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Lynda Madden still waiting for husband's funeral costs to be repaid
A WIDOW is still waiting for her husband’s funeral costs to be re-paid by a York finance firm whose offices closed down.
Robert Holly, the boss of Yorkshire Asset Protection, pledged last month to reimburse Lynda Madden in full for funeral costs incurred when her husband died.
Late last year, Mrs Madden, of Stamford Bridge, and her terminally-ill husband, Noel, paid the firm for two funeral plans but she ended up having to pay the bill for her husband’s service herself.
Mr Holly asked last month for 28 days to reimburse her in full but she said yesterday that the period had expired with no money arriving so far.
But Mr Holly told The Press: “I am in the process of arranging the suitable finance for her full refund and will be in contact with her very shortly.”
The news comes after almost 50 former YAP customers attended an open meeting at a York hotel, organised by Coles Solicitors. Coles agreed to act as an intermediary after The Press reported how many customers were worried about what had happened to wills drawn up on their behalf and stored by YAP. Coles has been in the process of returning legal documents for 192 customers, passed to it by YAP.
Coles managing director Peter Gibson said will writing was not a regulated activity. He said YAP was not regulated, and there was no protection for customers of such firms if things went wrong.
He said solicitors would like the Government to make will writing regulated. Solicitors themselves were regulated and had indemnity insurance and, if things went wrong, the Law Society or the Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority could step in.
Mr Holly said that following his recent problems, he also would advocate that the industry should become regulated.
Customers at the meeting thanked The Press for revealing what had happened at YAP, saying they would otherwise have still been in the dark, and thanked Coles for stepping in to help them out.
Mr Holly said he had recently attended a meeting with York trading standards, which is investigating YAP, and said he had given it a “full and frank” account of the business, explained in great detail where things went wrong and the steps he was taking to ensure outstanding issues were resolved.
He claimed the vast majority of YAP work had been completed and many cases had passed very succesfully through probate, and many people’s assets were protected against long-term care fees and/or inheritance tax.
A spokesman for trading standards said the matter was still under investigation.