Financial Help for the Bereaved

The death of a spouse or partner can virtually send a person into a catatonic state. Almost the last thing on their mind are legal and formal matters.
When the family are ready to confront financial issues there are several things to be borne in mind that may help the bereaved.

Bereavement Payments and Allowances

  • If you are under 65 and your husband, wife or civil partner has died you may be entitled to a one off bereavement payment of £2,000.
  • If you are over 45 but under pensionable age you may be entitled to bereavement allowance of between £31 and £105 per week.
  • The bereaved with children for whom they are entitled to child benefit may alternatively claim up to £105 per week.
  • The two versions of a weekly allowance are based on national insurance contributions paid by your spouse. You can not be paid both weekly allowances.
  • If you marry or live with a new partner your weekly payments will stop. When you reach pesionable age the payments will stop (and generally be replaced by your state pension.
  • You can get claim forms BB1 and more assistance on an application for payment from Jobcentre plus

Funeral Plans and Costs

  • There are commercial products that are designed to cover the cost of a funeral in the form of life assurance. The UK average funeral cost is £3500.
  • Many plans guarantee to provide a lump sum that may not fully cover the cost when inflation has been taken into account.
  • Some funeral directors offer a prepayment type scheme where the full cost will be covered but they have your money until that fateful time.
  • If you or your partner are getting a low income benefit and need help towards the cost of a funeral, you may be able to get a Funeral Payment. The Funeral Payment will usually be paid directly into the funeral director’s bank account more info from Direct.Gov
  • Get special information about tax-free War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension if your husband or wife died from serving in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.
  • The deceased estate is expected to pay for the funeral, then their next nearest living relative. If no one “claims” them, the state or local council will pay for a basic funeral service.

Credits

Kara Gammell The Sunday Telegraph May 6th 2012

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