Funeral services are often a crucial aspect of the grieving process for many – offering mourners a chance to come together to healthily channel their woes and celebrate the life of their dearly departed – but they are also notoriously expensive affairs. In times of economic hardship, with 1 in 3 Brits fearful that they could not afford a loved one’s funeral due to the cost of living crisis, the fees associated with funerals can often prove difficult to manage.
When a small or direct cremation has been considered and money is still tight, there are nevertheless several ways to fund a commemorative service. Understanding the funding options available can help those struggling with the cost of a funeral in times of financial hardship.
1. Funeral Plans
A pre-payment funeral plan owned by the person who has passed away will provide financial support for funeral costs. It is important to contact the funeral plan provider as soon as possible to discuss whether there is an existing plan in place and, if so, how the plan can help to cover any of the costs.
2. Government Subsidies
If you are a recipient of qualifying social security benefits, you may have access to UK Government subsidies, such as the DWP Funeral Expenses Payment or the Bereavement Support Payment schemes. This is an option worth exploring if other methods of funding have proved unsuccessful; seek advice from your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau, as they might be able to help you determine your eligibility for government assistance and other funding schemes.
3. Family Contributions
If possible, try to pool together monetary contributions from relatives and friends far and wide. If there are any immediate family members or close family friends who are in a position to contribute to funeral costs, then it’s worth approaching them for help. If they are willing, it’s also advised that you formally agree on a payment plan and set up a payment arrangement with all contributors in advance of the funeral. This way, everybody is clear on how much they are paying, and everything is properly documented from the get go.
4. Benevolent Funds
Certain Charitable Benevolent Funds offer financial assistance to those who are struggling with funeral costs. Research options in your local area to find out whether any of these organisations can offer assistance. A list of benevolent funds can also be found here.
On top of this, if the person who has died undertook a particular trade, profession or was a paid member of a trade union, Trade Union and Industry Benevolent Funds may come in handy. There are certain organisations that it may be worth approaching to ask for financial help.
5. Community Fundraisers
A more personal and engaging way of crowdfunding for funeral costs is to organise a community fundraiser, especially if your loved one was an active, well-loved or prominent member of the local area. Sponsored fun-runs or walks, fundraiser dinners or BBQs, picnics, fun days, quiz nights or discos – there are many ways to engage your community and raise money for someone who was a big part of it.
Exploring Your Options
At T & I Stockman, we are always keen to provide families with a clear and accessible estimate of likely funeral costs. We are happy to meet with you on a no-obligation basis to talk through your requirements – either at our premises or your home – to find out how we can help you plan a service that suits your budget. Contact us for more information.