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Paying for a funeral

The total cost of a funeral will include the costs of burial or cremation, the price of a coffin, fees for the funeral service and the professional services of the funeral director.

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There will also be charges for extras, such as flowers, cars, service sheets and newspaper notices.

Our list of cemetery, burial and cremation costs gives the current price of graves, burial, cremation and memorial fees.

If you use a funeral director, they will give a written estimate of the cost of the funeral, but the final bill may be higher.

Pre-paid funeral

The person who died may have arranged a pre-paid funeral plan, which pays for their funeral in advance. Check their personal paperwork to see if they had a plan.

Paying from the person’s savings or insurance

If there is no funeral plan, the funeral is normally paid for with any money left by the person who has died. You will need to show the death certificate to release money from the person’s bank accounts or insurance policies.

Sometimes it won’t be possible to access the person’s money immediately. Relatives may need to borrow money until the person's money and property are sorted out. Alternatively, some funeral directors will allow you to delay payment until this has happened.

Relatives and friends pay for the funeral

Some people do not leave enough money to pay for a funeral. If this happens, the person arranging the funeral will have to pay for it, although other relatives or friends may be willing to contribute.

If you receive a means-tested social security benefit (such as income support), you may be able to get a payment from the your nearest Jobcentre Plus for details on how to apply for a social fund payment.

Financial help for the funerals of war veterans

If the person who died was receiving a war disablement pension, Veterans UK will help with the cost of a simple funeral.

Useful websites

Contact

Bereavement Services

HITHER GREEN CEMETERY, VERDANT LANE, LONDON, SE6 1JX
Email: bereavement@lewisham.gov.uk
Telephone: 020 8314 3210