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Changes to Funeral Plan Providers; What does this mean for you?

View profile for James Chalkley
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From the 29th July 2022 any provider offering funeral plans will need to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The Funeral Plan market has been largely unregulated until this recent development. It is hoped that regulation of the sector will:

  • offer more protection to consumers,
  • put an end to practices such as cold-calling and payments to intermediaries,
  • ensure that those providing funeral plans deliver products better suited to consumers' needs.

It will become a criminal offence for anyone to provide funeral planning services without FCA authorisation. Funeral Plan Providers have been able to apply for permission to provide services since September 2021. Providers without authorisation will be unable to enter into new contracts with consumers after 29th July 2022, nor will they be able to carry out contracts already in place.

The FCA has released a provisional list of Funeral Plan Providers that it intends to authorise ahead of the switch.

If you wish to further a complaint following the implementation of FCA regulation, clients that purchase a plan after this date can ask the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) to investigate. If your complaint relates to a plan purchased before 29th July 2022, the FOS may investigate if your provider was registered with the Funeral Planning Authority at the time the complaint issue occurred.

Some providers have decided to consolidate with other companies.

Others have notified the FCA of their intention to close their businesses.

The FCA is still dealing with a small number of outstanding applications and have warned any firm that has yet to apply that they will have to cease trading whilst applications are being considered after the 29th July 2022 has passed.

If you have any concerns regarding your funeral plan, you are advised to contact your provider.

 

If you would like assistance with wills or lasting powers of attorney, please call the Gepp Solicitors Private Client team on 01245 228125 or email us on PrivateClientEnq@gepp.co.uk.

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.