Protectors of the Practice

The primary purpose of the Estate Planners’ Authority is to help the public. It distinguishes proficient and ethical estate and funeral planning practitioners from those of a lower professional standard.

To fulfil its public duty the EPA only accepts membership registration from applicant businesses which meet a strict criteria. This is based on levels of qualification, experience and other evidence provided in the application process.

Once accredited, each member of the Estate Planner’s Authority must adhere to the Code of Practice below. It is regarded by established practitioners as the estate and funeral planning industries’ most stringent set of standards.

The EPA’s Code of Practice sets out a series of principles obliging members to act with integrity, reliability and confidence, while working with skill, care and diligence in the best interest of the consumer.

The EPA Code of Practice is laid out below and can be downloaded from this page of its website.

Protectors of the Practice

The primary purpose of the Estate Planners’ Authority is to help the public. It distinguishes proficient and ethical estate and funeral planning practitioners from those of a lower professional standard.

To fulfil its public duty the EPA only accepts membership registration from applicant businesses which meet a strict criteria. This is based on levels of qualification, experience and other evidence provided in the application process.

Once accredited, each member of the Estate Planner’s Authority must adhere to the Code of Practice below. It is regarded by established practitioners as the estate and funeral planning industries’ most stringent set of standards.

The EPA’s Code of Practice sets out a series of principles obliging members to act with integrity, reliability and confidence, while working with skill, care and diligence in the best interest of the consumer.

The EPA Code of Practice is laid out below and can be downloaded from this page of its website.

Interpretation & Definitions

In the reading of this Code of Practice, the following explained terms should be noted, accepted and respected for having the below-mentioned meanings:

1.1 “Code” gives reference to this document in short form;

1.2 “Authority” gives reference to the Estate Planners’ Authority in short form;

1.3Planner” gives reference to the estate or funeral planning organisation and / or branch of said organisation offering one or more estate or funeral planning service;

1.4 “Member” gives reference to the ‘Planner’ as subscribed and accredited member of the Estate Planners’ Authority, according to its terms and conditions of membership;

1.5 “Service” gives reference to each or any estate or funeral planning service being offered;

1.6 “Plan” gives reference to the terms and conditions of each or any estate or funeral planning ‘Service’ being offered;

1.7 “Client” gives reference to the consumer who agrees to a Service and / or Plan.

General Conduct & Behaviour

Members are expected and required to follow Estate Planners’ Authority guidelines outlined in this Code in relation to behaviour, attitude, conduct and approach in delivering a Service at all times. In doing so Members of the Authority are expected and required to:

2.1 Suggest and deliver a Service only for which it is fully trained, qualified and experienced, in accordance with the terms and conditions of its membership of the Authority;

2.2 Be respectful, polite and understanding when addressing a Client, including demonstrating sensitivity to their situation and circumstances and a willingness to listen to Client requirements at all times;

2.3 Maintain the highest levels of competence, professionalism and integrity with regard to standards in delivering their Service;

2.4 Offer the best possible advice as part of their Service at all times;

2.5 Desist from exploiting a Client during situations and circumstances in which the Client could be deemed vulnerable;

2.6 Observe and respect all confidential information provided by a Client at any stage of the Service process;

2.7 Provide its Service in a lawful way, adhering to all legal guidelines in relation to the Planner’s Service and / or in recommending actions to a Client;

2.8 Refer issues to a fellow or more senior Member in the event that the Client requires information it is unable to provide, or in the event a request for a Service is outside its area of expertise;

2.9 Desist from suggesting the use of loopholes to circumvent certain costings involved in a Service;

2.10 Desist from making unsolicited contact with a Client beyond expected communication and planned meetings around the provision of a Service;

2.11 Desist from all discriminatory behaviour based on gender, age, colour, race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, disability or any other such factor;

2.12 Desist from any behaviour deemed to be damaging to the reputation of the Authority.

Service Delivery

Members are charged with delivering the service as requested by the Client in accordance with law and the Authority’s Code. In doing so, the Member is expected and required to:

3.1 Collect as much detail from the Client as possible to deliver the Service to the best of its ability;

3.2 Only offer a Service which matches the terms and conditions of its Plan promoted by the Planner, and which complies with all relevant legal and statutory requirements;

3.3 Assist a prospective Client in ascertaining the Service they require by providing suitable, fair and accurate information, and without making assumptions, telling untruths or relaying elements of a Service which may not be feasible;

3.4 Allow all Clients to make decisions independently and desist from using any pressure which could be deemed to have influenced a Client decision, whether through the use of intimidation, bullying, harassment, persuasive language, attempts to make a Client feel uncomfortable and / or nervous, or by noting and exaggerating the potential consequences of not proceeding with a Service;

3.5 Obtain and present any evidences requested by a Client in the consideration of a Service, to the extent it is possible to demonstrate the Client has been informed of and has agreed to all terms and conditions of the Plan

3.6 Make clear all costings involved with the Service, including VAT and tax where applicable, prior to an agreement being made;

3.7 Agree the Plan in writing, and provide clearly detailed information about all aspects of the Plan, including the following:

3.7.1 The nature of the service they are agreeing to, along with any other related services which could be useful under the circumstances;
3.7.2 All costings involved, including add-ons, administrative prices and fees which may not be covered by the Service itself;
3.7.3 All aspects of the service delivery process including consultations, planning, timescale, a breakdown of how the Plan itself will be carried out, and after-care;
3.7.4 How to handle a situation where the Client passes away or suffers major health complications while the Plan is still active and prior to being fully paid off;
3.7.5 The timeline for a Client to claim a full refund by cancelling the Plan, and their options for a refund should they decide to cancel beyond that period;
3.7.6 How the Client can claim back any costs in the event that the Provider is unable to fulfil the required service, as well as how the Client can make a complaint should they deem the service delivery to be unsatisfactory;
3.7.7 How the Client can go about requesting a change to the agreed Plan should they deem it appropriate;
3.7.8 Miscellaneous small print and other important terms and conditions that require their full attention prior to an agreement being made.

3.8 Be fully aware of all aspects of the Plan while delivering the Service;

3.9 Adhere to a determined timeline of how the Service will be delivered to meet the needs of a Client, with specific regard to the Client’s personal circumstances including health situation and any other point which could, in any way, impact the delivery of the service;

3.10 Use all of their knowledge and understanding of the Service to deliver the Service in accordance with the Plan;

3.11 Keep records of all communications with Clients and relevant parties during delivery of the Service;

3.12 Make Clients aware of the Plan in place should the Service be jeopardised in any way by external factors unrelated to the Planner or the Client, which introduce scenarios where the Service can be delivered but not within the previously-agreed timescale, or where the Service can only partially achieve the Client’s requests.

3.13 Comply with relevant consumer protection legislation in the supply of a Service, including:

3.13.1 Provision of Services Regulations 2009;
3.13.2 Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008;
3.13.3 The Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013;
3.13.4 Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999;
3.13.5 The Companies Act 2006;
3.13.6 The Consumer Credit Act 1977.

Confidentiality

Members are expected and required to maintain the highest levels of confidentiality in the provision of a Service. In doing so, the member is expected to:

4.1 Respect the confidentiality of all information relating to the Planner, whether it be details about a Client, the Service they have purchased and its Plan, its staff members or collaboration with a fellow member, in the process of delivering the business of estate and / or funeral planning;

4.2 Abide with all GDPR regulation at all times.

Documentation & Administration

Members are expected and required to maintain the highest standards of professionalism with regard to administrative matters, whether in the process of delivering a Service or in the day to day running of their business. In doing so, they are expected to:

5.1 Provide a printed contract clearly outlining the Service and Plan purchased and how the process of delivering the Service will work, along with easily-identifiable notes on the timeline, costings involved (including any additional prices such as VAT and tax), cancellation policies and all other terms and conditions of the Plan agreed upon by the Client, along with written signatures from all parties;

5.2 Make available upon request evidence of insurance documentation showing insurance cover for both Client and Planner in the event of an occurrence which places either party in a position of risk or threat;

5.3 Keep a written record of any complaints made by a Client against the Member;

5.4 Keep a written record of training attended by its staff;
5.5 Obtain and store Client details including the full name, residential address, date of birth and passport number of each Client, in relation to every Service sold;

Fiscal Responsibility

Members are expected and required to maintain the highest standards of fiscal management with regard to Client monies and the financial arrangements of their own business. In doing so, they are expected to:

6.1 Desist from creating any delay in refunding Clients once agreement for payment of a refund has been made;

6.2 Only deduct fees to cover costs reasonably incurred, and in accordance with terms and conditions expressed in the Service Plan;

6.3 Comply with requirements laid out by the Money Laundering Regulations 2007;

6.4 Invest all Client monies held in trust funds related to funeral plans in accordance with regulations and guidelines set out by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Financial Services Act 2009;

6.5 Provide written receipts for all monies received from, or on behalf of, a Client.

Advertising & Promotion

Members are expected and required to maintain the highest standards of practice in relation to the with regard to advertising, marketing and promotion of their Services. In doing so, they are expected to:

7.1 Abide by with codes of advertising written by the Committees of Advertising Practice and applied by the Advertising Standards Authority in the processes of advertising, marketing and promotion of its Services;

7.2 Abide by codes of advertising set out by the Independent Television Commission in the processes of advertising, marketing and promotion of its Services;

7.3 Abide by codes of practice set out by Ofcom, the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services and the Phone-paid Services authority in regard to communication in the processes of advertising, marketing and promotion of its Services;

7.4 Abide by the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 in the processes of advertising, marketing and promotion of its Services;

7.5 Shall desist from any advertising or promotional activity that refers to the Client without receiving written consent from the Client prior to publication or announcement;

7.6 The Authority reserves the right to know of and approve any advertising material, media content and / or any elements of advertising and publicity campaigns undertaken through any medium by the Member, or third parties contracted by the member.

Interpretation & Definitions

In the reading of this Code of Practice, the following explained terms should be noted, accepted and respected for having the below-mentioned meanings:

1.1 “Code” gives reference to this document in short form;

1.2 “Authority” gives reference to the Estate Planners’ Authority in short form;

1.3Planner” gives reference to the estate or funeral planning organisation and / or branch of said organisation offering one or more estate or funeral planning service;

1.4 “Member” gives reference to the ‘Planner’ as subscribed and accredited member of the Estate Planners’ Authority, according to its terms and conditions of membership;

1.5 “Service” gives reference to each or any estate or funeral planning service being offered;

1.6 “Plan” gives reference to the terms and conditions of each or any estate or funeral planning ‘Service’ being offered;

1.7 “Client” gives reference to the consumer who agrees to a Service and / or Plan.

General Conduct & Behaviour

Members are expected and required to follow Estate Planners’ Authority guidelines outlined in this Code in relation to behaviour, attitude, conduct and approach in delivering a Service at all times. In doing so Members of the Authority are expected and required to:

2.1 Suggest and deliver a Service only for which it is fully trained, qualified and experienced, in accordance with the terms and conditions of its membership of the Authority;

2.2 Be respectful, polite and understanding when addressing a Client, including demonstrating sensitivity to their situation and circumstances and a willingness to listen to Client requirements at all times;

2.3 Maintain the highest levels of competence, professionalism and integrity with regard to standards in delivering their Service;

2.4 Offer the best possible advice as part of their Service at all times;

2.5 Desist from exploiting a Client during situations and circumstances in which the Client could be deemed vulnerable;

2.6 Observe and respect all confidential information provided by a Client at any stage of the Service process;

2.7 Provide its Service in a lawful way, adhering to all legal guidelines in relation to the Planner’s Service and / or in recommending actions to a Client;

2.8 Refer issues to a fellow or more senior Member in the event that the Client requires information it is unable to provide, or in the event a request for a Service is outside its area of expertise;

2.9 Desist from suggesting the use of loopholes to circumvent certain costings involved in a Service;

2.10 Desist from making unsolicited contact with a Client beyond expected communication and planned meetings around the provision of a Service;

2.11 Desist from all discriminatory behaviour based on gender, age, colour, race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, disability or any other such factor;

2.12 Desist from any behaviour deemed to be damaging to the reputation of the Authority.

Service Delivery

Members are charged with delivering the service as requested by the Client in accordance with law and the Authority’s Code. In doing so, the Member is expected and required to:

3.1 Collect as much detail from the Client as possible to deliver the Service to the best of its ability;

3.2 Only offer a Service which matches the terms and conditions of its Plan promoted by the Planner, and which complies with all relevant legal and statutory requirements;

3.3 Assist a prospective Client in ascertaining the Service they require by providing suitable, fair and accurate information, and without making assumptions, telling untruths or relaying elements of a Service which may not be feasible;

3.4 Allow all Clients to make decisions independently and desist from using any pressure which could be deemed to have influenced a Client decision, whether through the use of intimidation, bullying, harassment, persuasive language, attempts to make a Client feel uncomfortable and / or nervous, or by noting and exaggerating the potential consequences of not proceeding with a Service;

3.5 Obtain and present any evidences requested by a Client in the consideration of a Service, to the extent it is possible to demonstrate the Client has been informed of and has agreed to all terms and conditions of the Plan

3.6 Make clear all costings involved with the Service, including VAT and tax where applicable, prior to an agreement being made;

3.7 Agree the Plan in writing, and provide clearly detailed information about all aspects of the Plan, including the following:

3.7.1 The nature of the service they are agreeing to, along with any other related services which could be useful under the circumstances;
3.7.2 All costings involved, including add-ons, administrative prices and fees which may not be covered by the Service itself;
3.7.3 All aspects of the service delivery process including consultations, planning, timescale, a breakdown of how the Plan itself will be carried out, and after-care;
3.7.4 How to handle a situation where the Client passes away or suffers major health complications while the Plan is still active and prior to being fully paid off;
3.7.5 The timeline for a Client to claim a full refund by cancelling the Plan, and their options for a refund should they decide to cancel beyond that period;
3.7.6 How the Client can claim back any costs in the event that the Provider is unable to fulfil the required service, as well as how the Client can make a complaint should they deem the service delivery to be unsatisfactory;
3.7.7 How the Client can go about requesting a change to the agreed Plan should they deem it appropriate;
3.7.8 Miscellaneous small print and other important terms and conditions that require their full attention prior to an agreement being made.

3.8 Be fully aware of all aspects of the Plan while delivering the Service;

3.9 Adhere to a determined timeline of how the Service will be delivered to meet the needs of a Client, with specific regard to the Client’s personal circumstances including health situation and any other point which could, in any way, impact the delivery of the service;

3.10 Use all of their knowledge and understanding of the Service to deliver the Service in accordance with the Plan;

3.11 Keep records of all communications with Clients and relevant parties during delivery of the Service;

3.12 Make Clients aware of the Plan in place should the Service be jeopardised in any way by external factors unrelated to the Planner or the Client, which introduce scenarios where the Service can be delivered but not within the previously-agreed timescale, or where the Service can only partially achieve the Client’s requests.

3.13 Comply with relevant consumer protection legislation in the supply of a Service, including:

3.13.1 Provision of Services Regulations 2009;
3.13.2 Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008;
3.13.3 The Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013;
3.13.4 Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999;
3.13.5 The Companies Act 2006;
3.13.6 The Consumer Credit Act 1977.

Confidentiality

Members are expected and required to maintain the highest levels of confidentiality in the provision of a Service. In doing so, the member is expected to:

4.1 Respect the confidentiality of all information relating to the Planner, whether it be details about a Client, the Service they have purchased and its Plan, its staff members or collaboration with a fellow member, in the process of delivering the business of estate and / or funeral planning;

4.2 Abide with all GDPR regulation at all times.

Documentation & Administration

Members are expected and required to maintain the highest standards of professionalism with regard to administrative matters, whether in the process of delivering a Service or in the day to day running of their business. In doing so, they are expected to:

5.1 Provide a printed contract clearly outlining the Service and Plan purchased and how the process of delivering the Service will work, along with easily-identifiable notes on the timeline, costings involved (including any additional prices such as VAT and tax), cancellation policies and all other terms and conditions of the Plan agreed upon by the Client, along with written signatures from all parties;

5.2 Make available upon request evidence of insurance documentation showing insurance cover for both Client and Planner in the event of an occurrence which places either party in a position of risk or threat;

5.3 Keep a written record of any complaints made by a Client against the Member;

5.4 Keep a written record of training attended by its staff;
5.5 Obtain and store Client details including the full name, residential address, date of birth and passport number of each Client, in relation to every Service sold;

Fiscal Responsibility

Members are expected and required to maintain the highest standards of fiscal management with regard to Client monies and the financial arrangements of their own business. In doing so, they are expected to:

6.1 Desist from creating any delay in refunding Clients once agreement for payment of a refund has been made;

6.2 Only deduct fees to cover costs reasonably incurred, and in accordance with terms and conditions expressed in the Service Plan;

6.3 Comply with requirements laid out by the Money Laundering Regulations 2007;

6.4 Invest all Client monies held in trust funds related to funeral plans in accordance with regulations and guidelines set out by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Financial Services Act 2009;

6.5 Provide written receipts for all monies received from, or on behalf of, a Client.

Advertising & Promotion

Members are expected and required to maintain the highest standards of practice in relation to the with regard to advertising, marketing and promotion of their Services. In doing so, they are expected to:

7.1 Abide by with codes of advertising written by the Committees of Advertising Practice and applied by the Advertising Standards Authority in the processes of advertising, marketing and promotion of its Services;

7.2 Abide by codes of advertising set out by the Independent Television Commission in the processes of advertising, marketing and promotion of its Services;

7.3 Abide by codes of practice set out by Ofcom, the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services and the Phone-paid Services authority in regard to communication in the processes of advertising, marketing and promotion of its Services;

7.4 Abide by the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 in the processes of advertising, marketing and promotion of its Services;

7.5 Shall desist from any advertising or promotional activity that refers to the Client without receiving written consent from the Client prior to publication or announcement;

7.6 The Authority reserves the right to know of and approve any advertising material, media content and / or any elements of advertising and publicity campaigns undertaken through any medium by the Member, or third parties contracted by the member.

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Making a Complaint

Every member of the EPA is expected and required to adhere to its stringent Code of Practice.

EPA members whose services are alleged by a customer or client to have fallen beneath the standards expressed in the EPA’s Code of Practice are expected and required to address any complaint received about their services with the sole purpose of resolving the matter to a satisfactory end.

To ensure this, they are also expected and required to address any complaint by following the EPA’s complaints and grievance process set out in detail below.

Unfortunately, the EPA cannot address a matter between a customer and member until they had the opportunity to investigate and resolve the matter independently.

However, upon failure to resolve the matter independently, the matter and member may be made subject to the EPA’s investigation, mediation and conciliation processes.*

The following complaints and grievance process sets out in detail how those processes can be set in motion:

The Process

These include:

    • All EPA members are obliged to investigate complaints made by customers against them.
    • All EPA members are required to acknowledge a complaint in a written response to the customer within 10 working days.
    • All EPA members then have a further 60 working days to conduct and complete a full investigation into the matter and respond to the issues raised, setting out any actions it is prepared to undertake to resolve the situation.
    • If it is not possible resolve the matter satisfactorily within the above stipulated period, and if the matter is one of poor work or unprofessional conduct, a customer can then contact the EPA and it will consider its involvement in the matter.
    • Customers should use the contact form below, specific to making a complaint about a member, to inform us of the impasse and the issues central to the complaint.
    • The EPA will also acknowledge receipt of the complaint in writing within 10 working days of receiving it.
    • The EPA will then pass the complaint to an EPA assessor who will undertake an investigation into the nature of the complaint for no longer than a further 25 working days.
    • Where the EPA assessor deems there to be real grounds for a complaint, and that the EPA member has failed to adhere to the EPA’s Code of Practice, the assessor will address the matter with the relevant member to seek a resolution.
    •  If the assessor believes a complaint can be resolved a mediation process will be chaired by the EPA to reach a conciliation which is satisfactory for both parties, whether that be through further work undertaken or financial settlement.†
    • Once a matter is deemed to have been resolved, the investigation, mediation and conciliation process will be closed and no disciplinary action will be taken against the EPA member.
    • In the case of a crime being proven, disciplinary action may include expulsion from the EPA. ‡

* The EPA can only assist with a complaint against an estate or funeral planner and subject an estate and funeral planner to its investigation, mediation and conciliation processes if that estate or funeral planner is an accredited, fully paid-up member of the EPA, and subsequently bound by its Code of Practice.
†The EPA does not have power to award compensation.

‡Not all grievances result in disciplinary action taken against an EPA member.





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