Category Archives: Funeral Planning Authority

Funeral Plan Use Doubles In 8 Years

Save Money and Upset

In just 8 years, from 2012 to the first half of 2020, the number of plans actually used to provide funerals has doubled, says the Funeral Planning Authority. Over 3,300 families weekly have benefitted from the straightforward single phone call to set the wheels in motion in the first half of 2020. That figure will rocket over the next few years as more people realise the benefits of planning ahead (and getting free Independent Advice from us on 0800 0588 240 9-9 any day.)

In many cases, the cost of a prepaid plan can be substantially less than the cost of exactly the same funeral with the same undertaker.  Late 2019 a friends mother had a standard funeral which cost £4,795.  Had she purchased a prepaid plan even a few weeks earlier, the same funeral would have cost just £3,295. I’ll leave you to work out the saving!

Of course, it doesn’t always work out that well, but the point of a funeral plan is to pre-solve problems for those left behind which may include whose credit card is going to pay, arguments over what the deceased would have wished for.  Worse still the embarrassment of asking for quotes from several undertakers – which is why funeral directors can charge so much for “at-need” cremations and burials.

Even if you can’t afford a funeral plan, why not get in touch and ask for our free planner – at least that way you can reduce the problems surrounding your own death by making your own wishes clear.

There are now over 1.4 million funeral plans in place so there are still plenty of folk who haven’t got round to pre-planning.  With the advent of direct cremations, at least a basic plan is within the reach of pretty much everyone, so why not give us a call – even the call is free, and we have no sales team to push you into something (even though we probably should – for you own good as well as ours!)

Funeral plan use is going to increase dramatically, as costs rise, so the earlier you invest in your plan, the less it will cost and the more the family will save, never mind the emotional benefits.

Who is responsible for arranging your funeral?

Avalon Funeral Plan Coup

Avalon celebrates exceptional feedback after being named ‘Best Funeral Plan Provider’ at this year’s Personal Finance Awards.

Stephen Pett of the Prepaid Funeral Review said “I was pleased to receive Avalons Press Release (below) which clearly shows they are one of the most improving providers in the crowded prepaid funeral plan market. As one gets better, all the rest have to try harder to get an edge – which makes our Independent Advice even more important.”

Avalon Funeral Plans is celebrating a coveted award win after being named ‘Best Funeral Plan Provider’ at the 2019 Personal Finance Awards.

Now in its 22nd year, the Personal Finance Awards has long been recognised as a benchmark for excellence in the UK’s consumer finance market, providing a reflection of the consumer’s choice of top financial providers over the last two decades.

Nominations for the awards are sent in directly by the consumer, based on their experience of outstanding products or customer service in the industry. This year, the awards received just over 20,000 votes.

With over 25 years’ experience providing funeral plans to more than 70,000 customers across the UK and Europe, Avalon was recognised for its dedication to its customers, as well as the high standard of its service.

These qualities are continuously reflected in the company’s industry-leading customer feedback, with over 2,000 reviews and a rating of ‘excellent’ on Trustpilot, as well as a five-star rating on Defaqto, lending justification to the company’s esteemed award win. So trusted is the brand that someone chooses an Avalon funeral plan every 10 minutes*.

Avalon’s prepaid funeral plans are designed to give customers peace of mind, working with a network of 1,800 local, independent funeral directors across the UK to ensure that families always have support close to home.

Avalon’s commitment to putting the customer at its heart is also reflected in the unique features offered in their plans when compared to other funeral plan providers. The Avalon Promise, launched earlier this year, reassures customers that if they pass away before their plan is fully paid, Avalon can cover the cost of the services included in their funeral plan.

The Promise offers increased peace of mind for Avalon’s customers, and the company is the only plan provider that works with local, independent funeral directors to offer this.

The award win follows a successful period of growth for the business under a new senior management team led by CEO, Susan Stevenson.

Speaking about the award win, Avalon’s CEO, Susan Stevenson, said: “There are few other industries in which taking care of the customer, their journey and their family is quite so important.

“We like to think we’re different to other funeral plan providers in that we go the extra mile in helping customers and their loved ones when they perhaps need it most.

“It’s our promise to always put our customers at the centre of what we do, and the fact that we’ve been recognised for our efforts – particularly by such a widely renowned awarding body as the Personal Finance Awards – really means the world to us.”

Regulated in the UK by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA), Avalon employs more than 200 people at its offices in Cheshire and across Spain, The Canaries, Portugal and Cyprus.

The company is flexible in offering customers three different ways to discuss their requirements and their range of funeral plans.  They can speak to a specialist advisor in the comfort of their own home, or over the phone, or 24/7 online.

For more information, and to find out if Avalon plans would be right for you, contact Steve at the Prepaid Funeral Review on 0800 0588 240.

*Based on sales of funeral plans over the period January – December 2018, by home appointment or over the phone, during standard trading hours.

Safe Hands Funeral Plans Now FPA Members

Safe Hands Official Statement Regarding Funeral Planning Authority Registration.
We at Safe Hands are delighted to announce that our application to become registered with the Funeral Planning Authority has been successful.

The FPA registration process we found to be reassuringly thorough and robust, involving, as it did, a forensic level of scrutiny of all aspects of our operation by the Compliance Committee, and the making of some modifications and changes operationally in order to satisfy the FPA’s exacting standards of qualification.

Over the coming days, we will be revising our marketing literature, website and other platforms, to include the FPA’s logo as confirmation of our registration.

FPA Regulated Firms

We expect the news, that Safe Hands Funeral Plans are now registered with the FPA, will be as welcome to those of you that sell our products as it was to us as a company. All of you that have secured sales for us have, by selling responsibly, honestly and in a manner compliant with our rules of operation, contributed to the success of our application. We are extremely grateful to you for your efforts.

We ask, now we are registered with the FPA, that we all continue to work together to maintain the high standards that we have achieved, and in a manner that is in keeping with the somewhat unique, particularly sensitive, environment in which we operate.

Yours faithfully,

David Latham
Managing Director

Assist Funeral Plans Ltd

We have never had any dealings with Assist Funeral Plans Ltd which appears to be no longer trading. We were approached by a member of the public who had purchased an Assist Funeral Plan and was unable to get any response from them.  In theory, the clients’ funds should be perfectly safe in the Assist Funeral Trust – but we have as yet been unable to find out who manages that or where it is located.

Company details are available here (direct download from Companies House._

The Director is listed as GORDON, Michael Thomas.

His correspondence address was listed as 5 Jupiter House, Calleva Park, Aldermaston, Reading, Berks, United Kingdom, RG7 8NN (the address of UK PLC Registrations).  Mr Gordon apparently held 882 directorships!  Another address was Trevor Cottage, The Green, Horsted Keynes, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 7AW.

The only shareholder of the company was listed as Sibtain Mohammed Hussain.

The address listed for Sibtain Hussain seems to be an accommodation address at 3rd Floor, 207 Regent Street London W1B 3HH. Again, we contacted them on 12th December 2018 to see if they could help -(update) they have had no dealings with Assist at all and advise me that they occupy the whole building.  so this route won’t help: accommodation address agencies are required to confirm the identity of their clients, so if they were being used they should have more information.

We contacted the Funeral Planning Authority and this is what they had to say about Assist:

We recommend you contact the FCA Unauthorised Business Unit using the following email address: consumer.queries@fca.org.uk and request information on Assist Funeral Plans.  You can do this directly or through Trading Standards / Citizen’s Advice.  It may also be worth registering your concerns with the Police using the action fraud website (https://www.actionfraud.police.uk).  Assist Funeral Plans were not registered with the Funeral Planning Authority but the FPA will provide assistance to you if you and they can and can be contacted at info@funeralplanningauthority.co.uk.

A further disturbing article appears here.

If you have any further information please do let us know, with our Funeral Plan Watchdog hats on.

Safe Hands Application to FPA

Safe Hands application to the Funeral Planning Authority.

This is a Safe Hands update. Though there is no statutory regulation/governance of the funeral plan industry at the present time (meaning there is no official set of standards that funeral plan companies must, by law, conform to), here at Safe Hands Funeral Plans – as a company committed to ensuring customers’ best interests are served at all times – we fully advocate and support the idea of there being statutory regulation of the industry and we feel that the FPA, with its industry knowledge, experience and expertise should be given statutory regulatory status by the government (which would mean that all funeral plan providers, by law, would have to be registered with the FPA).

In May 2018, Safe Hands Funeral Plans submitted its formal application for registration with the Funeral Planning Authority. For any provider, the application, assessment and approval process can and does take several months to conclude – and here at SHFP we are as confident as we can possibly be that our all aspects of our operation will be found, by the FPA, to meet with their qualifying criteria, and that we will be successful in becoming registered with them well before the end of the 2018. In the meantime, customers should take great comfort from the fact that legislation exists, under the Regulated Activities Order (Financial Services and Markets Act 2000), that all funeral plan companies must, by law, abide by to ensure their customers’ monies are invested in trust funds that are independent (meaning the customers, not the company, are the beneficiaries of the trust fund), that the investment of the trust fund is independently managed, that the assets of the trust are independently analysed every 3 years to assess whether they are sufficient to cover the company’s liabilities (customers’ funerals, in other words), and that the company itself is independently audited. In all respects, Safe Hands Funeral Plans complies with this legislation.

Further details about the FPA and their registration process can be found at www.funeralplanningauthority.co.uk.