Death Certificate Price Increase
Last month we highlighted the costs faced by families paying for their children’s funeral and the government’s delay in establishing the Children’s Funeral Fund for England.
Now it appears costs are set to rise even further with the news that death certificates have now tripled in price.
From 16th February, the price of purchasing a death certificate in England and Wales has risen from £4 to £11. Birth and marriage certificate prices are also changing, but death certificates have undergone the steepest price hike.
While a rise of £7 may not seem extortionate, it can have a big financial effect on those being asked to pay. This is because relatives can sometimes be asked to produce up to 20 different certificates to prove to authorities their loved one has died.
When someone has passed away, anyone from life insurance companies and banks, to building societies and investment firms,may request a death certificate in order verify the death of an individual. If the person held shares, relatives maybe asked to send a certificate to ensure they can be transferred to someone else.
Some families have simpler affairs, but even in this scenario they may require anywhere between five to ten death certificates. This could change the cost for bereaved families from £40 to £110, adding more financial burden at a time when they need it the least.
OTHER DEATH CERTIFICATE PRICE INCREASES
Over a million people die every year in England and Wales. This means the price increase is likely to generate millions of pounds for the government.
Given the current economic climate and the uncertainty surrounding many jobs due to the ongoing Brexit negotiations, there is every chance this will only make things more difficult for bereaved families.
This is the first price change since 2010, and the Home Office have said it is purely to cover the admin costs associated with creating each certificate. However, they did also note that registration officers are able to reduce or waive fees completely on grounds of hardship or compassion.
It’s not just standard prices that have gone up, as the cost of the priority service has also changed. This has increased from £23.40 to £35, while still providing delivery on the next working day.
PDF copes of digitalised death records, which were introduced back in 2017, now cost £7 (they were previously £6), with a priority copy available for £45.