Douglas Mercer & Son Funeral Directors will quote for all the costs for all elements of the funeral on our estimate. A typical funeral will include the following four elements:
– Funeral directors services
– Your choice of coffin or casket
– Your choice of any additional optional services
– Disbursements (payments made to third parties by a funeral director on your behalf, for example, crematorium or cemetery fees, officiant or minister fees, doctors’ fees for cremation
Our funeral arrangers will always advise you of the amount required by supplying a full estimate of the funeral, including all relevant third party costs, before you confirm the funeral arrangements.
Before the funeral takes place you will be sent our invoice that will ask for full payment of Disbursements & Additional Expenses plus 50% of the total cost of the funeral director’s services. Payment is due within 21 days of the invoice, if the account remains unpaid after this date, an Administration Charge of 10% of the remaining balance will be added to the account. You may, of course, pay the full funeral account in advance if you wish.
If you are claiming benefits you may be entitled to help from the DWP. The Gov.uk website Funeral Expenses Payment has helpful information.
Depending on your current circumstances you could receive help in paying for costs of the doctor’s certificate of death, cremation fees and up to £700 for any funeral expenses including funeral directors’ fees and coffin transportation.
For a full list of exactly what can be included please download the Funeral Expenses claim form SF200. This applies to England, Scotland and Wales (SF200W Welsh language). In Northern Ireland you can get a Funeral Payment application from from a Social Security.Jobs and Benefits office or search for Funeral Payments on www.nidirect.gov.uk
To be eligible for Funeral Expense Payment you must:
– get certain benefits or tax credits
– meet the rules on your relationship with the deceased
– be arranging a funeral in the UK, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
If you intend to claim assistance for funeral expenses from the Social Fund (DWP) please let us know. These payments are a contribution towards costs and will not cover the entire cost of the funeral so there will be a balance to be paid by you. The rules for eligibility are complex and we suggest you talk to us or your local Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) office for advice.
In addition, the Department of Work & Pensions has a Bereavement Service helpline to notify them of the death of a loved one. At the same time the eligibility for benefits of
immediate next-of-kin can be checked. Call the DWP Bereavement Service Helpline on 0800 7310469 (or 0800 7310453 for a Welsh language service), Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.
If you are not using a professional to deal with probate for you, we recommend you call the Bereavement Service as soon as possible to avoid any over-payment of benefits which would then have to be repaid from the estate to the government.
Other funding options
If you’re not eligible for Funeral Expenses Payment you might be able to get other help. In England, Scotland and Wales you could apply for a Budgeting Loan if you have been getting one or more of these benefits for the past six months:
– Income Support
– Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
– Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
– Pension Credit
Download the Budgeting Loan claim form SF500 from www.gov.uk (SF500W Welsh language). You can also now apply online. If you live in Northern Ireland, go to Budgeting Loans in Northern Ireland.
Children’s Funeral Fund (CFF)
The Children’s Funeral Fund scheme is available regardless of a family’s income, and will help cover burial or cremation costs for children under 18 and stillbirths after the 24th week of pregnancy up to £2,000. Through the scheme, funeral directors are able to directly claim burial or cremation costs, as well as a contribution of £300 towards the cost of a coffin, so that parents do not need to worry about managing these expenses. Parents can also claim directly from the scheme if they choose not to use a funeral director.
Prepaid funeral plans
If your loved one had a Choice funeral plan, please call your local funeral home for more information and to start making arrangements. All you will need to do is provide a Death Certificate and we can take it from there, helping you every step of the way.
Alternatively you can call Choice direct on 01803 298243 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
You can find more information about our funeral plans here.