The death of a loved one can not only be emotionally challenging but financially challenging – especially if it was unexpected. It may be up to you to find a way of funding their funeral. If you are a spouse and previously shared bills, you could also find yourself suddenly swamped by expenses. Fortunately, the death of a loved one doesn’t have to be financially difficult. Here are just some of the ways in which you can financially cope.
Know what is yours to inherit
You may be able to inherit wealth or assets that could go towards the funding of their funeral, as well as helping you to pay household expenses if you are a spouse. In other cases, they may have life insurance that can offer a payout. Working out what you have inherited is likely to be easier if your loved one wrote a will. If not, their estate is likely to be divided according to the rules of intestacy (this can vary depending on which country/state you live in).
You may want to hire an estate lawyer to help with the distribution of their estate – especially if you feel that certain people shouldn’t be inheriting anything. Talking to a legal professional can be useful simply for understanding issues such as inheritance tax, which may apply when inheriting a large estate.
It’s important to notify creditors when a loved one dies, otherwise they will keep receiving bills. Having a copy of their death certificate may be necessary when cancelling bills.
If you’re a spouse or you’ve inherited a property, you may still have to pay bills. However, you should still notify creditors of the situation – many will be sympathetic and may delay or freeze payments for a couple months.
Consider these funeral funding tips
If your loved one offered no funds to pay for their own funeral (including savings and life insurance) you will have to fund the funeral itself. There are a few ways in which you can fund a funeral if you are financially struggling. These include:
- Funeral home installment schemes: This could allow you to pay for funeral expenses in installments.
- Funeral loans: This may similarly allow you to pay off the cost of a funeral over a long period.
- Opting for a home funeral: This can be 25% cheaper than a conventional funeral.
- Getting help from family and friends: No one family member should have to fund the funeral alone. Other friends and families may be willing to chip in to offer your loved one the send off they deserve.
Seek funding from local charities/government
If the death of a loved one has put you under a lot of financial pressure, there may be charities that can help to offer income assistance or funeral funding. There may also be forms of government support that you can look into such as benefits to help with bills. Make sure to explore your options.
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