Funeral Plan Advice

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Tracing a missing Funeral Plan – Plan provider unknown

My mother recently died. My father (who long predeceased her) always said there was a Funeral Plan in place and generally dealt with her financial affairs, but my mother has been in care for some years and more recently suffered from dementia and we have now idea who it was with or how to trace any plan. We are now attempting to arrange her funeral and would like to use the plan (if there is one) to pay the costs. Are you able to help?

FINDING a Funeral Plan can be difficult as until now (Jan 2022) the the Funeral Plan sector has been largely unregulated by any government body. This is changing from July 2022 when the Financial Conduct Authority will become the regulator and will oversee the sector.

Until now however almost anyone has been able to set up to sell Funeral Plans and any controls relied on self-regulation by a voluntary trade body, the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA), where membership was voluntary and controls limited.

The bad news is that even if the plan provider can be located on the scant details you have, the original Funeral Plan provider in not an FPA member may have ceased to exist and any money paid into the plan could have disappeared with little/no chance of recovery.

Hopefully your father entrusted your mother’s funeral to a more reputable concern as reputable plan providers were usually members of The Funeral Planning Authority.

The FPA does have a process for tracing plans, but it is restricted to its own membership and by no means comprehensive. Furthermore financial products the public often refer to as “Funeral Plans” are often not Plans at all, but are various types of savings schemes which need to be fully paid before any money is available.

Memorialise’s Concierge Service offers a free Funeral Plan Tracing Service which will contact the FPA with your mother’s details, and through them their members in an attempt to trace the plan. This is at-best a long shot and neither the FPA nor Memorialise can provide any guarantee that this service will result in the identification of any active plan. Even if we are to locate an active plan, any restrictive terms the plan might require — such as using a particular funeral director — may need to be met for the plan to pay out. Even if the plan can be traced, for you to comply with any terms may require you to considerably delay the funeral

Had you any information on the Plan Provider we would have a better chance. It may have been possible to trace the history of the company through changes of names and takeovers and endeavour to gain value on the plan through the current owner, but without at least a name for the company this is almost impossible.

Given the time that has already passed since your mother’s death you are probably best advised to make the funeral arrangements and not rely on any plan to meet the costs of the funeral and should any plan emerge over time, regard any funds it might provide as an unexpected bonus.

We trust this free advice is useful to you. Should you need any further free advice or assistance on any funeral matter our helpdesk and concierge teams will be happy to help.

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Bereavement support and non-financial advice services are delivered through of The Bereavement Advice Service CIC. The Bereavement Advice Service CIC is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company Limited by Guarantee, Registration Number: 13288315.

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