Exmouth daughter's anger after elderly mum over-paid £1,300 into life assurance

PUBLISHED: 06:30 28 April 2018

Gill Smith (left) with her mum Maureen Dare.

Gill Smith (left) with her mum Maureen Dare.

Archant

A pensioner from Exmouth needlessly overpaid £1,300 into a life assurance plan, prompting her family to share the story to protect the elderly.

Maureen Dare’s overpayment of her Aviva policy only came to light after she died and her family were clearing her estate.

Maureen’s daughter, Gill Smith, who is also CEO at Age Concern Exmouth, said her mum wrongly thought the funds would pay for her funeral.

Gill urged families to speak to their elderly relatives ahead of illness or death, and ask those ‘difficult questions’.

She said her mum died suddenly, without discussing her funeral, financial arrangements, or will.

Gill said there was family upset when a second will was discovered.

She was angry to learn her mum paid £3,600 for an Aviva life assurance plan and received back just £2,300.

She said her mum wrongly thought the funds would cover the cost of her funeral.

Mrs Dare had been paying £15 a month since 1995 into an over-50 life assurance plan;

Her misunderstanding of the policy’s terms meant she unwittingly wasted thousands of pounds and failed to cover even a third of her funeral cost.

Gill said: “Sadly, she didn’t realise there was a cap on it and by the time it was released she had paid in over twice as much as the plan was worth. My Mum really, truly thought she was paying for her funeral; she would be mortified.

“I felt really angry, like she had been duped a bit really. She would be turning in her grave to think things had turned out the way they have.

“She thought she had dotted the Is and crossed the Ts. The message that I want to get across is that, if you want to buy a funeral, buy a funeral; don’t think you are buying a funeral – make sure.

“Because Mum was in charge of her faculties, we didn’t have power of attorney and everything became so much more difficult.

“She died unexpectedly and we couldn’t access her bank account. We had to close the account down and take in her documents.”

An Aviva spokesman said customers were ‘informed about product information’ when applying for a plan, including the risk of long life resulting in total premiums paid being greater than the amount payable on death.

Age Concern Exmouth, with McClure Solicitors, is offering free will writing for a donation.

For more information, visit Age Concern in Rolle Street, Exmouth.

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