Paying for a Funeral

Who pays for the funeral?

If someone has died later in life it may be that they have set aside funds in some shape or form to pay for their funeral. If a death is sudden or sooner than expected, this usually will not be the case and finding the required funds at short notice can be a source of great anxiety.

Responsibility for Payments

If the deceased has appointed an executor in their Will, then they are responsible for ensuring that the funeral director and other expenses are paid. Otherwise, it is the responsibility of the person organising the funeral (usually the next of kin).

Eventually, costs can be recovered from the deceased’s estate (if there are sufficiant funds), although the process of applying for probate and settling accounts can take some time.

Some banks and building societies are happy to release funds from a single account in the deceased’s name, if there are enough funds. They will need to see an invoice and a copy of the death certificate.

If the deceased had a joint bank account, the account will not be frozen and funeral costs may be able to be paid from this.

The Financial Support & Benefits section below has information on government support and details of some of the charitable help available.

Finally, if there is no next of kin or funds for a funeral, then the Local Authority or Hospital Trust will provide a Public Health Funeral. For further details on meeting the costs of a funeral, see the Governement information on funeral payments..

Funeral Plans, Pension Schemes & Other Policies

These days many people have pre-paid funeral plans which may cover all, or at least part, of the costs. You will also need to check if there is a payment due from a life insurance policy or a pension scheme.

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