Funeral Planning Guide and Checklist

Planning a funeral can be an expensive process as well as one that is emotionally exhausting.

 

To try and make the process somewhat easier, ensure that you are prepared mentally and physically for the range of emotions that you may be filled with leading up to the funeral and during the event itself.

We know how painful losing a loved one is and the temptation to seclude yourself and  your emotions from the rest of your friends and family.

 

Ensure you have a close friend (that is not directly affected by the grief) with you during this funeral planning stage.

Their support and availability during this time may help you to observe things from a clearer perspective, they may be able to guide you through information that you may have been given.

 

You will more than likely be emotionally drained and may not be able to process your thoughts – therefore an extra support will be valuable at this time.

Make sure you have someone close with you that is not necessarily directly grieving – could be a friend, close work colleague that can support, help, look at things with fresh eyes as you are more likely to be emotionally draining, not processing thoughts properly.

We have organised this resource into three sections:

Pre funeral – what are the first steps? 

  • Choosing a funeral director and exploring what their role is within the process

  • Funeral costs, burial and cremation fees 

  • What is the process of embalming and cremation? 

  • Planning a funeral alone – without the help of a funeral director

 

Preparing for the funeral 

  • Selecting the venue and a date

  • Making arrangements for the day

  • Personalising the funeral 

 

The funeral day

  • The different stages of the day

  • Post funeral ceremonies

As mentioned in article on what needs to be done when someone dies, a funeral can only take place once a death has been registered, and a death must be registered within 5 days (8 days in Scotland).

 

When you register a death, the register will give you a death certificate and also a certificate for burial and cremation.

 

This is often referred to as the green certificate or form.

 

It simply gives authorisation for the body to be buried or for an application for cremation to be made, this should be given to your funeral director (if you plan to use one).

This guide article will provide you with useful information to help you plan the funeral of your loved one.

 

Given below is the table of content so you can directly hop onto the question you have in your mind.

 
 
 

Pre funeral – what are the first steps?

What should I expect when they collect the body of my loved one?


During the first few days after death and depending on where your loved one passed away, a funeral director will eventually take the body of the deceased into their care. This can often be a painful and perhaps surreal experience.




What are the next steps after registering the death of my loved one?


We spoke more about this in a previous article on what needs to be done when someone dies,. After you have registered the death and provided necessary paperwork and contacted the right individuals. The next step is to decide how and where you wish for your loved one to be sent off. You can find a detailed explanation of this in our previous resource. One of the first decisions you will probably make after getting a funeral director, or in the early stages of funeral preparation is what you want to be done with the body. If a direct burial is not the option you have decided to take, cremation and embalming are your two options.




What is a funeral?


A funeral is a tribute to the life of a deceased individual. The day is typically split up into 4 stages (depending on the type of service that you choose to incorporate). Nevertheless, do not feel alarmed or overwhelmed, we are here to break down these 4 stages for you: Funeral procession Funeral ceremony Cremation or burial Reception (wake) Your funeral director will consult with you and work ahead to ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day.




What is embalming?


The process of preserving human remains, after death naturally, the body will decompose – the lifelessness can cause visible changes to the body as well as unpleasant odours. During this process, a disinfectant solution is injected into the bloodstream of the deceased, this is then circulated around the body, which in turn decreases the movement of pathogens and bacteria that are present in the body. This process simply gives the deceased and restful appearance and can eliminate some of the evident appearances of the cause of death. This process takes about 3-4 hours to complete but can be longer in certain circumstances.




What is cremation?


Cremation is the process of using intense heat to reduce the body to its basic elements. The process of cremation follow the following 5 steps: The body of the deceased is identified and permission to cremate the body is acquired. Here the body is cleaned, bathed and clothed, jewellery is taken off, medical devices are also removed – unless in the case of direction cremation. The body is arranged for the process and positioned inside a cremation container made of wood or other inflammable materials. The container is taken to the cremation chamber, also known as a retort (this is where the cremation occurs. This process can take from 1.5 – 2 hours After this, a magnet is used to remove any remaining bits of metal. The remains are then ground and formed into what we know as ashes The “ashes” are then transferred to a impermanent container or an um presented by the family What is direct cremation? This is a process where no members are present and no funeral service occurs. With this type of cremation, the body is cremated in the days immediately after the death. In this circumstance you can choose to remember the deceased in a time and place that best suits you.

  • However, with a direct cremation you cannot:
  • Select which cremation is used
  • Attend the cremation
  • Choose the date or time of cremation
  • Visit the person who has died in the chapel of rest
A direct cremation does however include the following: Arranging for a doctor to complete the necessary paperwork Collecting your loved one from the hospital, along with their preparation and care until the day of the funeral Transport to the crematorium in the funeral vehicle Scattering of ashes in the gardens of remembrance or the safe arrival of ashes to the family (if requested)





Pre Funeral: Choosing a funeral director and exploring what their role

Is it possible to arrange a funeral without a funeral director?


Though most funerals in the UK are arranged through funeral directors, it is still possible to arrange a funeral without a funeral director. This will dramatically cut funeral costs, and the costs you pay will solely be dependent on third party fees and optional extras that you select for the funeral. If you would like the help of a funeral director through some aspects of the funeral planning, some directors may be willing to help with demanding aspects, like keeping the whole of the body and ensuring it is kept at the right temperature or handling the necessary paperwork.




How much does a funeral cost?


The average cost of a funeral in the UK is £4,184. However it is important to note that funeral costs will ultimately depend on the type of funeral service you choose, the funeral director fees, the location of the funeral, type of coffin and any extra add-ons that you may have included.




What is the breakdown cost of a funeral?


Funeral costs rare typically split between these five aspects:

  1. Funeral director fees
  1. Third party costs
  1. Burial costs
  1. Cremation costs
  1. Optional costs
Funeral director fees Do funeral directors need a deposit? As mentioned earlier, funeral service provider fees vary from business to business. However one thing that is certain is that many funeral directors will require a deposit before the funeral to (at least) cover the costs of the disbursements which they have to pay to third parties. Third party costs What are third parties? Third parties can be anything from churches or minister officiants to doctors to the individuals handling the cremation or burial process. What are third party funeral costs? These costs are paid for arrangements that are not made by a funeral director. For example if you plan to have a chapel ceremony before the burial takes place, you will be required to pay church fees. You may also be expected to pay the minister or officiant conducting the service, an organist, choir, musicians. You may also be expected to pay doctors’ fees – as they may be required to sign off certain deaths – which is not part of their duty as a doctor. Burial costs What are burial costs? Burial fees are also specified within third party costs and the UK average burial fee is £5,033. This fees include basic service costs, the viewing and burial of the deceased, a casket, embalming, transporting their body to the funeral home as well as any other forms of preparation that may be needed. Burial costs will be contingent on where you reside within the UK as some regions are more expensive when arranging burials. London is the most expensive region for burials and the South West, however, is the second cheapest region for burials within the UK. You can use this funeral costs calculator to give you an approximate estimate on how much a funeral might cost within your area. Cremation costs What are cremation costs? Cremation costs, like burial costs, are dependent on the location in which the arrangements are being made. However cremation is a far less costly process than a burial as the upkeep of the body is not needed. The average cost of cremation in the UK is £3,858. Optional costs What are optional costs for a funeral? Optional can cover anything from flowers, limousine hire, a memorial service, catering, a death notice or obituary within a newspaper, the order of service, a headstone.




Which funeral plan is best?


Deciding which funeral plan is best for you all depends on your budget for the funeral and what you can afford. Some funeral directors may allow you to schedule a payment plan to relieve the financial stress that a funeral can bring.




What is the cheapest funeral cost?


A funeral home's least expensive option is a direct burial, in which the body is buried soon after death, with no embalming or visitation.




How do I make a funeral work without any money?


While the deceased of family or friends of the deceased are usually responsible for arranging the funeral, they have the option of either:

  1. Paying for the funeral with the funds from the deceased’s bank account. Some banks may issue up to £5,000 for funeral costs when a death certificate is shown and an invoice is presented.
  1. Acquire the money at a later time, after properties and assets have been sold.
However if the former is not applicable and family or friends are able to pay for the funeral, the local council will organise a public health funeral.




What is a public health funeral?


This is a modest funeral with a short service and is usually a cremation. Guests are permitted to come, but the council chooses when and where the service occurs and may also retain the ashes after the service. This however is usually the last resort, in cases where no other alternative is available.




What are the options available?


The other options available include checking whether or not you are eligible for financial assistance. You may be entitled to a funeral expenses payment or a bereavement support payment or alternatively you may be eligible to claim a budgeting loan.




Who can apply for a funeral grant?


If you are looking into a funeral expenses payment, you only eligible to get one if all of the following apply to you:

  1. You get tax credits or particular benefits
  1. You meet the requirements on your relationship with the deceased
  1. You are organising a funeral in the UK, Switzerland or Europeans Economic Area (EEA)
Tax credits and particular benefits You or your partner must get at least one of the following:
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • the disability or severe disability element of Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit
Some things to note If you are getting support for marriage interest loan, you may be entitled to this payment. Secondly if you have applied for any of these benefits previously and are still waiting for a response about your claim, you can still apply for the funeral expenses payment. In the circumstance where you were responsible for a deceased child (but were not their parent), the actual parent must be claiming at least one of the benefits mentioned above. Lastly, if a close relative of the deceased is not receiving any of these benefits, you will not qualify for the funeral expenses payment. Relationship with the deceased – requirements: You are eligible for the funeral expenses payment if you are one of the following:
  • The partner of the deceased when they died
  • A close relative or friend of the deceased
  • The parent of a baby stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy
  • The parent or individual responsible for a deceased child who was under 16 (or under 20 and in approved education or training)
You may be able to get other forms of financial help if you do not meet the requirements for the funeral expenses payment. Moreover, it is important to note that the funeral expenses payment will typically not encompass the total cost of the funeral. It will however, significantly be of help.




Can I get help paying funeral expenses?


If you are not able to claim the above expenses, and your spouse or partner has died, you may be eligible to receive a bereavement support payment – depending on your condition. This initiative is set up to help alleviate some of the financial burden that comes from losing a loved one. If, on the other hand you don’t fit the former category and live in England, Wales or Scotland you may be entitled to a budgeting loan.




What is a bereavement support payment?


This is a tax free payment given to the spouse or civil partner of someone that has died. This is a one-off payment and has been put in place to assist widowed parents as they experience changes in household income. You can claim for this by calling the bereavement service helpline. Bereavement Service helpline

  • Telephone: 0800 731 0469
  • Welsh language: 0800 731 0453
  • Textphone: 0800 731 0464
  • Welsh language: 0800 731 0456
At this point, you should have chosen a funeral director, it is vital to ask whether or not they take government benefits or if they alternatively function alongside any charities that can assist with funeral costs. If this is not the case, do not fret, some financial directors will offer an incentive of a longer term payment schedule – to spread out funeral costs, as opposed to paying them all at once.





Pre Funeral: Funeral costs, burial and cremation fees

Is it possible to arrange a funeral without a funeral director?


Though most funerals in the UK are arranged through funeral directors, it is still possible to arrange a funeral without a funeral director. This will dramatically cut funeral costs, and the costs you pay will solely be dependent on third party fees and optional extras that you select for the funeral. If you would like the help of a funeral director through some aspects of the funeral planning, some directors may be willing to help with demanding aspects, like keeping the whole of the body and ensuring it is kept at the right temperature or handling the necessary paperwork.




How much does a funeral cost?


The average cost of a funeral in the UK is £4,184. However it is important to note that funeral costs will ultimately depend on the type of funeral service you choose, the funeral director fees, the location of the funeral, type of coffin and any extra add-ons that you may have included.




What is the breakdown cost of a funeral?


Funeral costs rare typically split between these five aspects:

  1. Funeral director fees
  1. Third party costs
  1. Burial costs
  1. Cremation costs
  1. Optional costs
Funeral director fees Do funeral directors need a deposit? As mentioned earlier, funeral service provider fees vary from business to business. However one thing that is certain is that many funeral directors will require a deposit before the funeral to (at least) cover the costs of the disbursements which they have to pay to third parties. Third party costs What are third parties? Third parties can be anything from churches or minister officiants to doctors to the individuals handling the cremation or burial process. What are third party funeral costs? These costs are paid for arrangements that are not made by a funeral director. For example if you plan to have a chapel ceremony before the burial takes place, you will be required to pay church fees. You may also be expected to pay the minister or officiant conducting the service, an organist, choir, musicians. You may also be expected to pay doctors’ fees – as they may be required to sign off certain deaths – which is not part of their duty as a doctor. Burial costs What are burial costs? Burial fees are also specified within third party costs and the UK average burial fee is £5,033. This fees include basic service costs, the viewing and burial of the deceased, a casket, embalming, transporting their body to the funeral home as well as any other forms of preparation that may be needed. Burial costs will be contingent on where you reside within the UK as some regions are more expensive when arranging burials. London is the most expensive region for burials and the South West, however, is the second cheapest region for burials within the UK. You can use this funeral costs calculator to give you an approximate estimate on how much a funeral might cost within your area. Cremation costs What are cremation costs? Cremation costs, like burial costs, are dependent on the location in which the arrangements are being made. However cremation is a far less costly process than a burial as the upkeep of the body is not needed. The average cost of cremation in the UK is £3,858. Optional costs What are optional costs for a funeral? Optional can cover anything from flowers, limousine hire, a memorial service, catering, a death notice or obituary within a newspaper, the order of service, a headstone.




Which funeral plan is best?


Deciding which funeral plan is best for you all depends on your budget for the funeral and what you can afford. Some funeral directors may allow you to schedule a payment plan to relieve the financial stress that a funeral can bring.




What is the cheapest funeral cost?


A funeral home's least expensive option is a direct burial, in which the body is buried soon after death, with no embalming or visitation.




How do I make a funeral work without any money?


While the deceased of family or friends of the deceased are usually responsible for arranging the funeral, they have the option of either:

  1. Paying for the funeral with the funds from the deceased’s bank account. Some banks may issue up to £5,000 for funeral costs when a death certificate is shown and an invoice is presented.
  1. Acquire the money at a later time, after properties and assets have been sold.
However if the former is not applicable and family or friends are able to pay for the funeral, the local council will organise a public health funeral.




What is a public health funeral?


This is a modest funeral with a short service and is usually a cremation. Guests are permitted to come, but the council chooses when and where the service occurs and may also retain the ashes after the service. This however is usually the last resort, in cases where no other alternative is available.




What are the options available?


The other options available include checking whether or not you are eligible for financial assistance. You may be entitled to a funeral expenses payment or a bereavement support payment or alternatively you may be eligible to claim a budgeting loan.




Who can apply for a funeral grant?


If you are looking into a funeral expenses payment, you only eligible to get one if all of the following apply to you:

  1. You get tax credits or particular benefits
  1. You meet the requirements on your relationship with the deceased
  1. You are organising a funeral in the UK, Switzerland or Europeans Economic Area (EEA)
Tax credits and particular benefits You or your partner must get at least one of the following:
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • the disability or severe disability element of Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit
Some things to note If you are getting support for marriage interest loan, you may be entitled to this payment. Secondly if you have applied for any of these benefits previously and are still waiting for a response about your claim, you can still apply for the funeral expenses payment. In the circumstance where you were responsible for a deceased child (but were not their parent), the actual parent must be claiming at least one of the benefits mentioned above. Lastly, if a close relative of the deceased is not receiving any of these benefits, you will not qualify for the funeral expenses payment. Relationship with the deceased – requirements: You are eligible for the funeral expenses payment if you are one of the following:
  • The partner of the deceased when they died
  • A close relative or friend of the deceased
  • The parent of a baby stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy
  • The parent or individual responsible for a deceased child who was under 16 (or under 20 and in approved education or training)
You may be able to get other forms of financial help if you do not meet the requirements for the funeral expenses payment. Moreover, it is important to note that the funeral expenses payment will typically not encompass the total cost of the funeral. It will however, significantly be of help.




Can I get help paying funeral expenses?


If you are not able to claim the above expenses, and your spouse or partner has died, you may be eligible to receive a bereavement support payment – depending on your condition. This initiative is set up to help alleviate some of the financial burden that comes from losing a loved one. If, on the other hand you don’t fit the former category and live in England, Wales or Scotland you may be entitled to a budgeting loan.




What is a bereavement support payment?


This is a tax free payment given to the spouse or civil partner of someone that has died. This is a one-off payment and has been put in place to assist widowed parents as they experience changes in household income. You can claim for this by calling the bereavement service helpline. Bereavement Service helpline

  • Telephone: 0800 731 0469
  • Welsh language: 0800 731 0453
  • Textphone: 0800 731 0464
  • Welsh language: 0800 731 0456
At this point, you should have chosen a funeral director, it is vital to ask whether or not they take government benefits or if they alternatively function alongside any charities that can assist with funeral costs. If this is not the case, do not fret, some financial directors will offer an incentive of a longer term payment schedule – to spread out funeral costs, as opposed to paying them all at once.





Preparing for the funeral

What should I expect when they collect the body of my loved one?


During the first few days after death and depending on where your loved one passed away, a funeral director will eventually take the body of the deceased into their care. This can often be a painful and perhaps surreal experience.




What are the next steps after registering the death of my loved one?


We spoke more about this in a previous article on what needs to be done when someone dies,. After you have registered the death and provided necessary paperwork and contacted the right individuals. The next step is to decide how and where you wish for your loved one to be sent off. You can find a detailed explanation of this in our previous resource. One of the first decisions you will probably make after getting a funeral director, or in the early stages of funeral preparation is what you want to be done with the body. If a direct burial is not the option you have decided to take, cremation and embalming are your two options.




What is a funeral?


A funeral is a tribute to the life of a deceased individual. The day is typically split up into 4 stages (depending on the type of service that you choose to incorporate). Nevertheless, do not feel alarmed or overwhelmed, we are here to break down these 4 stages for you: Funeral procession Funeral ceremony Cremation or burial Reception (wake) Your funeral director will consult with you and work ahead to ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day.




What is embalming?


The process of preserving human remains, after death naturally, the body will decompose – the lifelessness can cause visible changes to the body as well as unpleasant odours. During this process, a disinfectant solution is injected into the bloodstream of the deceased, this is then circulated around the body, which in turn decreases the movement of pathogens and bacteria that are present in the body. This process simply gives the deceased and restful appearance and can eliminate some of the evident appearances of the cause of death. This process takes about 3-4 hours to complete but can be longer in certain circumstances.




What is cremation?


Cremation is the process of using intense heat to reduce the body to its basic elements. The process of cremation follow the following 5 steps: The body of the deceased is identified and permission to cremate the body is acquired. Here the body is cleaned, bathed and clothed, jewellery is taken off, medical devices are also removed – unless in the case of direction cremation. The body is arranged for the process and positioned inside a cremation container made of wood or other inflammable materials. The container is taken to the cremation chamber, also known as a retort (this is where the cremation occurs. This process can take from 1.5 – 2 hours After this, a magnet is used to remove any remaining bits of metal. The remains are then ground and formed into what we know as ashes The “ashes” are then transferred to a impermanent container or an um presented by the family What is direct cremation? This is a process where no members are present and no funeral service occurs. With this type of cremation, the body is cremated in the days immediately after the death. In this circumstance you can choose to remember the deceased in a time and place that best suits you.

  • However, with a direct cremation you cannot:
  • Select which cremation is used
  • Attend the cremation
  • Choose the date or time of cremation
  • Visit the person who has died in the chapel of rest
A direct cremation does however include the following: Arranging for a doctor to complete the necessary paperwork Collecting your loved one from the hospital, along with their preparation and care until the day of the funeral Transport to the crematorium in the funeral vehicle Scattering of ashes in the gardens of remembrance or the safe arrival of ashes to the family (if requested)





The funeral day

Is it possible to arrange a funeral without a funeral director?


Though most funerals in the UK are arranged through funeral directors, it is still possible to arrange a funeral without a funeral director. This will dramatically cut funeral costs, and the costs you pay will solely be dependent on third party fees and optional extras that you select for the funeral. If you would like the help of a funeral director through some aspects of the funeral planning, some directors may be willing to help with demanding aspects, like keeping the whole of the body and ensuring it is kept at the right temperature or handling the necessary paperwork.




How much does a funeral cost?


The average cost of a funeral in the UK is £4,184. However it is important to note that funeral costs will ultimately depend on the type of funeral service you choose, the funeral director fees, the location of the funeral, type of coffin and any extra add-ons that you may have included.




What is the breakdown cost of a funeral?


Funeral costs rare typically split between these five aspects:

  1. Funeral director fees
  1. Third party costs
  1. Burial costs
  1. Cremation costs
  1. Optional costs
Funeral director fees Do funeral directors need a deposit? As mentioned earlier, funeral service provider fees vary from business to business. However one thing that is certain is that many funeral directors will require a deposit before the funeral to (at least) cover the costs of the disbursements which they have to pay to third parties. Third party costs What are third parties? Third parties can be anything from churches or minister officiants to doctors to the individuals handling the cremation or burial process. What are third party funeral costs? These costs are paid for arrangements that are not made by a funeral director. For example if you plan to have a chapel ceremony before the burial takes place, you will be required to pay church fees. You may also be expected to pay the minister or officiant conducting the service, an organist, choir, musicians. You may also be expected to pay doctors’ fees – as they may be required to sign off certain deaths – which is not part of their duty as a doctor. Burial costs What are burial costs? Burial fees are also specified within third party costs and the UK average burial fee is £5,033. This fees include basic service costs, the viewing and burial of the deceased, a casket, embalming, transporting their body to the funeral home as well as any other forms of preparation that may be needed. Burial costs will be contingent on where you reside within the UK as some regions are more expensive when arranging burials. London is the most expensive region for burials and the South West, however, is the second cheapest region for burials within the UK. You can use this funeral costs calculator to give you an approximate estimate on how much a funeral might cost within your area. Cremation costs What are cremation costs? Cremation costs, like burial costs, are dependent on the location in which the arrangements are being made. However cremation is a far less costly process than a burial as the upkeep of the body is not needed. The average cost of cremation in the UK is £3,858. Optional costs What are optional costs for a funeral? Optional can cover anything from flowers, limousine hire, a memorial service, catering, a death notice or obituary within a newspaper, the order of service, a headstone.




Which funeral plan is best?


Deciding which funeral plan is best for you all depends on your budget for the funeral and what you can afford. Some funeral directors may allow you to schedule a payment plan to relieve the financial stress that a funeral can bring.




What is the cheapest funeral cost?


A funeral home's least expensive option is a direct burial, in which the body is buried soon after death, with no embalming or visitation.




How do I make a funeral work without any money?


While the deceased of family or friends of the deceased are usually responsible for arranging the funeral, they have the option of either:

  1. Paying for the funeral with the funds from the deceased’s bank account. Some banks may issue up to £5,000 for funeral costs when a death certificate is shown and an invoice is presented.
  1. Acquire the money at a later time, after properties and assets have been sold.
However if the former is not applicable and family or friends are able to pay for the funeral, the local council will organise a public health funeral.




What is a public health funeral?


This is a modest funeral with a short service and is usually a cremation. Guests are permitted to come, but the council chooses when and where the service occurs and may also retain the ashes after the service. This however is usually the last resort, in cases where no other alternative is available.




What are the options available?


The other options available include checking whether or not you are eligible for financial assistance. You may be entitled to a funeral expenses payment or a bereavement support payment or alternatively you may be eligible to claim a budgeting loan.




Who can apply for a funeral grant?


If you are looking into a funeral expenses payment, you only eligible to get one if all of the following apply to you:

  1. You get tax credits or particular benefits
  1. You meet the requirements on your relationship with the deceased
  1. You are organising a funeral in the UK, Switzerland or Europeans Economic Area (EEA)
Tax credits and particular benefits You or your partner must get at least one of the following:
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • the disability or severe disability element of Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit
Some things to note If you are getting support for marriage interest loan, you may be entitled to this payment. Secondly if you have applied for any of these benefits previously and are still waiting for a response about your claim, you can still apply for the funeral expenses payment. In the circumstance where you were responsible for a deceased child (but were not their parent), the actual parent must be claiming at least one of the benefits mentioned above. Lastly, if a close relative of the deceased is not receiving any of these benefits, you will not qualify for the funeral expenses payment. Relationship with the deceased – requirements: You are eligible for the funeral expenses payment if you are one of the following:
  • The partner of the deceased when they died
  • A close relative or friend of the deceased
  • The parent of a baby stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy
  • The parent or individual responsible for a deceased child who was under 16 (or under 20 and in approved education or training)
You may be able to get other forms of financial help if you do not meet the requirements for the funeral expenses payment. Moreover, it is important to note that the funeral expenses payment will typically not encompass the total cost of the funeral. It will however, significantly be of help.




Can I get help paying funeral expenses?


If you are not able to claim the above expenses, and your spouse or partner has died, you may be eligible to receive a bereavement support payment – depending on your condition. This initiative is set up to help alleviate some of the financial burden that comes from losing a loved one. If, on the other hand you don’t fit the former category and live in England, Wales or Scotland you may be entitled to a budgeting loan.




What is a bereavement support payment?


This is a tax free payment given to the spouse or civil partner of someone that has died. This is a one-off payment and has been put in place to assist widowed parents as they experience changes in household income. You can claim for this by calling the bereavement service helpline. Bereavement Service helpline

  • Telephone: 0800 731 0469
  • Welsh language: 0800 731 0453
  • Textphone: 0800 731 0464
  • Welsh language: 0800 731 0456
At this point, you should have chosen a funeral director, it is vital to ask whether or not they take government benefits or if they alternatively function alongside any charities that can assist with funeral costs. If this is not the case, do not fret, some financial directors will offer an incentive of a longer term payment schedule – to spread out funeral costs, as opposed to paying them all at once.





 
 

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