Confusing the Cost of a Funeral

Posted by on Jan 26, 2015 in Pre-Paid Funeral | Comments Off on Confusing the Cost of a Funeral

Confusing the Cost of a Funeral
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References to the funeral costs for a convicted child murderer may appear misleading or exaggerated if today’s Daily Mail is anything to go by.

The newspaper is very annoyed today and judging by the many and varied comments, so are most of the readers who have cared or dared to leave a reply to the article written by Steph Cockroft. Here’s the link to the article;

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2925479/Child-killer-dubbed-Monster-Cannock-Chase-funeral-paid-Ministry-Justice-taxpayers-cash-used-buy-flowers.html

Some facts will probably not be disputed; Raymond Morris, aged 84, died at HMP Preston in May, 2014, after spending 45 years in jail. He was found guilty of a seven-year-old child’s murder and suspected of two others. The taxpayer, the state, has funded the funeral costs of £2686, which includes £15 being spent on flowers, by the prison. The newspaper claims that the cremation fee was £751, £285 for the coffin, and £185 for the hearse.

Further down into the article, they claim that the cost includes £1165 for the registration of his death. This figure is incorrect, but it may just be confusion and includes most of the costs for the cremation.

The newspaper states that prisons are advised to pay up to £3000 towards reasonable funeral expenses, yet claim that pauper’s funerals are available for just £100.

The reason these figures are misleading, are, when you consider that a funeral payment or bereavement payment are available, under certain circumstances. To read the details about funeral payments on the government website, you can click here; https://www.gov.uk/funeral-payments/overview

The rules suggest that you can receive a funeral payment if you’re on a low income and need help to pay for a funeral that you’re arranging. The amount payable will depend upon individual circumstances and if the person qualifies by claiming in time; currently receives certain benefits or tax credits and meets the official rules connecting the relationship with the deceased

The amount of money that may be paid out will help pay burial or cremation fees and exclusive rights to a burial in a particular plot. £700 is allocated for the funeral directors fees, flowers and the coffin. There is also an allowance for moving the body up to 50 miles within the UK. For anyone with a prepaid funeral plan, they may only receive help for items not covered by the plan.

Alternately, you can visit this government website; https://www.gov.uk/bereavement which explains that if the husband, wife or civil partner has died when you are under the state pension age, a one-off tax-free lump sum payment of £2000 can be sent as a bereavement payment, provided your spouse or civil partner wasn’t entitled to a category A state retirement pension when they died.

Effectively, this means that many people can receive a sum of money to help with the funeral arrangements that is similar to the amount provided by the government for the death of a prison inmate as described in the Daily Mail article. A pauper’s £100 funeral will only apply when no one else is available to become responsible for making the funeral arrangements and it turns to the local authority to ensure that a funeral is carried out, because that is a requirement of the law.

What do you think? Should a person in prison be entitled to a state paid pension, from the tax you have paid? Is the £100 pauper’s funeral really available and should everyone be required to organize a pre-paid funeral plan, in advance, by law?

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