Terms and Conditions
These Terms and Conditions and your Order Form detail the terms and conditions of Avalon’s Funeral Plans. You should also read the Life-Care Brochure and Rate Card. References to you/your mean the member or plan holder. References to us/we/our mean Avalon Trustee Company Limited (for UK members) or Avalon Europe Limited (for overseas members).
1. ITS AIM
To remove future Funeral Service Costs and the majority of the cost of the Disbursements, as detailed in term 16.
2. HOW DOES THE PLAN WORK?
i) From the date your completed Order Form is received at our Head Office with the plan fee, the Funeral Plan fixes Funeral Service Costs throughout your life, regardless of future increases in Funeral Service Costs or your lifespan. We will send an official receipt followed by a certificate of entitlement (Plan Certificate) within approximately 30 days.
ii) Under the terms of Avalon Funeral Trust Deed which has been set up to protect our Members, contracted funeral directors who participate with us agree to undertake the future funeral arrangements for our Funeral Plans. You may nominate any funeral director who is contracted to us for carrying out our Funeral Plans. If for some reason your chosen funeral director is unable to provide the funeral services, we will select an alternative funeral director in your locality, who is acceptable to you.
3. DUAL CERTIFICATION
i) This option is offered to customers who have fixed residence in two countries. This will provide you or your family with the choice to have your funeral in one of two locations. You need to inform us in writing of the second residence before death occurs and we will provide an additional Plan Certificate detailing the second residence.
ii) If the funeral is held in a country other than the country specified on the Order Form, the funeral will be of a standard equivalent to the service choice you have selected on your Order Form.
iii) This option is only available in countries that we operate in. Further information can be obtained by contacting our Head Office (details below).
4. YOUR COMMITMENT
You can choose between two payment methods, either a single payment for a Fully Paid Plan, or alternatively you may choose to contribute towards funeral costs by making payments under an Instalment Plan. You have no obligation to complete the Instalment Plan. Refer to terms 11, 12 and 13 for further information on Instalment Plans that are not financially completed.
5. WHAT PART DOES AVALON PLAY?
i) As an independent provider we are responsible for the marketing and administration of Funeral Plans. Our fees for this work are detailed in term 15.
ii) We are also responsible for ensuring that, once fully paid, your funeral will be completed in accordance with your Funeral Plan.
6. WHAT DO WE GUARANTEE?
i) To fix the price of the Funeral Service Costs of your selected Funeral Plan at the outset. This guarantee is subject to any
legislative amendments which may affect the price and which are outside our control such as imposition of VAT charge. We have the right to amend these Terms and Conditions if this happens under term 22. The guarantee is subject to you paying the agreed lump sum or instalment payments specified on your Order Form.
ii) To provide a funeral directors to complete your funeral; and
iii) To ensure the correct funding level of the Avalon Funeral Trust is maintained.
7. TRUST FUND
We operate a trust fund separate to Avalon, known as the Avalon Funeral Trust (The Trust Fund) to securely hold our Members’ funds to pay for the Funeral Service Costs and average Disbursement costs of your selected Funeral Plan. The Trust Fund is operated by trustees, and Barclays Bank act as corporate bankers to the Trust Fund. The Trust Fund is valued annually by an independent actuary to ensure the correct funding levels are maintained. In the event that Avalon ceases to trade, the Trust Fund will continue until all Fully Paid Plans have been performed.
8. ARE INSTALMENT PLANS MORE EXPENSIVE?
i) Yes – because Fully Paid Plans are invested in the Trust Fund for a longer period of time, we can collect a lesser amount to cover the funeral cost. It is necessary to charge an additional amount in respect of theInstalment Plan to ensure that sufficient sums are accrued over the lifetime of the Instalment Plan, to cover the Funeral Service Costs. The increased payments are calculated on the basis of applying a simple interest rate(as detailed on the Rate Card) per annum to the lump sum price at outset. All instalment payments indicated by us on the Order Form are inclusive of interest.
ii) Interest is calculated on a yearly basis on the anniversary of the date of the Order Form. This is not a credit agreement and therefore you are under no contractual obligation to complete the instalment payments.
However if you stop making payments you should be aware that there will be insufficient funds to meet all the costs of your selected Funeral Plan and term 14 will apply.
9. CAN I CONVERT AN INSTALMENT PLAN INTO A FULLY PAID PLAN?
Yes, an Instalment Plan may be paid up at any time by requesting a Conversion Statement from our Head Office detailing the outstanding amount payable.
i) If the outstanding amount is paid within 40 days of our acceptance of your Order Form then all future interest is waived and the Instalment Plan converts to a Fully Paid Plan.
ii) If the outstanding amount is paid after 40 days of our acceptance of your Order Form, the balance payment is calculated by waiving all future interest although we will charge you an additional administration fee of £50.
iii) A Conversion Statement may be requested at any time without obligation to convert the Instalment Plan to a Fully Paid Plan.
10. CAN I ALTER THE INTALMENTS PAYABLE?
i) Yes, the payment flexibility option allows members to amend their instalment payments. If you wish to do so, please write to us at the Head Office address below.
ii) Increasing payments or paying additional sums will reduce the instalment term selected at outset and will reduce the overall payments required for the Funeral Plan to become Fully Paid.
iii) Reducing payments is allowed. However you should be aware that any balances outstanding should be paid before the end of your plan term if you wish to ensure the entire Funeral Service Costs will be met.
11. WHAT HAPPENS IF I STOP AN INSTALMENT PLAN?
i) You have sixty days to reinstate the Funeral Plan by continuing regular monthly instalments.
ii) If you do not reinstate the Funeral Plan, instalment payments made will, at the time of arranging the funeral, be paid to the
funeral director as a funeral contribution after the deduction of our fees described in term 15.
Your family or representative will be entitled to appoint a different funeral director than that nominated by us and also to amend the funeral arrangements.
12. CAN I REINSTATE AN INSTALMENT PLAN?
Yes, if you reinstate the Funeral Plan outside 60 days of non-payment then we will conduct with you a plan review taking into account the current brochure price of your selected Funeral Plan and instalments paid to date. There may need to be an increase in the overall cost you pay to ensure that there will be sufficient funds at the time of the review to meet the Funeral Service Costs. You may reinstate the plan at a payment level to suit your circumstances. This may reduce or increase the period for instalment payments.
13. DEATH BEFORE THE INSTALMENT PLAN IS PAID UP.
If death occurs before the Instalment Plan is paid up, the Instalment Plan will be insufficient to meet the costs of your selected funeral, but it can be converted to a Fully Paid Plan by your family or representative paying the balance required to meet the Funeral Service Costs and Disbursements waiving all interest from the date on which the plan converts to a Fully Paid Plan. The following rules apply in calculating the balance outstanding:
i) upon notification of death we will provide a Closing Statement detailing the sums due for payment prior to the funeral;
ii) the Closing Statement should be signed and returned to us by fax or post, confirming the outstanding balance will be paid to us; and
iii) responsibility for payment of the balance lies with your family or representative. If your family or representative chooses not to pay the balance then the provisions of term 14 will apply.
14. NON PAYMENT.
i) Our contractual obligation to complete the funeral arrangements in your Funeral Plan is valid only if full payment is made by you.
ii) If for any reason full payment is not made we will at the request of your family or representative contribute a sum to the funeral director (after deducting our fees calculated under term 15). Responsibility for arranging the funeral will remain with your family or representative.
iii) If the funeral arrangements are completed without using the Funeral Plan then your estate will be entitled to arefund of your contributions after the deduction of our fee as detailed in term 15.
i) We are remunerated for conducting our duties as described in term 5. Our fees are described below and are payable in addition to the Funeral Plan, as specified on the Order Form:
ii) a set up fee of £120;
iv) for Instalment Plans ongoing administrative charges are levied at a rate of 8% of all instalment payments made; and
v) in the case of refunds following cancellation we will charge an administration fee of £300.
16. OTHER EXPENSES AND DISBURSEMENTS
i) All expenses for extra services required other than those detailed in your Order Form as being the Funeral Service Costs within your Funeral Plan (e.g. extra flowers, additional cars etc.) are the responsibility of your family or representative and shall be paid directly to the Funeral Director.
ii) We cannot guarantee to cover the entire amount of the doctor’s fee, minister’s fee and crematorium fee (Disbursements), as these costs are out of our control but all of our Plans provide for the average national cost of these fees. If the cost of the Disbursements is greater than the national average, we will inform your family or representative in writing and they will be asked to make a separate payment for the additional cost of the Disbursements from your estate. If this payment is not made, term 14(iii) will apply.
iii) It is possible to make additional payments to contribute towards other funeral items. Any further payments due will rise in line each year with the retail prices index and become available upon your death. If the sum available at death does not fully cover the additional items, your family or representative will be responsible to pay any outstanding balance to us.
Any complaints should be made in writing to our Head Office and we will endeavour to respond within a reasonable time. If we are unable to remedy the situation you can elect to have this complaint referred to an independent Arbitrator nominated by us. We agree to abide by the decision of the Arbitrator.
18. CANCELLATION RIGHTS
i) You may cancel your Funeral Plan at any time by writing to our Head Office and returning the documents provided within the 14 day cooling off period following our receipt of your Order Form. All payments made by you will be refunded without obligation.
ii) Cancellation outside the 14 day cooling off period is permitted, but we will deduct our fees, as specified in term 15.
i) A full refund will be made if we breach our contract with you without any deduction of our fees.
ii) Should your family or representative not be aware of the Funeral Plan and make separate arrangements for the funeral, we will refund payments made after deducting our fees (calculated under term 15).
20. WHAT TO DO WHEN DEATH OCCURS.
i) The family or representative contacts the funeral director detailed on the Plan Certificate informing of the bereavement and the Funeral Plan’s existence. The funeral director will then contact us.
ii) If the plan is Fully Paid then the funeral will proceed. The funeral director will charge the Avalon Funeral Trust an
appropriate fee for the Funeral Service Costs and Disbursements involved in completing the relevant plan. An additional fee for the balance of the Disbursements may be payable by your family or representative as explained in term 16.
iii) If the plan is Part Paid then we must be informed so that a Closing Statement may be prepared, detailing any balance
required to convert to a Fully Paid plan. When we have received confirmation from your family or representative
that the balance will be paid we will instruct the funeral director to continue with the funeral arrangements.
iv) If we do not receive confirmation that the balance will be paid then responsibility for completing the funeral will remain with your family or representative. The payments you have made will be refunded under the provisions of term 14(iii).
VAT is not presently chargeable to funerals. However should VAT become chargeable then we reserve the right to amend these Terms and Conditions and the price of your Funeral Plan. If this occurs we will inform you in writing.
22. VARIATION OF TERMS
We may vary all or any of these terms specified in these Terms and Conditions or on your Order Form at any time upon giving you seven days prior written notice if and when it becomes necessary or appropriate to do so in order for us to comply with legal, fiscalor regulatory requirements.
23. DATA PROTECTION ACT - Use of your personal information
We will use the information we hold about you for purpose of administration of your Plan and funeral arrangements. The information we hold about you may also be held on computer records. We will not normally give any personal information about you to any other party, but there may be circumstances where we need to do this. We may give information which we hold about you to:
a) funeral directors and people who are acting as our agents or sub-contractors and on the understanding that it will be kept confidential;
b) if we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal information in order to comply with any legal obligation; and
c) other companies associated with us and carefully selected third parties for marketing to you of the other products and services which we think may be of interest to you, where you have consented to receive such communications.
These Terms are subject to English law.
Avalon Funeral Trust – Advisers
The Custodian Trustee - Capita Trust Company Limited
Bank to the Trust - Barclays Bank
The Managing Trustees – Avalon nominee and minimum of two Independent Charted Accountants.
The Beneficiaries - Nominated Funeral Directors
The Consulting Actuary – Rowan Moor Group PLC
The Investment Manager – Close Brothers Merchant Bank
The Auditors – U.H.Y Hacker Young
Solicitors – Wragge & Co
The Plan Administrator – Avalon Trustee Company Ltd
© Avalon 10/2010
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NOTICE OF YOUR CANCELLATION RIGHTS
I/We hereby give notice that I/We wish to cancel my/our contract.
(in case of joint Plans both parties to sign)
Signature 1 (Member):………………………………………………………………..
Signature 2 (Partner):…………………………………………………………………
You have the right to cancel this contract if you so wish. You may exercise your right to cancel by completing the Cancellation
Form and sending it to the Avalon Trustee Company Limited, Brooke Court, Lower Meadow Road, Handforth Dean, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 3ND within fourteen days of completing and signing the Order Form. Later cancellation will attract a fee under
IMPORTANT: ONLY COMPLETE, DETACH AND RETURN THIS FORM IF YOU WISH TO CANCEL THE CONTRACT AND RETURN IN AN ENVELOPE TO THE ABOVE ADDRESS