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Paying for the funeral

How much does it cost?

The cost of a funeral is very much dictated by the style and content. A typical funeral ranges from £2245 to £2600 plus disbursements. In exceptional circumstances, the account can be substantially higher. We will prepare a detailed estimate of the total funeral cost at our initial consultation. The final itemised account, payable after the funeral, should not exceed the amount of the estimate unless you have authorised further changes.

You can pay by personal cheque, credit card, cash, or a combination of these, including insurance, bank and, where applicable, DWP cheques. You may pay the account by post or in person at our office. Alternatively, if you refer the account to your solicitor we can forward correspondence to them.

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your account. We are always available to advise you on any aspect of the funeral arrangements. If you think you will be unable to meet the costs of the funeral, you should discuss it with us as soon as possible. You may be eligible for help from the Social Fund.

DWP (Formerly DSS) payments in respect of funeral expenses  

DWP Funeral Payments are grants from the Department of Works and Pensions that help pay towards the cost of a funeral. Any amount paid will not cover the cost of even a modest respectable funeral in the UK and is recoverable from any money available from the deceased person’s estate. The person who arranges the funeral will be advised as to the grant amount.

Application forms are available at the Registrar’s and DWP offices and may be posted or delivered in person to the local DWP office. Claims must be made within three months of the funeral. Once the claim is authorised, a Giro cheque made payable to the Funeral Director will be sent to the claimant for use as payment towards the funeral account. To be eligible for this grant, the person making the arrangements must meet current Social Security requirements. Please remember that the DWP will consider the financial circumstances of the person making the claim, rather than those of the deceased. If you are arranging a funeral and think you may be entitled to help from the DWP, you should inform the Funeral Director so that he or she can more accurately estimate your account costs. We suggest that you contact your DWP office to find out if you are eligible and to seek their guidance in the process.

Bereavement Benefits / Payments  

You may also be eligible for bereavement assistance if your circumstance meets one of the below criteria. Qualifications include minimum National Insurance contributions on the part of the deceased. Please contact your local DWP office if you think you may qualify for bereavement benefits.

The Bereavement Payment (replacing the Widows payment)

The Bereavement Payment is a lump sum of up to £2000.00, paid to widows or widowers who are under the state pension age at the time of their spouse’s death.   The Bereavement Allowance (replacing the Widows Pension) The Bereavement Allowance is an income paid for one year to people with no dependent children, aged between 45 and 60 for women and 45 and 65 for men.  

Widowed Parents Allowance (replacing the Widowed Mothers allowance)

The Widowed Parents Allowance pays a basic £72.50 a week plus £9.70 a week for the first dependent child and £11.35 a week for every other child. It is paid for as long as one child is still in full time education.

Insurance  

Many people carry life insurance. When applicable, you should contact the deceased’s insurance company as soon as possible to notify them of the death. You will be asked to produce the policy and a Certified Copy of the Death Certificate (obtainable from the Registrar’s office). Some insurance companies have their own particular extract and you should advise the registrar of the insurance company’s name to ensure that the correct certificate is prepared. One copy per company is normally sufficient and photocopies of the document may be acceptable. The insurance company will pay once satisfied that the claim is valid. The time this takes will vary depending upon the complexities of the claim.  

Whole Life Assurance Policies  

These policies are intended to cover the estimated funeral cost at a date of death sometime in the future. Whilst the selected sum is assured, there is no guarantee that this sum will encompass the actual cost of the funeral, and generally no specific funeral arrangements are made. Please contact the insurance company at the earliest possible time to clarify the costs covered by the deceased’s policy.  

War Pensions  

If the deceased was a war pensioner, a grant can be claimed for the cost of a simple funeral if:

• The war pensioner died from the disablement for which he/she was receiving a pension; or

• The pensioner was receiving 80% war pension; or

• The war pensioner was entitled to constant attendance allowance. Our Co-operative funeral bond can guarantee full coverage of funeral costs at inflation-proof prices. Having such a policy in place can spare loved ones the stress and burden of paying for an unexpected funeral.

Paying In Advance

We are happy to assist you with a pre-paid funeral plan, please contact us or go to:  www.funeral-prepay.com