You should also begin making funeral arrangements - you'll need to check the will for any special requests. The deceased person's solicitor may have a copy of the will if you can't find one.
For more information on arranging a funeral click here
Help with funeral costs
If you find that you're struggling with funeral costs, you might be able to get some financial help through a Funeral Payment, which is usually paid back through the deceased person's estate.
The Funeral Payment can help pay for things like burial or cremation fees, funeral expenses (like flowers and a coffin), travel costs to get to the funeral and some of the cost of moving the body within the UK.
Whether or not you're eligible to receive a Funeral Payment will depend on your relationship to the person who died, whether you're responsible for the funeral and which benefits and tax credits you receive. To find out more about eligibility and how to apply, visit the government website.
Age UK have produced a leaflet called Planning For A Funeral.
Support from your council with funerals
Councils have a legal duty to arrange funerals for a person who dies within their area and where there is no one else willing or able to deal with the funeral arrangements. Arrangements will be made by the council's Client Affairs department.
Every effort is made to ensure that the funeral takes place in accordance with the deceased person's wishes, including in relation to their religious or ethnic beliefs, and whether they wanted to be buried or cremated.
Once the funeral has taken place, the council's Client Affairs service will:-
- try to reimburse the council's funeral costs either by writing to any banks / building societies or even selling the deceased's personal effects that are not items of a sentimental nature
- advise the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP)of the death
- advise any private pension companies of the death
- take take final gas/electric meter readings, phoning them through to the respective companies, advising them of their customer's death before
- arrange termination of the tenancy
- refer to the Treasury Solicitor's Office the estate of any deceased person who has over £500 remaining after the funeral costs have been reimbursed. The Treasury Solicitor's Officer would make further enquiries about existing family members.
Referrals for the councils' funeral service usually come from the Coroner's Office. However if you need to speak to them direct you can contact them as follows:-
The MoneyHelper website provides detailed advice on getting support to arrange or pay for someone's funeral.