‘So angry!’ Grandmother devastated to learn she may lose £3,500 for her funeral

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After her husband died, retiree Vicky Haywood wanted to plan her funeral ahead as her husband passed away very suddenly. She found arranging his funeral hard so wanted to make sure things were taken care of when she leaves her family.

“I know how traumatic it can be when you lose someone, having to go through that process was very upsetting,” she said.

To stop her family going through this she looked into pre-paid funeral packages which, for a monthly cost, would take care of all funeral arrangements.

On Rip Off Britain today, Vicky explained her situation, and how it happened.

In 2015, she took out a plan with Safe Hands Funeral Plans. Vicky paid £53.90 each month for five years. 

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In total, she had paid around £3,500 to take care of all her funeral plans when the time came.

But due to trouble in the funeral plan industry, in November 2021 the Financial Conduct Authority announced that they would regulate the funeral sector.

They gave companies until July to sign up and follow new rules and regulations set out, or else they would have to stop selling funeral plans altogether.

Safe Hands initially agreed, but in February, they withdrew their application leaving Vicky and many others worried about what would happen to their plans.

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Presenter Gloria Hunniford added:“But they did say they will be conducting a detailed investigation into the firm’s failures including the names of the companies directors and they will report in due course.”

The joint administrators for Safe Hands told Express.co.uk they were unable to confirm any potential estimated return to plan holders right now, explaining the process of realising assets, determining liabilities and issuing partial repayments to plan holders is a significant undertaking and will take some time to complete. They said there will be an update within eight weeks of appointment.

They also said they are carrying out our investigations into the events leading up to the insolvency and conduct of the Company’s Directors, and are unable to comment any further while those investigations are ongoing.

Furthermore, when asked why some, but not all, plans were temporarily administered by Dignity Funerals Limited, they explained that upon appointment, they agreed an interim funeral services provision with the firm, as a temporary measure to honour plans activated during the administration while the Joint Administrators explore options for a longer-term solution.

Rip Off Britain continues tomorrow on BBC one at 10am.

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