Today sees the introduction of a new Social Security Scotland benefit to assist those on low incomes to meet the costs of a funeral. The payment, known as Funeral Expenses Payment, can help pay for some of the costs of the funeral (burial/cremation fees, travel to arrange or attend funeral, death certificate & other documents). Up to £700 is available for other funeral expenses (e.g. flowers, coffin or funeral director’s fees).
The payment will not usually cover all of the costs of the funeral. The amount available depends on each individual set of circumstances (including money available to cover costs from the deceased’s estate or from an insurance policy). Where the deceased person had a pre-paid funeral plan, you can only receive up to £120 to help pay for items not covered by the plan.
Where you have already paid the funeral expenses, the Funeral Expenses Payment will be paid directly to your account. Where you have not yet paid for the funeral it will be paid to the organiser of the funeral (funeral director).
To be eligible for payment of a Funeral Expenses Payment all of the following criteria must apply:
- You receive certain benefits or tax credits
- You meet rules on your relationship with the deceased
- You are arranging a funeral in the UK, European Economic Area or Switzerland
Should you be ineligible for the Funeral Expenses Payment you may still be eligible to receive other help to pay for the funeral.
The claim for Funeral Expenses Payment must be made within 6 months of the funeral (even if you are awaiting a decision on a qualifying benefit).
Claims can be made by telephone or by post.
Should you require advice on the winding up of a deceased person’s estate please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Private Client Team who will be happy to assist.