Working with Silver Clouds (our Funeral Plan partners) we have put together a number of questions and answers aimed at providing more information for you as the adviser about using our Funeral Plans and more product insight for your clients:
1. I’m a whole of market IFA and if a Funeral Plan is an investment product how can I exclusively only promote the BTWC plan?
John Graham, director of Silver Clouds, was an IFA for almost 20 years so can understand your question and the fact you are independent. He has also written over a thousand Wills, numerous Lasting Powers of Attorney’s and constructed various Trusts for his clients.
It's important to note that a funeral plan is not classified as an investment under Financial Services legislation and so it can also be a useful method by which to utilize personal wealth during lifetime and help mitigate tax liabilities later.
BTWC contacted Silver Clouds almost a year ago after researching the whole of market to find a suitable provider of funeral plans who passed our stringent checks. We conducted a range of checks for Silver Clouds and the funeral plan market space to ensure we partnered with the right provider who offered solid and trusted products that reflect our ethos of providing regulatory standard products and services. A funeral plan is, as you will know, an unregulated product. However both BTWC and Silver Clouds fully expect the FCA to step in to regulate them in the future, a situation for which we would be fully prepared.
2. Why should I place my Funeral Plan business with BTWC – won’t I get a better commission deal with Silver Clouds direct?
BTWC are your full service provider for your entire Estate Planning business requirements – as your single point of contact we can check all of your paperwork, ensure any queries are resolved and ensure prompt payment of commission. We offer the same rate of commission, (up to £650) that you would receive if you placed your business with Silver Clouds direct. With our fully branded literature, you don’t have to introduce your client to numerous company names and identities, they can feel assured that their affairs are being professionally managed by BTWC in collaboration with our carefully selected partners.
We also find that more often than not, whilst discussing a funeral plan with a client, other product needs also arise, such as updating a Will or a Lasting Power of Attorney, so through BTWC you provide a holistic service, which is simpler for the client and much easier for you.
3. Why would I recommend a funeral plan to my clients?
From your clients perspective then more than half of families struggle to meet the costs of their loved ones funerals at the time they are needed, and so with a 25% increase in sales of funeral plans during 2017, peoples' awareness of the future value of Funeral Plans is growing. Planning ahead is often a more suitable choice when the alternative maybe to use family savings, credit cards or other means of payment at a difficult and emotional time.
From your perspective then Funeral Plans can enhance your current product offering, provide you with another opportunity to engage with your clients, and are fairly easy and quick to get in place, plus a BTWC Funeral Plan delivers on service and security for the future.
4. Is my clients capital at risk and what protective steps have been put in place by the Silver Clouds Trustees?
The Silver Clouds Trust (www.silvercloudstrust.co.uk) has been arranged in compliance with the relevant provisions of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001. This means that all funds received into the Trust are safeguarded for future funeral plan provision in accordance with each funeral plan contract. The Trust is independent of the Company and the assets of the Trust are legally separate.
The Trust is managed by an experienced and majority independent board of trustees (many of whom are FCA regulated) who are the directors of Forest Edge Trustees and Secretaries Limited (“the Trust Corporation”). The Trust Corporation is authorised by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to provide professional trustee and corporate support services.
5. When my client dies, what will happen if their family can’t contact the Funeral Director who has been assigned the plan on their funeral plan certificate?
Each plan certificate states the plan holder will have the 24 hours phone number of the Funeral Director, all funeral directors operate a 24 hour service. The plan holder and named executors will also have the BTWC office numbers and monitored email address so there won’t be a problem no matter when services are needed.
It also depends on the clients situation. As an IFA you will already have the clients details and can make a recommendation and offer good advice. It may be that a funeral plan suits better than a Whole Of Life plan or the other way around. However most people would rather have the funeral paid for and at the same time list their preferences before they die so their family won’t have to make decisions about the funeral at a very stressful time for the family. BTWC will pass all details the plan holder wants to the funeral director and so the plan holder will get a funeral based on what they wanted. This could include music, flowers if wanted or not, donations etc plus lots more. Our partnership with Silver Clouds means we only offer the funeral plan option and not a life policy.
6. How can I help my client to make their final wishes known to their family?
After they have made their Will, the logical next step is discuss with your client their final wishes as to how they would like to be remembered. A funeral should reflect the life and personality of the person who has passed and by recording aspects such as the type of funeral ceremony they would like conducted or music they would like to be played, families are not burdened with difficult decisions at an already testing time. A Funeral Plan enables these details to be recorded ensuring the Funeral Director is immediately clear of what the clients preferences are.
You can find out more about our range of affordable and flexible Funeral Plans here.
Download the Introducer Agreement form here to start providing our new Funeral Plan range to your clients!
If you, or your clients, have any further questions then just get in touch and call 01522 500823.