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Funeral plan misery widow gets documents back
THE boss of a York finance firm has returned missing will documents to a widow - and pledged to repay her husband’s funeral costs.
Robert Holly has also written to Lynda Madden saying he was sole proprietor of Yorkshire Asset Protection and explaining what had happened to the business, which closed its city centre offices in the summer.
Mr Holly said he originally decided to give notice on the firm’s offices in New Street and work from home to reduce costs, after its income fell far short of day-to-day running costs.
But things then came to a “shuddering halt” after he broke his leg in an accident and he had subsequently suffered a nervous breakdown through the stress and pressure of trying to perform the day-to-day obligations of running the business.
However, he had now recovered physically and was in a fit mind to address outstanding issues and make sure his obligations were fulfilled.
The Press has reported previously how Mrs Madden, of Stamford Bridge, and her terminally ill husband, Noel, had paid Yorkshire Asset Protection £6,500 late last year and early this year for two funeral plans but she increasingly feared she would have to pay the bill for the funeral service following his death in July because she was unable to contact the firm.
She said last week she was also increasingly concerned because she could not get hold of will documents which she and her husband had lodged with YAP, leaving her facing serious financial and legal problems. Other clients have also told The Press that the firm has their wills, and York’s trading standards department has launched an investigation.
Mr Holly, who left no address or contact telephone number, expressed his condolences to Mrs Madden on her loss and said: “Your plight through my lack of communication weighs heavily on both my mind and my heart. For that I sincerely apologise.”
He said Mrs Madden’s funeral plan was unfortunately never put in place, because paperwork required to process it was never returned by the Maddens.
“With the firm going through its difficulties, this was overlooked and sadly an administrative error meant that you were placed in this very unfortunate situation.”
He requested 28 days to reimburse Mrs Madden in full for funeral costs incurred and put in place an arrangement to refund the remaining amount for her own plan.
He said he did not have the money instantly available, but it was his intention to ensure all YAP clients had the services they had paid for provided, or a refund.
He said all YAP staff, including consultant Michael Wild, who sold the Maddens their funeral plan, had acted in a professional and proficient manner, and must shoulder no responsibility or blame for what had happened.