Is pre-paid probate a good idea?

Are you thinking of a pre-paid probate plan? If so Rachel Pullen, an Associate Chartered Legal Executive in our Probate and Estate Administration team explains some of the pitfalls of entering in to these. Buyer beware!

Pre-paid probate plans are not what they may seem. They are aimed at those with worries about who will deal with their estate when they die and how much it will cost to administer.

The Financial Conduct Authority has taken over regulation of pre-paid funeral plan providers, but there is no such requirement yet for pre-paid Probate Plans. There are many areas of concern which have been highlighted by the Financial Conduct Authority that people considering buying one should be aware of:

  • They are not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme – therefore, if the company fails, there is no guarantee you will receive your money back.
  • Commission is often included in the fee you pay, which increases the cost of the plan.
  • There is no requirement for the money you pay to be held in trust or backed by insurance – so your money may not be safe if the company providing the probate plan fails.
  • The Financial Ombudsman Service cannot help resolve any complaints.
  • The plans are often unclear as to what the plan covers and someone’s estate may vary dramatically in size between purchasing a plan and passing away either meaning substantially more work is involved or the estate is so small, no action is required.

In short, the only winners are likely to be the probate plan providers.

If you have any concerns or questions about a pre-paid plan you may have taken out or you would like more information on Probate please contact Rachel Pullen or one of our helpful team on 01258 459361.

Blanchards Bailey

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