Research suggests 70% of individuals ‘unaware of inheritance tax nil-rate band’

Research carried out by Canada Life has suggested that a significant amount of individuals ‘do not know the threshold’ for the standard inheritance tax (IHT) nil-rate band. Canada Life found that 70% of those surveyed did not know the standard … Find out more »


Chancellor commissions OTS to review inheritance tax rules

Chancellor Philip Hammond has commissioned the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) to review the UK’s inheritance tax (IHT) regime, and outline ways in which the tax can be simplified. In a letter to Angela Knight, Chair of the OTS, and … Find out more »

The Funeral

How to arrange the funeral

The only legal requirement relating to funerals is that the body can only be buried or cremated in a place legally designated for this purpose, and the death must be certified and registered. Your local funeral director can help and advise you on your choice of funeral but it is a good idea to check the Will of the person who has passed away, or locate any written wishes that the deceased may have left regarding their funeral. If there are no instructions relating to the funeral it is generally up to the Executor or a close relative to decide on the most appropriate arrangements.

It is possible to arrange a funeral without a Funeral Director and details can be obtained from your local council from the Cemeteries and Crematorium Department.

How to pay for the funeral

It is possible to get financial assistance for the funeral arrangements, if necessary, and details regarding this can be obtained from your local council or benefits agency. The funeral needs to be arranged before Probate has been granted so whoever is organising the funeral may need to pay for the funeral and recover the fees from the deceased’s Estate. The bank account of the deceased will be frozen until Probate is granted (other than in the case of a joint account). It is also a good idea to check to see if the deceased had a funeral scheme with an insurance provider which would cover the cost of a funeral.

Funeral Wishes

Specific and detailed arrangements for the funeral may have been stipulated in the Deceased’s Will or such instructions may be laid out in an entirely separate document. Elements that may be taken into consideration include:

  • Whether there is a pre-paid Funeral Plan to cover the costs
  • Organ donation or body donation
  • Burial – coffin type, cemetery/woodland details, headstone
  • Cremation – coffin type/urn/container type. Some people choose to wait several months before deciding on a suitable site for scattering the deceased’s ashes.
  • Funeral Service – type of service, location, flowers, attendees, music, readings.

It should be noted that it is not necessary to have a religious ceremony.