People are increasingly planning to save their loved ones from the added stress of the cost of a burial or cremation by paying for their funeral in advance, either all in one go or in instalments.
Yet there can be difficulties in simply tracing the details of a prepaid funeral plan, even if you do know (or think) that a partner or parent had one.
A reluctance to discuss death, the impact of dementia, or simply the passage of time can mean that the details of a funeral plan can become lost.
The grief of losing someone is hard enough without the added burden of arranging their affairs, sorting out paperwork and notifying authorities, companies and others of a death.
There is no comprehensive database for funeral plans meaning there is no one way for locating one. Here’s how to find out if someone had taken out a prepaid funeral plan and how to track down the details.
If you have access, the first step is to check through all of the paperwork the deceased left behind.
Alternatively, you may be able to check with other friends or family members to find out if they know any of the details.
Check with the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) next
The FPA is the opt-in regulator of funeral plan providers. At present, funeral providers are not obliged to register.
The FPA offer a tracing service which has details of individuals who have taken out a plan with one of their registered members.
If one of the registered providers is less than helpful, the FPA will act as a mediator on your behalf to resolve a complaint.
Check bank statements
Next, try checking your loved one’s bank statements. You may find a record of a one-off payment, or of regular smaller instalments paid to a funeral plan provider.
What if the funeral has already taken place?
If the funeral has already taken place and was paid for independently, the funeral plan provider will often still pay your claim.
If the service was carried out by a funeral director different to the one specified in the plan, or if it included different services and features, your claim may not cover the entire cost.