Help with Funeral Costs
Direct Crematation.

Depending on your circumstances and eligibility you may be able to get help under the Government Funeral Payment scheme to pay for a funeral you’re arranging Visit GOV.UK for information


The Government Funeral Payment can help pay :

  • burial fees.

  • cremation fees, including the cost of the doctor’s certificate.

  • up to £700 for funeral expenses, eg funeral director’s fees, coffin.

  • travel to arrange or go to the funeral.

  • the costs for moving the body within the UK – but only for the part of the journey that’s over 50 miles.

  • help with costs for services not covered - If the deceased has a prepaid funeral  plan


NB.  Words of caution - You must pay back the Funeral Payment if you receive money from the deceased’s estate (includes any money or property they had but not a house or personal things left to a widow, widower or surviving civil partner).


Whilst  this service is for people on low incomes who need financial help with funeral costs,  it is wise to secure their agreement before you go ahead with booking the funeral as reports indicate that nearly half of all claims are rejected. Unfortunately this will leave the person booking the funeral personally liable for paying for it should the deceased's estate not have enough money in it to settle the bill, shockingly crippling  many into financial difficulty. 

Do not confuse the government funeral payment with a paupers funeral they are different. If you are fortunate to you get financial support  with one you will not get help with the other

The most simple economical and yet still dignified means of arranging your loved ones departure can be to consider a direct cremation over a conventional funeral approach. It is a disposition option in which the body is cremated in the days immediately following the death, without a funeral service or procession beforehand. A memorial service can then be held, if desired, following the cremation, and at a time, date and location more convenient, and perhaps more fitting. Although this the least expensive cremation option, for many cost may not be the deciding  factor. The ability for families to do something much more personal at a place, day and time of their choosing without feeling "pressured and driven by tradition" is often more important.

What is usually included in the direct to cremation option

  • Collection of the deceased 

  • Storage of the deceased pending cremation 

  • A simple coffin with name plate

  • Transport of the deceased to the crematorium

  • Cremation fees

  • Doctors fees

  • Return of ashes to a designated individual


Limitations of this option 

  • Does not include any cortege, visitation period, or wake.  

  • The crematorium, and the funeral director used may not necessarily be local 

A paupers funeral (aka public health) can only be arrange by the local authority the deceases family cannot do it. Although it is not a well kept secret it is not something your local council will necessarily be going on and on about since the free public health funeral enables us to exempt ourselves of the task of disposing of the body of a relative for whom, for whatever reason, we feel no responsibility, whether or not they did or didn’t, could or couldn’t, put aside enough money to pay for their funeral. It also enables those of us of indigent means to declare: I don't have the funds and I am not willing to get into debt over this; you do it. And under section 46 of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 PIII S21 when a person  dies within the local authorities boundary and there is no-one available to take responsibility for the funeral, the local authority are legally responsible for arranging the disposal of the body. Paupers funerals are a cremation unless the local authority believe that cremation would be contrary to the wishes or religion of the deceased.  The funeral director is paid to give a dignified funeral, with a respectable but basic coffin which will be taken to the ceremony or crematorium in a hearse attended by bearers.
They will reclaim the costs (including their time) if there are any assets in the  deceased's’ estate. In this respect the Council can and will collect any and all sums of money due or belonging to the deceased and sell any belongings of the deceased to help offset the cost of the paupers funeral although any shortfall would be borne by the Council. Generally, should there be any money left after the funeral and administration charges have been deducted and any bills from the deceased estate have been honoured, this goes to the Treasury Solicitor in accordance with their guidelines for referring estates in Bona Vacantia' (BVD), though those entitled under the Rules of Intestacy would be able to claim what was left. 

Paupers Funeral

The Government Funeral Payment Scheme 


If you are planning on burying the cremated remains in a cemetery plot or interring them in a columbarium, you will also need to take into consideration any cemetery costs, such as the cost of the plot or columbarium niche, the cost of a headstone or grave marker, and any cemetery fees such as opening and closing of the grave, headstone installation fees, and endowment care or perpetual care fees, among others. We are happy to advise click here to schedule a FREE consultation

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Caroline Small BSc (Hons) MSWW, Professional Will Writer & Funeral Celebrant