Probate services recommended by funeral directors

Many next of kin and executors and administrators are subjected to the sales techniques of funeral directors. The UK’s largest funeral provider is the Co-op which actively promotes its in-house probate service. Many other funeral directors are signed up with an outfit called ITC which provides probate services on a national scale, and has links with trade associations.

Quite apart from the question of whether it is right to sell an unrelated service to someone who at the time may be upset and emotional and not their normal rational self, are you likely to get an efficient or cost-effective service? There is no doubt that the sales are commission-driven. The person at the funeral directors will gain, directly or indirectly, if you sign up for the service she is promoting. That can have adverse consequences. The in-house service may be unable to cope with the leads, and staff may be put under severe pressure resulting in service failings. See for the Co-op:


and for ITC


Please be wary of pressure-selling particularly during a period when your judgment may be suspect. You need as an executor to concentrate on the funeral when you speak to an undertaker or funeral director – not probate or legal services! Take your time, ask for recommendations from friends or family, do some research and before you give the go-ahead make sure you speak to the person in the firm or practice who is actually going to be involved in the work.

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