Bennetts Funeral Directors in Essex
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Help with funeral costs

Bereavement can increase financial strain.  If you’re in a position where you can’t afford to pay funeral costs,
there may be help available.

Home » What to do when someone dies » Help with Funeral Costs
When someone dies

When someone dies, the first steps you need to take will depend on how and where they died. See our useful guide to find out more.

What to do when someone dies

Choosing a funeral director

The death of a loved one is one of the most upsetting experiences we have to go through. So, when choosing a good funeral director, what should you be looking out for?

Choosing a Funeral Director

How to register a death

Before you can begin to plan a funeral for your loved one you will need to register the death at the Registrar’s Office. It’s important that this is carried out within 5 days of receiving the medical certificate. Here we will explain how to register a death in Essex.

Guide to registering a death

Probate & the will

When someone dies, you may be given the task of sorting out their property, money and other possessions, to be able to carry out this job you will need to apply for Probate. Before you begin this process you need to find out if there’s a Will as soon as you can, it may contain important instructions such as the deceased’s funeral wishes. The Will also names the executor and any beneficiaries.

Probate and Will Guide

Who to notify

Having to deal with the affairs of the deceased immediately after their death can be complicated and upsetting, however, sorting out these issues is an essential task that we can guide you through. If you are worried about who to tell when someone has died, our simple checklist will act as a handy guide to help you through the process.

Who to Notify Checklist

Useful contacts


Essex Registrar
Tel: 0345 603 7632
Find your nearest registration office when registering a death

Essex Coroners Office

Chelmsford: 0333 013 5000
Essex & Thurrock: 01245 506837
Southend: 01245 506806

See Other Useful Contacts

Funeral price options

We are pleased to offer a number of price options, which include Unattended Cremation, Simple Cremation, and the Traditional Funeral package.

See Our Price Options

Jane was brilliant, with a wealth of information to make the process easier, things that we could do, which we hadn’t even considered. Her help, consideration, and guidance will never be forgotten. Thank you Jane.

Mrs G

from Chichester

review stars

What happens if you can’t afford a funeral?

Are you on a low income and think you may need help paying for a funeral? You may be eligible for a Funeral Expenses Payment from the Social Fund.

Who can get assistance with funeral costs?

To be eligible for assistance with funeral costs you must:

  • Be arranging a funeral in the UK, the European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland
  • Be in receipt of certain benefits or tax credits
  • Fulfill the requirements in relation to your relationship to the deceased: –
    • The partner of the deceased when they died
    • A close relative or close friend of the deceased
    • The parent of a baby stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy
    • The parent or person responsible for a deceased child who was under 16 (or under 20 and in approved education or training


You may be eligible for a payment if you receive:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • The disability or severe disability element of Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit

Assistance with funeral costs, how much will I get?

A Funeral Expenses Payment pays towards the necessary burial or cremation fees and other costs such as the burial plot, death certificates, and other documents.

You can also get up to £1,000 for any other funeral expenses, such as the:

  • Funeral director’s fees
  • Coffin
  • Flowers

How much you get depends on your circumstances. This includes any other money that’s available to cover the costs, for example from an insurance policy or the deceased person’s estate.

How can I claim for help with funeral costs?

Call the Bereavement Service Helpline. Telephone: 0800 731 0469. The general helpline is open Monday to Friday from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm
An adviser will also help you claim any other bereavement benefits you might be entitled to.  Alternatively, the Government Website can offer further information.

How is the Funeral Expenses Payment paid?

If the funeral director’s bill has not already been paid, the funeral payment will usually be paid directly to the funeral director. If the funeral director’s bill has been paid the payment will be made directly into your bank account.

If you need assistance with funeral costs in the Essex area at Bennetts Funeral Directors are happy to advise you on financial assistance available and answer any queries you may have.

Call us on 01277 210104 or 01277 627492 we are here to help.