BBC News recently reported that the cost of Funerals has risen by nearly 4% to £3,700 (see the full article here – BBC NEWS) . But this doesn’t include the cost of a Wake, flowers or a headstone. Of course added to this is the cost of the administration of the estate including obtaining the Grant of Probate, the legal document which allows the executor or next of kin to access the finances and assets of the deceased. Although, a Grant of Probate isn’t always required and we shall write about this in our next Wills and Probate blog.
It is clear that the cost of dying has risen substantially.
So, what can you do to lessen the burden of the cost of dying on your family following your death?
• Consider setting money aside for these costs.
• Consider a pre-paid funeral. This allows you to arrange and pay for your funeral at today’s prices. You can pay in one lump sum or on an instalment plan. However, there are severe costs in the event you cancel the funeral and not all pre-paid funerals include every possible cost you may need. For example, many do not include the costs of burial, doctor, church, minister, burial plot or grave-digger, please note this list is not exhaustive. Therefore, it is important that you carefully consider and compare all of the different types of pre-paid funerals and know what additional costs are not included. Which? has written a very useful Guide which you can find here – (WHICH GUIDE).
• Make sure your nearest and dearest know about the help they can receive. If your nearest and dearest is your partner or a close relative and in receipt of certain benefits they can make a claim to the Department for Work and Pensions for a Funeral Payment, please visit here (GOV.UK) for more information or telephone 0345 606 0265 for the Bereavement Service helpline.
• Here at Dodds Solicitors LLP, we have noticed an increase in the amount of estates which have a property but are not cash rich. In this event, the funeral director should wait for payment of the funeral costs until such time as the property is sold and there are liquid assets. Likewise, solicitors often wait for their costs and third party costs to be paid until there are liquid assets in the estate.