Who is responsible for paying funeral costs?
We hope this article on who is responsible for paying funeral costs is helpful or on Paupers Funerals. But our job is to advise people on advance planning with prepaid funeral plans. That way, deciding who is responsible for paying funeral costs is not a problem!
This article was written by one of our staff who had a close relative die many years ago. He had no idea what she would have wished for as a funeral. The undertaker was very sympathetic and guided him towards giving her the best possible send-off. He ended up spending (at today’s prices) around £10,000. That is one very strong reason for sorting out your own prepaid funeral in advance, so no one is sent on an expensive guilt trip.
Who is legally responsible for arranging your funeral?
Who is responsible for arranging a funeral? The executor of the Will, if there is one, the next of kin if not – and that may mean that several people are potentially in charge, often a recipe for disaster!
Who is responsible for paying for a funeral?
1. The person who arranges the funeral, although they are entitled to recover the cost from the estate of the deceased if there are sufficient funds.
2. A parent has duty in common law to arrange the funeral of their child.
3. The Householder under whose roof a poor person dies (R v Stewart 1840.)
(i) A hospital is classed as a householder.
(ii) A Residential Home is classed as a householder, and many private Residential Homes insist that all their Residents have a pre-paid funeral plan.
(iii) A Hotel/Guesthouse is classed in common law as a householder, although this has not been tested in Court.
From whom may a Local Authority recover the funeral costs?
(1) the estate of the deceased person. Or
(2) any person who for the purposes of the National Assistance Act 1948 was liable to maintain the deceased person immediately before death expenses were incurred. (E.g. a spouse or civil partner, but could include a parent where they are maintaining the child.)
(3) Close relatives (children, siblings etc.) They will be asked to either pay the full cost or make a contribution towards the costs. Although there is no legal liability on them to contribute to the cost of the funeral, there will be a considerable amount of pressure put on them to “voluntarily” agree to such payment.
The Social Fund. Who pays for a funeral if there is no money?
When introduced in 1988 by a Conservative government it was set at a level where it would cover the entire cost of a simple, dignified funeral. However, it was downgraded to a ‘substantial contribution’ to funeral expenses by a subsequent Labour government and those who are eligible for a Funeral Payment now find themselves with a shortfall which many are forced to make up for by taking out a loan. More on The Social Fund. The first stage is to fill in a 23 page long form, and there is no certainty that you will (eventually) get anything, and it would be very unlikely to cover the full costs with today’s prices, even in the cheapest areas. Decisions and payments are made well after all the costs have been incurred.
Can You Refuse to Accept Responsibility for Paying for a Next of Kin’s funeral?
Is next of kin responsible for funeral costs in the UK?
For those who cannot afford the full cost of a simple funeral, does there exist an option of refusing to accept responsibility and, instead, leaving their local authority to do its duty? The answer to this question has to be we do not know.
At least one cash strapped Council is taking the view: “Since funeral expenses are the first charge on an estate, the deceased’s bank or building society will normally be willing to release funds directly to the undertaker for payment of the funeral account. But where this is not possible, the Council is proposing to notify the next of kin or anyone appointed to act on behalf of the deceased (e.g. Power of Attorney, deputy or financial representative) of the debt and refer this to Legal Services so that consideration can be given to initiating civil debt recovery proceedings either against the estate or an individual personally if appropriate.” So the best thing to do is to try to set up at least one prepaid funeral in the family: some can be donated to any family member at no extra cost,
Who is responsible for paying funeral costs?
Funeral costs can be resolved as part of the executors duties if the undertakers are happy to wait, and the estate has enough assets. That said, at a recent Funeral Directors Exhibition, 40% of the stands were for debt collectors and loan companies. Increasingly, fees have to be paid before the ceremony can take place, hence the reliance on credit cards.