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Paying for a funeral

Funeral costs for the same service may vary considerably from one funeral director to another. It's best to get more than one quote to compare costs and services and remember to ask for a written quotation detailing fees. 

Costs may be paid in different ways, including:

  • from the estate of the deceased
  • payments made by the deceased into a funeral scheme or prepaid funeral plan 
  • money from a life insurance policy or pension scheme 
  • agreed money for funeral costs released by a bank or building society.  

You or the executor may need to pay and then claim the money from the estate later. In certain cases, you may be able to get help with this. 

Help paying for the funeral 

If you’re finding it difficult to pay for a funeral, you may be able to claim a Funeral Expenses Payment from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

To get a Funeral Payment you must be responsible for the funeral and be receiving either: 

  • 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 usually pay back any money you receive from the deceased person's estate, if they have one. 

To claim a Funeral Payment, print and fill out the claim form or contact the DWP bereavement service helpline on 0345 606 0265. It's open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. 

Bereavement Allowance 

If you’re widowed, you may be able to claim Bereavement Allowance. This taxable weekly benefit is paid to you for up to 52 weeks from the date of the death of your husband, wife or civil partner. 

You may be able to claim Bereavement Allowance if all the following apply: 

  • you are a widow, widower or surviving civil partner aged 45 or over when your husband, wife or civil partner died 
  • you are not bringing up children 
  • you are under state pension age 
  • your late husband, wife or civil partner paid National Insurance contributions 
  • your husband, wife or civil partner died because of an industrial accident or disease.