How to pay for a funeral?

Piggy bank funeral fund
How much does a funeral cost?

The Money Advice Service states that the average cost for a burial is £4,321, whilst the average cost for a cremation is £3,250. The cost of a funeral can often be a big surprise to grieving relatives who have never had to arrange or pay for a funeral before.

There are several ways to pay for a funeral in England and Wales.

Did the deceased have a pre-paid funeral plan?

If the deceased left a Will, then they may have also left some wishes for family and friends about their funeral. Before any arrangements are made, it may be a good idea to check with the deceased’s personal representatives or solicitors about whether the deceased had any specific wishes in relation to their funeral. It may be that the deceased has specifically requested that the minimum amount is spent on the funeral or that they purchased a pre-paid funeral plan during lifetime.

A funeral plan is often purchased by individuals so that when they pass away, relatives do not have to worry about paying for the funeral. The plan can usually be used to cover all or part of the funeral costs. 

Deceased’s assets

If a pre-paid funeral plan was not taken out by the deceased, then any assets the deceased owned when they passed away may be available to be used towards the funeral costs.

The personal representatives acting in the estate administration will be able to liaise with banks and building societies for the accounts to be closed, or if a Grant of Representation is required, for the funeral to be paid.

Ordinally, this can be done by providing the bank with the death certificate and the funeral invoice and they will settle the payment direct from the deceased’s bank account.

Funeral Expense Payment

Unfortunately, it is not always the case that the deceased had assets that can be used to pay for the funeral and so a loved one may find themselves out of pocket in paying the funeral costs.

If you are arranging a funeral for a loved one and you are in receipt of a low income and need help to pay for the funeral, then you may be eligible for a Funeral Expenses Payment.

To find out if you are eligible for a payment, you can contact the Government’s Bereavement Service helpline or find out more information on their website. You must apply to make a claim within 6 months of the funeral and any payment received will go towards funeral costs. It is unlikely that any payment will cover the full cost of the funeral.

For more information concerning paying for a funeral or dealing with a loved one’s estate please contact our Wills and Estates team on 0345 20 73 72 8 or willsandestatesnewenquiries@thursfields.co.uk

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