The death of a spouse can be extremely shocking, especially if you weren’t expecting it. With a whole host of emotions creeping around your body, it can be difficult to think straight and to take care of the tasks that need doing. If you’ve never been in this position before, it can be difficult to know where to start. (Read more)
Don’t feel overwhelmed, as we’ve put together a list of things that you should be thinking about.
In order to register the death of your spouse, you will need to obtain a medical certificate from a GP or hospital doctor. Once this has been received, you must register the death within 5 days (although this is 8 days if you live in Scotland). The documents needed for a funeral will then be sent to you. You may be eligible to use the Tell Us Once service following the death of a loved one, which is a service that reports deaths to the majority of government organisations in one go.
Arranging a funeral
It’s a good idea to opt for a funeral director who is a member of either:
- National Association of Funeral Directors
- National Federation of Funeral Directors
- Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors
All three of these organisations have codes of conduct which require them to give you price lists upon request.
If you’re looking for a burial that does not have any religion attached to it, the British Humanist Association can help you, as well as some local councils. It’s a good idea to directly contact your local council to see if this is something they can help you with.
When you’re arranging a funeral, it’s important to know what you’ll be spending money on. Funeral costs can include:
- Funeral director fees
- Things the funeral director pays for on your behalf (called ‘disbursements’ or ‘third-party costs’), for example crematorium or cemetery fees, or a newspaper announcement about the death
- Local authority burial or cremation fees
Paying for a funeral
If you don’t have a lot of money set aside to pay for the funeral of a spouse, there are a number of options that you may want to explore.
Did your spouse have a pre-paid funeral plan or insurance policy? Make sure you find this out as a first port of call. Money from this should cover the majority, if not all, of the funeral cost.
Are your friends or family able to help finance the funeral? It’s a good idea to ask around if you can’t fork out the money yourself.
If you’re still having difficulty finding money, you can apply for a Funeral Payment.
Here at Widows and Widowers, we’re passionate about helping those who are in need. Whether you’re looking for some advice or a friendly ear, our online community is a great place to meet people who have been through similar circumstances and are also dealing with bereavement. Visit www.widowsandwidowers.co.uk to find out more.