There’s a new pup in town.
It is with a heavy sigh that we bring news of yet another swimmer in the crowded waters of funeral plan providers, complete with grandiose claims, dubious mathematics and an apparent complete and wilful ignorance of the real costs involved in providing a funeral of the type they are offering.
Prosperous Life Limited has recently entered the unregulated funeral plan provider market, and is actively touting its wares to funeral directors and the vulnerable public alike.
The sole director of the company, a Mr Edward Gerald Smethurst, has a broad and varied experience in life, with positions as a director or secretary of 49 companies over the last 16 years None of these have anything to do with funerals other than this, his latest appointment in a company incorporated on January 23rd 2017.
Now we’re sure that Mr Smethurst is a very nice man who knows a great deal about window fitting, alarm systems, bathrooms and bedrooms, helicopter charter and conservatories, but we’re not sure that he’s the man to entrust with your savings when it comes to paying for your funeral.
It’s the maths that bother us.
The ‘Prosperous Silver’ plan will cost you £2,400. ‘Prosperous Gold’ is £2,600 and ‘Prosperous Platinum’ £2,800. The chart below shows what you get for those figures. And how much is set aside for paying the cremation fee, the minister and the doctors (£1,000 in total for all three. Not enough by a long chalk, with minister fees around £180, doctors’ fees £164.00 and some crematoria charging £999 for the cremation,)
Predictably, there is nothing shown for commission paid to the seller out of the remaining figures. Nor the amount of money taken in administration fees.
Perhaps Prosperous Life Ltd don’t pay commission to the agents selling plans?
Maybe all Prosperous Life admin is done free of charge?
Maybe Prosperous Life is a philanthropic, not for profit organisation with a network of similarly generous funeral directors across the UK willing to provide a solid coffin and a hearse and two limousines plus all other funeral director costs at the time of need for a maximum £1,800?
Or maybe not.
As our worried insider wrote to us when they let us know about this latest funeral plan provider:
“Who are they going to get to carry out the funerals for these people and what standard of care are they going to receive?”
The sales pitch to funeral directors from the Prosperous Life ‘Funeral Director Liaison Manager’ is shown below.
“Prosperous Life Limited is a prepaid funeral plan provider, operating across the whole of the UK. We offer clients a choice of products, including not only the funeral plan but also legal services to compliment the plans purchased. Some of the services we offer include Wills, Probates and Power of Attorney.
All plans guarantee to cover the designated funeral director’s fees and services, plus an allowance towards disbursements. All monies paid by customers are held securely in a trust called The Great British Funeral Plan Trust and this is a completely separate entity to Prosperous Life Limited, which is managed and governed by an independent board of trustees, including chartered accountants and registered solicitors.
At the time of need, funds will be paid to the designated funeral director within 48 hours.
We are actively growing in the prepaid funeral space and generate new customers via several different channels including advertising in most national and regional papers.
With all this said, we are constantly trying to grow our funeral director panel and make mutually beneficial relationships. We get many requests for specific funeral directors as well as customers just wanting a reputable funeral director local to themselves”