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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
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Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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Is there a legal requirement for funeral costs to be paid from

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Is there a legal requirement for funeral costs to be paid from the estate of a deceased person in English Law?

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.

My name is ***** ***** am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

Under law, the funeral costs are deemed a priority deby of the Estate, and must be paid for before any other debts the deceased had, with the exception of any secured loans that may be registered against the deceased's property.

Whoever pays for the funeral - family, friends - is entitled to seek to recover the costs from the deceased's estate.

I hope this assists you and sets out the legal position to you.

Kind Regards


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks AL

I thought this was the case. However, I believe that my sisters and I, acting as our late mother’s joint executors, are being unfairly harassed by our stepfather to pay what we consider are unreasonable costs including undertakers costs £2,480.18 (reasonable), Floral Tributes (flowers purchased exclusively by our stepfather) £185 (unreasonable), Press announcements £97.50 & Headstone Engraving & reinstatement charges of £250 (both unreasonable).

Our stepfather refused to allow us any involvement in arranging our mother’s funeral. He agreed to pay the funeral costs from the proceeds of a life policy, which he has had and has now gone back on his word. He has refused to allow us to enter the family home to deal with our late mothers assets, we are aware that he has been giving away our mothers assets to friends, charity shops and other family members, without our consent, which ultimately has deprived us as beneficiaries monies properly due to us.

In July 2011 our stepfather transferred £8,800 for our mother’s joint bank account into his own personal account, which he then closed on the 9th of Aug 2011. This transfer was carried out at a time when our mother was at her most vulnerable, suffering from dementia and without her informed consent. This withdrawal was also made without our consent or agreement acting as our mothers appointed attorneys under an Enduring Power of Attorney registered with the Office of Public Guardian in October 2011.

Our mother only had just over £13,000 in savings when she passed away. It seems wholly improper and immoral that our stepfather should be allowed to harsh us in this manner. Are there any other potential courses of actions open to us? I appreciate you can’t give legal advice put a point in the right direction would be most helpful. CJJ

Hi Colin,
Thanks for your reply.
You are indeed correct that all those expenses marked as "unreasonable" are indeed unreasonable, and it is only the costs relating to the funeral itself that legally needs to be paid by you as Executors.
Unfortunately, your problem is more "family" orientated, rather than legal issues for which a simple solution can be suggested. Sadly, if he has gone back on his word concerning the payment of the funeral, there is little you can do.
Likewise, as regards ***** ***** money from the joint account, legally, he has done nothing wrong, as he was allowed, under the terms of the account,to make such withdrawals.
As regards ***** ***** your Mother's items, legally, he is at fault and if any of those items should have passed to you under the terms of your Mother's Will, in theory you can sue him for your loss. In practice, it is not going to probably be your worth and time to take such action.
Sorry I can't provide you with better news.
Kind Regards
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** most helpful and well worth the money paid. This will help my sister and I to bring closure in this matter. Thank you once again Colin

Thanks Colin.
All the best.
If you are happy with my Answer, I would be grateful if you could leave positive feedback.
Kind Regards
Aston Lawyer and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

Hi Colin,

If you would be kind enough to leave positive feedback, so I may get credited for my time.