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Arranging and paying for a funeral: The things you need to know

Categories Funeral

Arranging a funeral is a task that needs to be considered and completed but it can make an already difficult time even more stressful. We appreciate that there is a lot to think about so we have created this blog post to outline what is involved in arranging a funeral and how you can afford the funeral expenses. 

Arranging the funeral

A range of decisions will need to be made by the deceased’s loved ones in order to arrange the funeral. It should be considered whether the person will be buried or cremated, where the funeral should take place, what readings and music you would like during the service and what flowers are required.

The deceased may have left a written record of their funeral wishes or discussed this with family or friends during their lifetime so it is important to check this before beginning to arrange the funeral.

Most families will seek the help of a professional funeral director to take care of the arrangements. Funeral fees can vary considerably so it may be beneficial to shop around and obtain detailed quotes from various funeral directors. 

We recommend checking whether the funeral director is a member of a trade association. Most funeral directors will be a member of either the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) or the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD).

Funeral costs are rising

A recent article from The Telegraph revealed that “funerals are one of the fastest rising costs in the UK” with the cost of a basic funeral averaging £4,078. This is a dramatic increase of 112% in comparison to 14 years ago when you could pay approximately £1,920 for a basic funeral. The article reveals that a funeral could cost over £7,200 within the decade if the trend was to continue. With the cost of funerals rising, read on to find out how you can pay for a funeral.

Paying for a funeral

When it comes to paying for a funeral, it is not always the responsibility of the deceased’s loved ones as the estate can cover the cost if there are sufficient funds to pay the bill.

The relative or friend arranging the funeral may be able to access funds from the deceased’s bank account to pay for the funeral directly. However, this is not always possible, in which case any reasonable expenses incurred can be reimbursed from the estate at a later date. 

In some cases, the deceased may have already paid for their funeral or left money in their estate to cover it. If this is the case, the executor of the estate will typically take care of paying the funeral bill. Otherwise, the cost usually falls to a relative or friend, who can then claim this back from the estate.

If there are not sufficient funds in the estate to cover the funeral and the loved ones are unable to pay for the funeral themselves, financial help may be available. A Public Health Funeral may be arranged if there are no family members or friends available to make the arrangements and there is not enough money in the estate to pay for the funeral. If a Public Health Funeral is arranged, it normally will be a cremation with a short service and the date and time will be decided by the local authority. Any extras such as cars and flowers are not included but loved ones are allowed to attend the funeral.

A government scheme is also available to help those with low income. Close relatives or friends of the deceased may be eligible for a Funeral Expenses Payment if they receive certain benefits or tax credits. It is important to note that a Funeral Expenses Payment tends to be taken from any money you inherit from the estate and it is not likely to cover all the costs of the funeral. Claims must be made within 6 months of the funeral but they can be made before the funeral if an invoice has been received from the funeral director.

Kings Court Trust are experts in estate administration which is the process of sorting out a person’s legal and tax affairs after they have died. This includes everything from bank accounts, belongings and property to debts, pensions and Inheritance Tax. The family of the deceased can appoint Kings Court Trust to handle absolutely everything on their behalf and when we are appointed to administer the estate, we will take care of the funeral costs. We can even arrange the funeral if the family would like us to.

If you have any questions regarding estate administration, call our Client Services Team on 0300 303 9000 or email ClientServicesTeam@kctrust.co.uk.