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Is there such a thing as a pauper’s funeral?

The media often reports about the rise in so-called pauper’s funerals, journalists just love this emotive, attention grabbing phrase. Did you know in the UK there is no such thing?

What happens if you cannot afford a ‘standard funeral’?
When a family cannot afford to pay for a relative’s funeral they can get help to arrange and pay for a respectable send-off. In every case this will be carried out by a reputable local firm for a very low price that helps tax-payers’ money go further.

Professional undertakers refer to these as “contract funerals” and while the service may be simple, the bereaved benefit from the same experienced team, premises and hearse that the funeral home offers every other family served.

Providing funerals under contract can be both rewarding and challenging – some families are a joy to serve, grateful for any help or kindness. Others are demanding, ungrateful and have a hell of a nerve. We’ve provided lengthy weekend and evening viewings at no extra charge, politely refused to supply three limousines (£250 each) on principle, and been shocked by the number and size of floral tributes from the allegedly impoverished relatives.

There are three official ways to get help with funeral costs:

  1. If the death occurred in hospital then the NHS Trust will ask the contracted firm to carry out a simple funeral and the hospital chaplain will officiate for free. The bereavement officers and chaplains work incredibly hard to look after the bereaved, especially those in financial distress.
  2. If the death occurred somewhere other than a hospital then the local authority will pay for a simple funeral arranged by the contracted firm.
  3. If you are on qualifying benefits you can apply to the DWP for a Social Fund award to help meet the costs of a funeral. The maximum award is £700 plus the cremation fee and doctors’ fees or £700 plus the cost of a grave. You can choose any funeral director you want but most families will find they are still hundreds of pounds short. (A full award will usually cover the entire cost of a Pure Cremation)

There is an alternative to expensive funeral costs
With Pure Cremation, you can give a loved one a send-off without the cost attributed with a funeral without the inflated costs.

Our direct cremations cover the whole of England and Wales with the total cost being £1,195. Our trusted cremation service is becoming a real choice for many people regardless of financial status. Alternatively, you can plan ahead and buy a funeral plan for £1,595, giving you and your loved ones peace of mind and the freedom to celebrate life in your own way and time. 

How can we help?

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