Paying for Funeral Services

It is estimated around 5,000 people under the age of 18 die every year, with the costs faced by grieving parents typically spiraling into the thousands. 

Finding the money to pay for funeral services, such as burials or cremations, as well as the associated council fees, can prove extremely difficult. While some councils do waiver these costs, others can charge considerably more than others.

With Brexit talks continuing to intensify, some pressing domestic issues continue to be overlooked as the exit negotiations drag on. One of these is the formation of the Children’s Funeral Fund for England, which was proposed by the government in early 2018.

Grieving parents struggling to pay for funeral services

The purpose of the fund is to cover the full cost of funeral services for grieving families, with local authority fees covered by government funding. 

However, a recent letter from Co-op Funeralcare to Theresa May expressed concern about the lack of progress made in establishing the fund. The company have asked the government to reiterate their commitment and for assurances to be made there are plans to implement it as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, there are thousands of families struggling to cope with the financial burden of paying for funeral services. This is on top of trying to come to terms with such a devastating loss. Parents and family members find it incredibly difficult to cope with the emotional impact it will have on their lives. 

Having to find the money to cover cost of funeral services, along with third-party fees, creates more stress and concern at a time when they least need it.

Although the idea of creating the Children’s Funeral Fund was proposed in April of last year, the fees faced by bereaved parents increased even further only a couple of months later.

Starting in 2021, a new charge of almost £100 will now also have to be paid. This will be used to fund a 15-minute examination by NHS ‘medical examiners’ who will double-check the cause of death before releasing the body for burial.

Recent developments

The lack of progress with starting fund was recently raised in Parliament by MP for Oldham West and Royton, Jim McMahon. He is hoping this will put pressure onto the government to speed up the process. 

Minister for the Cabinet Office, David Lidington, responding by saying it “isn’t right” that bereaved parents have to bear the cost of funeral services, and agreed the government needed to pick up the pace. 

With increased pressure arriving from the Co-op, and the issue being raised in parliament, there is hope the fund will soon become a reality for parents, giving them the help they need in one of the most testing periods of their lives.

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