A couple in their 70s have been left devastated and desperately worried after paying more than £8,000 to a pre-paid funeral plan company which has now gone bust.

Aida Evans, from Breightmet, says she found out Safe Hands Plus was no longer in business from a friend.

Mrs Evans took out a funeral policy after her  her daughter Karen died from ovarian cancer in 2014.

She says she was told about funeral plans by Bromley Funeral Services.

The plan covered Mrs Evans, aged 76, and her husband Morgan, aged 74.

Mrs Evans says she paid £8,400 for the policy.

She wanted to ensure that her and her husband's funeral costs would be covered.

But as of March 23, according to the Safe Hands Plans website, administrators took over the company ‘after a period of severe financial challenge, which has left the business unsustainable in its current form’.

Mrs Evans said: “I don’t know where I stand, and I want to know.

“They are not giving us any answers.

“It’s made me feel so upset.

“This was supposed to help if one or both of us died.

“We have nobody to turn to.

“I found out through my friend and had no letter to find any of this out.”

She is particularly concerned because her husband is currently in a care home due to having vascular dementia, and COPD, as well as other medical conditions.

Mrs Evans added: “I have to pay for him, and I have no money anywhere for funerals.

“I don’t like to be morbid, but I don’t know how long we have left, especially Morgan, so I thought we might as well pay for our funerals.

“It’s really difficult because vascular dementia makes the person change into a different person all together.”

The Bolton News: Credit (PA)Credit (PA)

Manager of Bromley’s Funeral Services Jason Clare said: “Unfortunately Safe Hands has gone into administration.

“This left us in financial difficulty with the funerals we had taken on and done, and no payments after having a good working relationship over the last five years.

“After many phone calls I was told Dignity was taking over Safe Hands and warrant the plans.

 “This, I am still waiting.

“We have a number of funeral plans.

“We would not say one is any better than the other just personal choice, then if the family was happy with their choice, they would pay the company direct, nothing to do with us. 

“Until the time comes then we would be the allocated a funeral director from one of the plans.

“I completely understand Aida Evans’ distress and a lot of other people, and people who I know well.

"Safe hands sent letters out to all policyholders around April.

“At the moment we don’t know what is happing for now.”

The Bolton News tried to contact Safe Hands, but did not receive a response.

On Safe Hands Plans website it states: “The company has ceased to trade insofar as it will not be accepting any new customers but will be assisting current plan holders with contingency funeral planning services with the assistance of a third-party provider.

“The joint administrators are exploring possible solutions including the possibility of the rescue of the business with alternative funeral providers.

“In the interim, Dignity Funerals Limited (“Dignity”) has agreed to work with the Joint Administrators to temporarily provide existing customers with funeral planning services for the foreseeable future, from the date of the administration.

“A dedicated UK based customer service team has been established by the Joint Administrators to assist you with any questions you may have in respect of the administration, the defined role of Dignity, the impact of the administration on your plan and any potential return of the money you have invested.”

Dignity says that 'has no connection with Safe Hands prior to them entering administration' and Bromley Funeral Service is not a part of their company.

The Financial Conduct Authority announced last Friday that the sector will now be regulated, meaning people should only buy a funeral plan from authorised providers or appointed representatives.

A spokesperson for Dignity said: “Dignity has called for regulation of the funeral plan sector for many years and the situation with Safe Hands highlights why it was needed and long overdue.

"Following Safe Hands going into administration, we made arrangements with the administrators to ensure that families who suffer a bereavement do not go without a funeral. We have agreed that until the end of October 2022 Dignity will fulfil Safe Hands funeral plans for people that have passed away during that time.

"We are also working with the administrators to finalise a proposal for Safe Hands customers to allow them to move to a new, FCA regulated Dignity funeral plan.”