A Shropshire ex-RAF officer has launched a new business to help bereaved families cope with sorting out the affairs of their loved ones after a relative was left without income when her husband died.
David Doonan, 60, of Shrewsbury, has set up the Family Favour business. He helps families across Shropshire and individuals gather all the vital and detailed information that their next-of-kin might need when they die.
“The inspiration came when a relative of mine died and his wife was left living as a pauper for over 18 months because she couldn’t access any of his bank accounts and financial details.
“It really made me think about how my three grown up daughters would cope in that situation so I collected all the information they might need together and sent it to them,” said David.
The interest grew as family friends asked him to do the same thing for them and David decided to launch his own business, Family Favour, offering the same service to Shropshire families.
“It is much more detailed than a will or power of attorney. They are both important legal documents but don’t include the detailed and personal information a bereaved family needs such as a person’s last wishes or financial account details,” he said.
David is a former RAF administration officer where he managed the records of more than 2,000 personnel. He went on to work as a financial advisor and in claims management and for six years was the director of a charity.
He has been supported in setting up his new business by the Silverpreneurs scheme which offers support, ideas, information and inspiration to those aged over 50. The Silverpreneurs programme is funded by the Marches Growth Hub Shropshire and brings in a co-operative of business experts to help launch or revitalise its clients’ businesses.
David said that the Silverpreneurs team had been very supportive of the Family Favour business idea and encouraged him to move forward.
“It seems a very simple idea, but it is offering a service that becomes really important. Bereavement is a time of grief and pain and families really don’t want the extra stress of trying to find important information or second guessing their relatives’ wishes in detail – the kind of things that are too minor to go in a will,” he said.
“I have worked in the military and in the financial sector so I am used to documenting things, but other people may find it difficult or not have the time to put all the information in one simple folder,” said David.
He explained that the service included a personal visit to each client, guidance on the relevant information and the preparation of a personal folder for a fee of £250.
“I think it is an important thing for anyone to think about whatever their age. It is relevant to anyone who has responsibility for a family, children or a mortgage,” he said.
David is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office meaning that he works within the ICO’s regulations on keeping personal information secure.
Pictured: David Doonan of Family Favour.