Can savings be allocated for funeral costs?

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Marnie63, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. Marnie63

    Marnie63 Registered User

    Dec 26, 2015
    1,467
    Hampshire
    Apologies for the rather morbidly catchy title, but …. I am still waiting on SS to visit to do another care needs assessment for mum (her state has changed recently, so am hoping for a bit more help for her). I had a very helpful lady visit us recently from a local carers' charity and I ran through my financial concerns with her, and how to approach the forthcoming assessment visit. Mum has very little in the form of savings - a current account that her Pension and Attendance Allowance go into, and then she has a savings account with a few thousand in. If SS insist that mum needs to contribute towards more care (and I'm not sure they will, but …), am I within my rights to say that the money in the savings account is what mum wanted to be earmarked for her funeral? I am trying to avoid contributing anything myself (my savings are earmarked for my retirement, as I gave up work early .. to care for mum!), so the only place I think they can say we have to contribute from is her savings. But surely one is allowed to keep something aside for one's funeral? Mum has a lot less than the £14k in the account, by the way. I'm not totally clear on what the rules are, hence the question. The issue seems to be that SS pay one rate for her care (via direct payments) and the agency we use charges more, so I think if they agree a bit more care, then they will push her to supplement the difference in rate. I am going to refuse point blank to top up with anything myself, based on the fact that I only have an income of £64.60 a week.
     
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    10,558
    Female
    London
    If she has a lot less than the £14,250 anyway then you shouldn't be worrying - she's allowed to keep that and they can't charge her.

    I do not know if you can just say that a certain amount in a savings account is earmarked for funeral costs but what's totally legitimate is to buy a pre-paid funeral plan and spend the money on that. A word of warning though - check what you're buying as many plans have restrictions in terms of what they pay for or which FD to use, and not all of them are good value for money. I am certain I arranged OH's funeral for less than a plan would have cost.
     
  3. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    958
    Less than £14k in savings and assets, then SS cannot take that into account.
    Should she have less than £14k in the bank, but owns her own house, then yes she will be making a contribution.
    A financial assessment will reveal just what has to be taken into account, it is only what is in her sole name, or 1/2 of any joint asset.(unless another split can be shown) that can be assessed, your situation should not be regarded.

    Bod
     
  4. try again

    try again Registered User

    Jun 21, 2018
    196
    The house only comes into it if a care home is required I think.
     
  5. Marnie63

    Marnie63 Registered User

    Dec 26, 2015
    1,467
    Hampshire
    Thanks Beate. I have no plans to buy any kind of funeral plan, I will just deal with it when it happens (and of course I will pay whatever at the time, but use up her remaining funds if I can access them in time). Mum will be laid to rest with Dad and it's not local, so I already know which FD I will be using.

    And thanks Bod - mum owns no house, she lives with me. I think for care at home the home is not taken into account, if someone does own a home, only if someone moves to a care or nursing home, or at least that's what one SW told me.
     
  6. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    66,875
    Kent
    I was advised by Social Services I could purchase a pre paid funeral for my husband, from his savings, and it would not be considered deprivation of assets.

    This was about 10 years ago so the rules may have changed.
     
  7. Marnie63

    Marnie63 Registered User

    Dec 26, 2015
    1,467
    Hampshire
    Speaking of funerals (sorry, morbid again, but it will happen) - I dread to think how much they cost these days. I just happened to have the old paperwork to hand for dad's funeral costs, 26 years ago, and it was just over a thousand! The stone at the cemetery was more - around £2k I think. I would guess that these days an average type of funeral will cost around £5k, or even more. And the stone - bet that's a lot more now! Hopefully I can use the same surround, and just have a new headstone made up.
     
  8. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    11,901
    Female
    England
    When my husband was assessed for paying for day care, his income was taken into account - retired so just pensions - then certain allowed expenses were taken off and then what he could afford was calculated.
     
  9. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    10,558
    Female
    London
    It all depends on what the funeral will look like. Burials cost more than cremations and normal cremations cost more than direct cremations. Pictorial coffins cost more than standard wooden coffins. A restaurant bill for 100 people will cost more than for 40, especially if you have an open bar. If you're smart you can make lots of savings on small items that add up. For example, print your own order of service. I did OH's funeral for slightly over £3,000 and it was a lovely service, so it's doable, even in London.
     
  10. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    4,797
    Female
    Scotland
    There is a move towards direct cremation which costs around £1500. Many old people have few friends and family who would attend a traditional Funeral. David Bowie chose this method so that makes it OK.
     
  11. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    7,190
    Female
    South coast
    We had a financial assessment recently by a very nice man (didnt know they existed!) who explain what would and would not be considered deprivation of assets. He mentioned a funeral plan as not being considered DoA, so I assume that the rules have not changed.

    BTW - will mention the the house would not be considered at part of the financial assessment as long as the person with dementia still lives there or if any of the following are living there
    • your partner or former partner, unless they are estranged from you
    • your estranged or divorced partner IF they are also a lone parent
    • a relative who is aged 60 or over
    • a child of yours aged under 18
    • a relative who is disabled.
    (from Age UK)
     
  12. Marnie63

    Marnie63 Registered User

    Dec 26, 2015
    1,467
    Hampshire
    I well remember you sharing the arrangements with us @Beate, and that gave me some ideas, and I'm sure helped a lot of others. I am already planning to do the flowers myself (can't get any more personal than that!) and some boards with photos printed onto pages. Unfortunately I can't hold the wake at home, as the funeral will be 70 miles away, so will have to find a venue, but am hoping that I can hire the church hall and make it more personal too. We'll see. My plans may not work, and mum is still very much with us, but ideas now will help me then ...
     
  13. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    10,558
    Female
    London
    I think you can do what passes for a direct cremation in two ways - have the cremation before the service and only have an urn present, or have the coffin present and have the cremation done the next day at a time of the crematorium's choosing, which makes it cheaper. To be honest, I went to a funeral service once where the coffin vanished behind a curtain and into the furnace, and that creeped me out like nothing else - I knew I did not want that. The reduced costs were simply a bonus. We have to do what feels right to us.
     
  14. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    7,190
    Female
    South coast
    You dont have to have the curtains closing if you dont want to. For mums funeral we had a service at her church - she was an active member until dementia and the church was packed, then afterwards there was the committal at the crematorium for family and close friends (about 10 of us). I was asked if I wanted the curtains closed or left open until everyone had departed. I chose to keep them open.
     
  15. DeMartin

    DeMartin Registered User

    Jul 4, 2017
    681
    Kent
    Dad’s funeral was extremely simple, he had left explicit instructions, no words no music, cardboard coffin. We followed the coffin in, a chorus of good byes, the grandsons closed the curtains, we left and had a wonderful meal.
    The cardboard coffin was more expensive than an MDF one. It was the same material as the boxes etc that you can buy for decoupage decoration, and I can imagine that a home decorated one could look really special and personal.
     
  16. Angela57

    Angela57 Registered User

    Jan 22, 2016
    195
    I have just pre paid for my funeral plan for just less than £3000. It was reduced because I have chosen an early morning slot for my cremation. It doesn't include a wake, or flowers and I can't choose a FD, but with only my two boys and their family, and a few good friends to attend, I thought it would work well. I'm only 60, but on limited income, and funerals will rise in price. I didn't want my boys to have to contribute. And my parents dementia made me feel that it's never too soon to plan for myself.
     
  17. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,551
    Suffolk
    Three years ago, OHs cremation cost less than £3k. Creamation fees and funeral directors fees you can’t do much about. Not an expensive coffin, it was covered with the Union Flag anyway ( ex services and Merchant Navy entitled to this), funeral Lunch at home. Caterers for around 80, ( not sure, never counted) very reasonable ( friends of my stepdau). Like Beate, I did the service sheets, so didn’t cost very much.

    If you want a big funeral, posh coffin, 6 horses etc, the sky’s the limit!
    All chargeable to your mothers estate.
     
  18. malengwa

    malengwa Registered User

    Jan 26, 2017
    241
    Mums was 5k and the headstone and new kerbs on the family grave another 3k. It was her money, it was what she wanted, and dad who was the main beneficiary wanted to do what she wished, as did we all. Yes expensive, but no, I don't regret it, it was lovely to see family i'd not seen for years, and her funeral was lovely. Mum always said 'I don't care, it's my money' when she spent a small fortune on anything, so it was fitting for her.
    I've yet to speak to the kids about whether they want us to pre plan and purchase ours. There's part of the funeral planning that helped me in my grief, like it was the very last thing i could do for mum, I don't want to take that away from them if they want that responsibility.
     

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