Family of coronavirus victim, 92, who spent £4k on funeral refused full refund after lockdown means only 10 can attend

A 92-YEAR-OLD coronavirus victim was “ripped off in death” by greedy funeral directors, her furious family claim.

Iris Lawley had pre-paid £4,000 for a top-tier funeral plan only for lockdown measures to dash her final wish.

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Her grieving daughter blasted Co-op Funeralcare for offering a paltry £365 refund ahead of her mum's no-frills cremation next week.

Just 10 mourners will be allowed to attend the service at Manor Park crematorium in London, at a time to be decided by officials.

Carol, from Hackney, East London, said: “I’m totally disgusted with the whole scenario. I think my mum is being ripped off in death.

'RIPPED OFF IN DEATH'

“She shelled out almost £4,000 for the gold plan in August 2017 but we’re not getting most of what she paid for.

“I spoke to the Co-op and they said they’d only refund £365, which is nothing. I’m sickened by it to be honest."

Before losing her life to the disease last month, Iris paid out for a "gold" cremation plan to include an elegant veneer coffin, limousines, embalming and time in a chapel of rest.

I’m totally disgusted with the whole scenario. I think my mum is being ripped off in death.

But with traditional funerals now impossible during lockdown, Iris, who died on April 14, will be cremated without fanfare.

Carol added: “There are no cars now so we will have to make our way to the crematorium, while the hearse will be driven from two minutes down the road.

"There’ll be no embalming or dressing, and it won’t be possible for her to lay in a chapel of rest.

"SICKENED"

“Mum will be cremated in a sealed coffin in the same night clothes she left her care home in.

“We couldn’t even choose the date or time of the cremation."

Co-op Funeralcare last night agreed to reverse its decision after intervention from Sun Online.

Bosses vowed to refund the cost of Iris’s funeral plan and swap it for a simpler package, along with a £250 goodwill gesture.

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The traditional coffin picked out by Iris will also be used.

Carol said: "I'm so glad the Sun Online were able to help. It has made my day.

"Everything is sorted and mum will have a decent coffin."

A Co-op spokesman said: "A funeral plan is a very special and unique arrangement, and delivering it is one of the last wishes we can grant for our loved ones.

"Sadly, due to government guidance, we are unable to fulfil some aspects of the late Ms Lawley’s funeral plan.

“We have instead offered a plan refund and are supporting Ms Lawley’s family in choosing one of our simpler funeral arrangements.

“We have apologised for not discussing this option at an earlier opportunity and spoken to the family to make sure this approach is one they are comfortable with.

"Our thoughts are with the family of the late Ms Lawley at this extremely difficult time."

More than 200,000 prepaid funeral plans are sold each year. They are routinely bought by older people so their loved ones don’t have to pick up the bill.

The government last month announced that prepaid funeral plans would be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, though it could be two years before this happens.


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