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FPA dealing with hundreds of cases

The Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) says it is dealing with hundreds of cases a year – eight to 10 a week – helping families to trace pre-paid funerals. 

People are increasingly paying in advance for funerals, however a desire not to talk about death and conditions such as dementia, mean many families are left with little detail of what has been organised and paid for. 

Many families are left with little detail of what has been organised and paid for

The Alzheimer’s Society says more than one million people in the UK will be living with dementia by 2021, and many will face difficulties conducting their finances, because remembering even a password can be hugely challenging. 

Families who find details of a funeral plan after they have made alternative arrangements may be given a refund, although this can’t be guaranteed and anyway, an administration fee of up to £400 may be deducted. 

The average funeral in the UK costs about £3,700 but a report by insurance company SunLife suggests that the overall cost of dying – including things such as probate, headstones and flowers – has risen by 8.3% in the last year to £8,802.

The FPA, which does have a tracing service, advises telling family about a plan; asking questions to fully understand what is paid for; keeping paperwork with other important document; not paying in cash, and telling the funeral plan provider if moving house.

It also suggests bereaved families check bank statements for a regular payment to a plan provider or contact local funeral directors to ask whether they have a record of any plans. 

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