Category Archives: avalon funeral trust

avalon funeral trust

Funeral Director Goes Out Of Business – What Happens To My Prepaid Plan?

Protection where a funeral director or funeral plan company goes out of business:

With normal prepaid funeral plans, there is no direct connection between the funeral director and the funeral plan company (even though it seems there is.)  Unless they are acting illegally, the prepaid amount, after expenses, goes into a completely separate fund.  This fund is either an Independently managed Trust Fund or a special fund managed by an Independent Insurance Company.  In both cases, there are strict controls over how the money is managed. Just occasionally a small local firm may not understand the rules and set up a fund which does not comply with the law, but it is extremely rare in the UK, and one of the reasons we are cautious before recommending new funeral plan providers.

The time to ask questions is if when you are asked to make out the cheque to the undertakers rather than to the funeral plan company.  Payments should always be made to the Funeral Plan Trust or to the underlying insurance company fund.

So what happens to protect funeral plan owners when an undertaker closes?

  1. If the funeral director goes out of business, the funeral plan company simply appoints another firm to do the job.
  2. If the funeral plan company goes out of business, most trust funds or insurance funds would simply appoint a funeral director to carry out the funeral – quite possibly the same one. Alternatively, they would arrange to transfer that responsibility to another funeral plan company.  The only rather peculiar exception to this used to be the Co-op who would give the money back to you, less expenses thus totally destroying the whole purpose of the funeral plan. That was why we used not to recommend Co-op funeral plans.  The Co-op is a wide movement so it must be said that we understand that they have removed this somewhat odd (in our opinion) unethical clause from their contracts, but please do read their terms of business extremely carefully before taking out a Co-op plan.

This question was original brought up by a consumers question:

What happens if my Funeral Director goes out of business?

As far as we can see, Hart Funeral Directors are still around, but that is not the point.

“I took out 2 Avalon funeral plans one for me and one for my mam on the 24/5/2016 and 26/5/2016. we paid in full and they said our funerals would be done by Hart funeral directors at Stockton-on-Tees County Durham I noticed that the Heart Funeral company wasn’t there anymore and I don’t know who will do our funerals now getting a bit worried about this now can you help please?”

Avalon Trustee Company Limited

Avalon Trustee Company Limited as we understand it is the company which looks after the funds invested by Avalon Funerals to provide for the future cost of providing those funerals.

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

All reputable funeral plan companies we are aware of in the UK have similar arrangements to protect their clients – though this is not the same in other countries where things regularly go badly wrong!

Company NameThe Avalon Trustee Company Limited
StatusActive
CategoryPrivate Limited Company
Company Number02836336
Registered AddressUnit A2 Brooke Court
Handforth Dean
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 3ND

Avalon say “We understand that you are effectively paying now for a future service that will occur but one you will not see. It is therefore important for Avalon to have in place appropriate safeguards with leading institutions to ensure your peace of mind.

Your money is securely invested in the Avalon Funeral Trust No.4. The funds in Trust are held separately to the Company and managed by Independent Trustees to ensure your money is protected.

We utilize advisors with the highest regard towards long-term financial security:

  • The Avalon Funeral Trust No.4 Custodian Trustee is Capita Trust Company Limited who are responsible for legally holding the assets of the Trust separate to the Company. Capita is a FTSE 100 company that specialises in public services
  • The Avalon Funeral Trust Trust No.4 is valued annually by our actuaries, Rowanmoor Group plc, to ensure there are sufficient assets to ultimately meet the future payments to Funeral Directors.
  • Insight Investment are the Investment Managers to the Trust. Their objective is to ensure that the funds in the Trust grow securely in line with the stated liabilities of the future funeral costs. Insight are a leading global asset manager.
  • The Trust accounts are produced and audited annually by BDO LLP, the award-winning UK member firm of the BDO international network, the world’s fifth largest accountancy organisation, with 1,200 offices in 138 countries”

Details of its’ directors etc can be found by clicking here: Avalon Trustee Company though this is an external source and we do not know how accurate or up to date it is,

NUT Funerals

Avalon and Countdown Launch Exciting New Partnership

(This is the Avalon Press Release – we suggest you read our Avalon Funeral Plan Review before acting. We’re keeping an open mind, but have yet to find a reason to recommend Avalon Funeral Plans in the UK at least.)

Funeral Plan Quotes

        Funeral Plan Quotes

Avalon Trustee Company and Countdown have formed a partnership to provide pre-paid funeral plans to their member organizations such as the National Union of Teachers and other Countdown members.

Lisa Lund, Avalon’s Business Development Director said: “I am delighted that we have launched this exciting partnership with Countdown. Countdown members will have access to exclusive benefits that help them to start to plan ahead for the future. Funeral plans provide financial protection from rising funeral costs and give customers emotional peace of mind.”

Countdown is one of the UK’s leading customer and employee rewards companies with 300,000 members, therefore it made perfect sense to join forces with Avalon to further add a range of added-value benefits to Countdown’s loyal members.

Kevin Lake, Chief Executive from Countdown said: “With long-established relationships in the funeral sector and a track record of delivering excellent service and value to customers, Avalon is the clear partner for Countdown.”

_______________________________

The Prepaid Funeral Review was set up to offer Independent Advice on prepaid funeral plans, which are both complicated and sold in wildly confusing ways.  So unless you have a few weeks spare to analyse the market in detail, you will be better off talking to our Independent Funeral Plan Adviser – there is no cost or obligation.

Avalon Funeral Plans Appoint

Avalon Funeral Plans Appoint Compliance Officer. 

Avalon welcome Nick Tyers to the team as best practice continues to be a key part of the business strategy.

Julie, Head Researcher at The Prepaid Funeral Review says “I’m pleased to see that Avalons new management are working hard to make sure the issues which sometimes occured under the previous management (which was perhaps under financed) are a thing of the past.  We are optimistic for their clients, and their expansion plans mean they must get all their systems in perfect working order to cope with the increased new business.”

Here is what Avalon have to say on the subject:

Avalon was founded in 1990 with the vision to create a unique, transparent and affordable funeral plan that had never existed before – one that customers knew they could trust.

Avalon funeral plans is a leading provider of pre-paid funeral plans in the UK and Europe. For over 20 years our flexible funeral plans and dedicated, professional team have given thousands of families peace of mind.

As part of Avalon’s growth strategy the Company recently appointed Nick Tyers in the role of Compliance Officer.

Nick has a wealth of experience in the financial services industry in the area of compliance and risk management, having worked for both AON and ACE group of companies.

Nick Tyers’s role is to ensure that we have the appropriate risk controls in place in all areas of our business, so that the Company can continue to develop a best practice approach.

Good compliance is good business, with key objectives being to;

  •  Align the Company’s operating strategy
  •  Have effective oversight mechanisms
  •  Integrate risk and control activities
  •  Streamline business processes and optimize our people
  •  Provide quality management information

Nick added “the Company will be able to the make decisions more quickly and easily, which will benefit both our customers and employees. This will enable us to move our business forwards with confidence.”

Click here to find out more about Avalon Funeral Plans.

About Avalon Funeral Plans

A lot has changed at Avalon since the end of 2012. Key appointments and restructuring of the operation has meant that since the changes the business is growing and customer service is at the forefront of the revamped Avalon.

Avalon New Broom

Avalon Funeral Plans – New Year, New Website.

(Avalon Funeral Plans seem to be working hard to shake off the poor image of the past and doing a pretty good job as far as we can tell. We would be interested in hearing your opinion if you have had recent dealings with Avalon Funeral Plans under the new regime. Their Press Release follows.)

Brand new website design gives Avalon Funeral Plans a great platform to launch a range of new marketing plans for 2014.

Avalon, one of the leading providers of pre-paid funeral plans in the UK and Europe, has launched a new website.

“Our online presence will be strengthened by our new, fresh-looking, website and online marketing campaign” said Commercial Director, Jo Darbyshire.

The new website gives details of their range of flexible pre-paid funeral plans available across the UK and Europe. Bespoke funeral plans are available through selected Funeral Directors in the UK.

Links to Avalon’s new Twitter feed, Facebook and LinkedIn pages are included on the site. “Embracing social media is a key part of our revitalised online proposition and gives us opportunities to really connect with our customers and raise brand awareness.”, Darbyshire explains.

The new website will ultimately deliver a portal for the increasing number of independent Funeral Directors that partner with Avalon to fulfil the funeral at the time of need and an area devoted to Avalon’s growing number of corporate partners.

About Avalon Funeral Plans.

Avalon was founded in 1990 with the vision to create a unique, transparent and affordable funeral plan that had never existed before – one that customers knew they could trust.

Avalon is a leading provider of pre-paid funeral plans in the UK and Europe. For over 20 years our flexible funeral plans and dedicated, professional team have given thousands of families peace of mind.

In November 2012, Lonsdale Capital Partners arranged for a group of investors to buy a majority stake in the Avalon Trustee Company Ltd.

We have a number of reputable, local independent Funeral Directors that we work with to fulfill your funeral plan.

You can be confident that your money is in safe hands. Your money is held in a specially designed Trust that is separate to the company and managed by Independent Trustees to ensure your long-term financial security. The Trust holds and invests your money and pays the Funeral Director at the time of need.

Joanne Darbyshire