Arranging a funeral
Last updated: 30 July 2020

Funeral costs

Funeral costs can include:

  • funeral director fees
  • things the funeral director pays for on your behalf, like crematorium or cemetery fees, or a newspaper announcement about the death
  • local council burial or cremation fees

Paying for a funeral

The funeral can be paid for:

  • from a financial scheme the person had, like a pre-paid funeral plan or insurance policy
  • by you, or other family members or friends
  • with money from the person's estate (eg savings)

Check if there is a pre-paid funeral plan, life insurance or savings to cover the costs of the funeral, including whether a lair (burial plot) has already been paid for in a churchyard or cemetery. You could look for papers at home or discuss with other relatives who might know.

Help with funeral costs

You can apply for a Funeral Payment if you or your partner get:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • the disability or severe disability element of Working Tax Credit
  • one of the extra elements of Child Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit

You must apply within 3 months of the funeral, and can only claim if you have an invoice from the funeral director. An estimate will not be accepted.

You'll have to pay back any money you get from the deceased person's estate (if they have one).

The estate includes any money or property they had but not a house or personal things left to a widow, widower or surviving civil partner.

If you do not qualify for a Funeral Payment

There are other bereavement benefits available to help you cope with money after a death.

Citizens Advice can offer help and advice if you have money worries or questions about benefits. Find your nearest bureau.