A Solicitor and the Estate
If the deceased used the services of a solicitor then that solicitor should be contacted at the earliest possibility to help you with the financial and legal arrangements. Should a Will have been made it may be possible to arrange to realise the estate quite quickly (a Grant of Probate). If a Will has not been made (the deceased is said to have died Intestate) claims on the estate may still be started through Letters of Administration.
Further Help and Advice
If you decide not to seek a solicitor's assistance you may feel it in your own interests to contact the Citizens Advice Bureau or the Department for Work and Pensions. They will be able to offer you further information and advice regarding such matters as outstanding debts, help from Social Fund, tax liabilities, DWP claims, etc.
Funeral Costs and Standards of Practice
We offer a scale of charges and a range of services in order to accommodate the economic considerations and wishes of all our clients. A price list is available which includes some of our standard charges, which you are welcome to see on request.
Every attempt is made to render only fair charges and we recommend that you contact our office to discuss your precise requirements so that we may give you an estimate of all our charges and any disbursements or third party costs that may apply.
After we have made all the necessary arrangements for the funeral, we will then send you written confirmation along with an estimate. We will also request that you sign an acknowledgement to confirm receipt.
A deposit to cover the disbursements will be required prior to the funeral and once the funeral has taken place we will provide an itemised final account. Funds can be released from the deceased's own estate/bank account to cover any funeral expenses on production of the Death Certificate and final funeral invoice.
Many individuals make personal provision for their own funeral expenses. Details may often be found in the papers of the deceased that are at home or lodged with a bank or solicitor. This can take the form of a Life Insurance Policy or suitable Occupational Pension Scheme. It is also possible that lump sums will be paid from relevant Trade Unions, Club or similar organisation on application.
Funeral Expenses Payment
You could get a Funeral Expenses Payment if you receive certain benefits and you need help to pay for the funeral you are arranging. You can apply for a Funeral Expenses Payment if you are a close relative, close friend or partner of the deceased, are in receipt of certain benefits or tax credits, and you meet the rules on your relationship with the deceased. Applications should be made within six months of the funeral but preferably as soon as possible. It is also possible to apply for a Budgeting Loan from the Department for Works and Pensions if you are receipt of any of the above credits.
Contact the Bereavement Service helpline on 0800 731 0469 or visit the following websites for more information:
Funeral Expenses Payments - www.gov.uk/funeral-payments
Budgeting Loans - www.gov.uk/budgeting-loans
There are also additional benefits, applicable in certain circumstances; for example, if the deceased was a War Pensioner. Details of help can be obtained from your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Department for Work and Pensions.