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Funeral Planning is a Must-Increasing Numbers Refusing to Pay Funeral Costs

With the average cost of a funeral now stretching to around £7000, an increasing number of families simply cannot afford to pay and are subsequently refusing to do so.  In the absence of any insurance policy, funeral planning scheme, or relatives to cover the costs, local authorities have to foot the bill.

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has carried out a survey among 348 senior environmental health staff and discovered that although a consistent number of public health funerals continue to take place (around 3000 each year), over half of the authorities recorded a rise in the refusal by families to pay for their loved one’s funeral.

The Public Health Act 1984 states that local authorities must pay for a funeral if someone dies outside a hospital and there is no one available to meet the funeral costs.   These costs can sometimes be reclaimed from the family at a later date but only if they can be identified and are willing to pay.

It is thought that on average, a council is forced to pay out around £5000 on public health funerals each year, with the total amount coming to around £2 million across the UK last year.  It has however been reported that one council had to organise 266 public health funerals last year.  Staggeringly, only just over half were for individuals aged over 65.  Consider funeral planning to make sure that this doesn’t happen to you.

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