Heavenly Services client loses everything after paying £6,000 for his own funeral

A devastated man claims he lost all his life savings after paying £6,000 to funeral directors Heavenly Services in Hull before the collapse.

Michael Laws, of Lovett Street in Cleethorpes, wanted to pay for his own funeral to ease the worries of family members.

He decided to put £6,000 into a funeral scheme with Heavenly Services Ltd after being told they were the best after following recommendations from friends.

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The funeral home has since ceased trading and hundreds of customers were told they were unlikely to get their money back.

Heavenly Services performed funeral services from locations in Hull, Bradford, Leeds, Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Bridlington – all of which are now closed. It fell into dire straits in October following the sudden death of founder and former director Simon Woolston.

Michael, 55, said he paid £6,000 into the funeral plan, which included cremation and the return of his ashes to his family, on Wednesday June 23 last year.

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Michael wanted to arrange his own cremation schedule because he didn’t want others to take care of his funeral expenses

He said he tried to get a refund from Heavenly Services but was told he couldn’t get the refund because he paid in cash.

Michael said: “I’m sick to death. I didn’t want a big fuss and just wanted to arrange my funeral.

“I can’t afford my own funeral now because I don’t have the money to invest right now.

“That was all I had.

“I have no one to bury me or burn me. I have absolutely nothing.

“I suffer a lot from anxiety and depression. I take medication three times a day just to keep myself under control.

“You left me nothing but sadness and pain. I had to accept it because I had no choice.”

Michael takes care of his mother, who is seriously ill after two strokes and is developing Parkinson’s disease.[disease[sdisease

The added stress has taken its toll on him and his 77-year-old mother.

He said: “Every time I see my mum I just tell her I don’t know what happened.

Michael suffers from anxiety, compounded because he says he has “no one” to bury him

“I don’t want to add any worries to what she’s already going through.

“Mum is now suffering greatly from health issues along with a couple of strokes. I’m with her three times a day to make sure she’s taken care of.

“She doesn’t need that extra stress either.

“It’s so difficult because I don’t want to be the person who has a funeral for the poor because of this funeral service that let me down.

“It’s just not right and now I can’t afford to be buried.”

Michael is just one of many customers fighting to get their funeral money back.

Bernard Skerrett, 77, died in October after contracting Covid-19 and suffering from Parkinson’s and an asbestos-related illness.

Nikki McLoughlin, Bernard’s daughter, told Hull Live that her parents had arranged cremation plans way back in 2018.

After her father died in October, a woman from Heavenly Services told her to “stop trading and freeze all assets.”

The woman then suggested that Nikki find new undertakers.

An elderly couple said in October they were “in limbo” and feared they could lose £5,000 after pre-paying for two cremation plans through Heavenly Services.

The couple – aged 73 and 74 – said they had not heard what was happening with their cremation plan and whether they would be given a refund.

A bankruptcy firm confirmed to Hull Live last week that customers will not get their money back.

Bankruptcy firm Auker Rhodes sent out letters informing customers that Heavenly Services was to go into liquidation.

Auker Rhodes said all of the company’s assets would be reclaimed and sold for the benefit of creditors.

Humberside Police launched an investigation in November after confirming they had received complaints from customers affected by Heavenly Services.

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They said Wednesday that their “investigation into these reports is ongoing.”

Numerous attempts have been made to solicit Heavenly Services for comment.

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