Ways to pay for a funeral

10 December 2014

When it comes to funding a funeral, the first thing to establish is whether the deceased had a funeral plan in place.

No alt text available

If the deceased had taken out a funeral plan, many of the costs associated with the funeral may already be covered. If there is no plan in place however, you will need to establish whether any funds were put aside. Most banks or building societies will agree to release money to an executor or administrator for the funeral. If this is not an option, but the deceased had assets, funeral costs can usually be paid first from the person’s estate.

If no plans had been put in place and concerns begin to arise about how the funeral will be paid for, don't be tempted to borrow or go into debt. Instead, see if you can arrange for a collection of donations from family members and close friends of the deceased who may like to contribute towards the funeral costs. You may find that they welcome the opportunity to help out and are grateful that you approached them.

If it's not possible for family and friends to donate, research the charity options. Some not-for-profit organisations can offer financial grants or support to those struggling with funeral costs.

You could get help from the government with funeral costs (a Funeral Expenses Payment) if you’re on a low income – this depends on your circumstances and eligibility.

As a last resort, if no one is able to fund the funeral or there aren’t enough funds in the estate, the council will arrange a public welfare funeral. This will be a very basic, no-frills affair.

Arranging a funeral on behalf of a deceased loved one can be stressful as well as costly. To help protect your family and friends from this worry, it is a good idea to pre-plan your funeral or at least make some financial provision. The easiest way to do so is to start putting some money aside.

We provide pre-arranged funeral plans, which enable you to cover the services of your selected funeral director in advance. The funeral plan funds are held securely in a whole of life assurance policy and paid to the funeral director at the time of need.

Our funeral plans can be paid for by lump sum or in managable monthly instalments, so you can put your plans in place now and pay over an extended period of time. When you pass away this forward planning can really help to reduce the potential financial and emotional worry for your loved ones at what can be a very difficult time.