When a person dies, close family and friends don’t just have to deal with bereavement – they also have to plan a funeral. With the cost of funerals constantly rising, this can be a worry for families planning a funeral if they don’t have any savings to put towards it. The last thing you need when you’ve lost a loved one is debt and worry – so read on to find out about what financial help is possibly available.
Who is obliged to pay for the funeral?
In some instances, the deceased has made financial arrangements themselves in the form of funeral insurance or a pre-paid funeral plan. Alternatively, they may have money left in their estate which can cover the costs. In this case, the executor of the estate will take care of the funeral bills. Otherwise, it is up to the next of kin to pay for the funeral.
What if I can’t afford it?
The average funeral service now costs between £3,000 – £4,300 – and this doesn’t include elaborate extras such as flowers, extra transport or the celebration after the service. There are many people who would struggle to find the money should someone die unexpectedly. If there isn’t enough money in the deceased’s estate to pay for a funeral, and no relative or friend in a position to arrange the funeral, then there are some ways in which the government can help.
If you are on a low income or on certain benefits, you may be eligible for a government scheme known as the Funeral Payment. This is a form of financial assistance to help recently bereaved families pay for a funeral, but it doesn’t always cover the entire cost. You can apply for a Funeral Payment from the government website.
Public Health Funeral
If there is no money leftover in the estate to cover funeral costs, and a relative isn’t available to plan and pay for the funeral, then a public health funeral can be arranged by the local council. If this option is chosen you may not have the same flexibility and choice in the funeral arrangements. The funeral service is often economised and the full scope of arrangements reduced.
There are other ways to keep funeral costs down – get in touch if you need advice arranging a funeral on a budget.