immediate, full coverage for the plan benefits.* Funeral Safe will then collect from you the value of the loan in monthly instalments.

6. If paying between two and eight years and the beneficiary dies before the loan is paid back in full, Funeral Safe will not approach the estate for the deceased for any further payment* 

7. Payment between two and eight years is subject to credit status. The beneficiary must be under 85 years of age by the time the loan is repaid, and must not have been diagnosed with an illness or condition likely to cause death within twelve months.

8. A deposit of £49 is payable if paying between one and eight years. There is the option to pay a higher deposit which will lower your monthly repayments.

9. The plan benefits may be transferred to another beneficiary, but only with the agreement of Golden Leaves.

10. If paying in full, you have the right to cancel the plan free of charge within thirty days following the date of purchase, or within seven days of Golden Leaves nominating the funeral director who will provide you with the plan benefits (whichever is later). Cancellation later than these dates will incur a cancellation fee of £249.

11. If paying over twelve months, you have the right to cancel the plan for a full refund within the first twelve months. After the first twelve months, cancellation is subject to a cancellation fee of £249.

If paying between two and eight years, you have the right to cancel the plan free of charge within thirty days following the date of purchase, or within seven days of Golden Leaves nominating the funeral director who will provide

Golden Leaves Direct Cremation Plan Vs Other Direct Cremation Plans on the Market

Here’s how the Golden Leaves Copper Funeral plan compares to other direct cremation plans offered by a selection of other providers, including Pure Cremations, Golden Charter & Distinct Cremation.

SERVICEgolden-leaves-funeral-plan-logopure cremation logodistinct cremations logocelebration of life cremations logo
ServiceGolden LeavesPure CremationDistinct CremationsCelebration of Life
List Price£1,450.00£1,795.00£1,499.00£1,450.00
CoverageUK MainlandUKGreat BritainGreat Britain
Hospital or Public Mortuary CollectionYesYesYesYes
Residential Address or Care Home CollectionYesYesYesYes
Out-of-Hours CollectionYesYes
Doctors’ FeesYesYesYesYes
Dress for the DeceasedSimple GownClothing is worn by the deceased at the time of collectionClothing is worn by the deceased at the time of collectionSimple Gown
Option for Own ClothesNoYesYes£50.00
Removal of Medical DevicesAdditional cost, subject to detailsYesYesYes
Removal of JewelleryYesYes£50.00No
CoffinBasicSolid WoodUnvarnished Veneer ChipboardMedium Density Fibreboard
Max. time between Collection and CremationUnspecified14 DaysUnspecifiedWithin a Few Days
Option to AttendNo+£250.00-£400.00£400.00No
Option to be Informed of Cremation DateNoYesYesYes
Choice of CrematoriumNoNoAttended Only+Customised Fee
Delivery of AshesYesYesYes£100.00
Max. Time for Ashes Delivery Following CremationVaries21 Days14 Days28 Days
Deposit £49.00NoNoOptional
Minimum Age18181818
6-Month Payment Plan£1,794.96
1-Year Payment Plan£1,450.00£1,866.84£1,498.92£1,519.56
2-Year Payment Plan£1,686.76£1,941.36£1,589.28
3-Year Payment Plan£1,788.88£2,019.24£1,658.88
4 Year Payment Plan£1,916.20£2,100.00£1,728.00
5 Year Payment Plan£2,039.80£2,184.00£1.782.60*£1,798.20
6-Year Payment Plan£2,172.28
7-Year Payment Plan£2,315.32
8 Year Payment Plan£2,448.04
9-Year Payment Plan
10-Year Payment Plan£2,113.20*
Lowest Monthly Payment Option£24.99£36.40£17.61*£29.97
Upper Age Limit for Payment Plan85 if paying over more than 12 monthsNone74 if paying over 5 or 10 years80 at time of completion if paying over more than 2 years
Credit Finance OptionYes if paying over more than 12 monthsNoNoNo
Full CoverageAfter full payment or after financing through credit option**After full payment or 24 months following purchase**After full payment or after the first 12 months of instalments**After full payment or 24 months following purchase**
Free Cancellation Period30 days following the purchase30 days following the purchaseIf paying in full or over 12 months, no restriction. If paying over 5 or 10 years, within the first 12 months.60 days following the purchase
Cancellation Fee£249.00£350.00No refund for plans paid over 5 or 10 years if canceled after 12 months£350.00
Fund TypeInvestment TrustInvestment TrustInvestment Trust and Whole of Life Assurance PoliciesInvestment Trust

*Prices vary by age. The price stated is accurate for a plan beneficiary aged 50 at the time of purchase. 

**May be conditional upon maintaining an up-to-date payment schedule.

Closest Competitor Service

Below we have listed the closest comparable product to the direct cremation service offered by Golden Leaves Cremation

CompetitorGolden Charter & Avalon Funeral Plans
ServiceEach offers their services through a large network of funeral directors
DifferenceGolden Charter will only cover cremation fees up £500 + investment return on that sum. All providers include funeral directors professional services
Golden Leaves is probably the best value overall, but there are individual differences between each of the providers, and some of the services vary depending upon the funeral director.
Only Avalon offers an option to attend without having to purchase a traditional funeral
ReviewRead our Golden Charter Review
Read our Avalon Funeral Plan Review

Golden Leaves Customer Reviews

Below are the awards, customer reviews and our opinion of the Golden Leaves direct cremation offering

Golden Leaves has earned an impressive 4.7 out of a possible 5.0 star review on Trustpilot, with fewer than 3% of reviews recording a negative experience.

Is a Golden Leaves Cremation Only Funeral Plan Right for Me?

A Golden Leaves Cremation Funeral Service may be a suitable option if:

    On the other hand, Golden Leaves may be less suitable if:

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Does Golden Leaves Have a Paper Brochure Available?

      You have the option of ordering a Golden Leaves Funeral Plan brochure for delivery by post. A PDF version can also be downloaded from their website.

      How do I Purchase a Golden Leaves Funeral Plan?

      A Golden Leaves Funeral Plan may be purchased online, by phone, by post or through any funeral director authorised to sell funeral plans on their behalf.

      Who Will Carry Out the Direct Cremation Funeral?

      Within thirty days of purchasing your plan, Golden Leaves will appoint a funeral director from its network of partners to deliver the funeral services for you. You will not have a choice over the appointment, although you retain the right to cancel your plan free of charge within seven days if you are dissatisfied.

      Should Golden Leaves need to make changes to these arrangements before you claim the benefits of the plan (for example, because the appointed funeral director is no longer in business) you will be notified.

      What Type of Coffin does Golden Leaves provide?

      A basic coffin is supplied with all Golden Leaves direct cremation services.

      What Happens to Medical Devices and Jewellery?

      Then removal of jewellery is included in the cost of caring for the deceased; all items retained will be handed back with delivery of the ashes. 

      The removal of medical devices is subject to an additional cost to be determined at the point of need.

      Can I Choose where the Cremation Takes Place?

      You will not be offered a choice of crematorium with a Golden Leaves funeral plan.

      Will Golden Leaves Tell me the Date of Cremation?

      The funeral director allocated by Golden Leaves will not inform you of the date and time of the cremation.

      How Can I Pay for My cremation funeral plan?

      Full payment for a Golden Leaves Funeral Plan can be made by debit or credit card, or by bank transfer.

      Instalment payments will be made by Direct Debit. Note that Golden Leaves reserves the right to cancel a plan if you are unable to maintain an up to date payment schedule.

      Can I Pay off my Instalment Plan Early?

      Golden Leaves will accept early settlement if you are paying by instalment towards a funeral plan. 

      Are Special Offers or Golden leaves Discounts Available?

      Golden Leaves does not appear to be running any promotional offers at this time, nor do they offer discounts to selected groups.

      Will I Receive Documentation?

      Upon purchasing a Golden Leaves Funeral Plan, you will receive the following documents by email:

      • Demands and Needs Statement
      • Terms and Conditions 
      • Plan Summary Document

      Who Should I Tell About My Golden leaves cremation Plan?

      When you apply for a Golden Leaves Funeral Plan, they will ask you to nominate a representative whom they can contact to inform them of the plan’s existence. 

      However, we suggest that you inform all of your closest loved ones that you have purchased the plan, and how they can obtain the documentation to make a claim.

      Remember also to update Golden Leaves with any changes of your address or contact details after you have purchased a plan.

      How will my loved Ones Claim the Plan Benefits?

      Following your death, your nominated representative or another family member will need to contact Golden Leaves to claim the plan benefits on your behalf.

      Full guidance should be outlined in your documentation. However, at minimum, your representative will need to present Golden Leaves with a copy of your death certificate so they are able to authorise transfer of the funds to pay for your funeral.

      Are Golden Leaves funeral plans regulated?

      Yes, golden leaves funeral plans are regulated by the FCA

      What Happens if Golden Leaves Goes Bust?

      Golden Leaves Ltd. is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

      When you purchase a funeral plan, your money will be divided into three:

      £249 is paid to Golden Leaves to cover the cost of administering your funeral plan.

      £401 is paid to Golden Leaves to cover the cost of marketing and selling your funeral plan, in addition to providing Golden Leaves with a profit element.

      £800 is invested in the Golden Leaves Trust, overseen by independent trustees. Golden Leaves cannot access the funds in the trust except to provide you with a funeral, or to give you a refund if you request one.

      In the event that Golden Leaves ceases trading, the trust will seek to work with other providers to offer you the plan benefits. It’s possible, however, that you may need to pay a little extra if the services of another provider are engaged.

      You may also be entitled to compensation under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

      How do I contact Golden leaves?

      Enquiries can be made by email or by phone.

      A Golden Leaves Funeral Plan can be purchased on their free-phone number: 0800 85 44 48.

      Their email address is

      The company also has a social media presence on Twitter, but it’s not clear if this account is monitored for the purpose of making enquiries.

      Are there any Hidden Costs?

      A Golden Leaves Direct Cremation Funeral Service should cover most of the services you need for a direct cremation funeral. However, extra provision will have to be made for some contingencies such as the removal of medical devices.

      Unforeseen changes in taxes and regulations enacted between the date the plan is purchased and the death of the beneficiary may require Golden Leaves to levy additional charges. However, this is a standard term of funeral plans offered by most other providers.

      Can I Transfer Arrangements to another Provider?

      Transfer of a plan held with Golden Leaves to another provider will require cancellation of the plan.

      Are they Eco-Friendly?

      Golden Leaves do not emphasise their green credentials in their literature.

      Who Who owns Golden Leaves funeral plans?

      Golden Leaves is a privately owned company under the control of the Rowland family, who have been active in the funeral industry since the nineteenth century.
      The own a chain of funeral directors, a repatiration service and also Golden Leaves Funeral Plans.

      Founded in 1984, Golden Leaves is one of the most well established funeral plan providers in the UK.