Death Etc

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Thisoldbird | 23:06 Mon 23rd Nov 2020 | How it Works
19 Answers
A couple have been separated 7 divorce..male lives with partner 4 years..male dies, under retirement age..leaving no will nor money for funeral.

Deceased has been on benefits for few years through ill health

Are there are automatic Gov Grants these days to help with costs..

Can the separated wife be asked to pay the bill?

Lots of questions rolled into one..

Some people leave a trail of devastation when they die. And in in this case.

This is in uk

Anyone know the answers.. please.


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As far as i know, the ex-wife does not have to contribute in any way shape or form. The partner of 4 years will be expected to arrange for the burial/cremation. If the partner is on benefits or low income, they may qualify for a small grant toward the cost but it is not automatic. It has to be applied for.
As far as I'm aware, if a person dies with no assets, then no one is legally required to foot the bill for a funeral, although it is "expected" that relatives pick up the bill.

A bit of googling and there's plenty of info:

There are a few legal eagles on here that might be able to offer some more solid advice though .... let's wait and see :)
>>> Can the separated wife be asked to pay the bill?

Anyone can be ASKED to pay for a funeral but nobody can be FORCED to pay for one.

If nobody is prepared to arrange a funeral, or nobody can afford to pay for one, the local authority is obliged by law to arrange and pay for a basic funeral. (They can then seek to recoup the cost from the estate of the deceased but if he/she died owning nothing at all then the local authority simply has to meet the full cost).

This Government document goes into a lot of detail on the subject
but this guide is possibly more accessible

If such a 'public health funeral' is to be sought, it's important that nobody else starts to arrange a funeral, as a local authority can't take over any existing arrangements; everything must be left entirely to the local authority.

Alternatively, someone who is in receipt of certain benefits can receive a grant of up to £1000 to pay towards the costs of the funeral of their partner or a close relative:

The partner of the deceased could make a claim for a Funeral Payment if responsible for the payment of the funeral.

Although married still, the ex-wife was not the partner at the date of death and could not make a claim on that basis.
You say the deceased has no assets but if he 'let his wife have the lot' when they separated 7 years ago he may still own a share of the marital home. If that is the case it will be treated as an asset and could be used to pay for funeral expenses even if she has been paying the mortgage on her own since the split.
Question Author
Barry1010, there was no property and wife left with bare essentials..

Wife not been asked to contribute yet. I know her name was added to death certificate tho..

Hopefully his current partner will get a grant to help with the funeral costs. I can't imagine why his wife is mentioned on the Certificate, can you explain?

In my experience local councils are relentless at chasing up somebody to take responsibility for paying for the funeral.
Question Author
Barry1010, I have no idea why the wife's name has been added to the certificate..I just know it has.

It's all very strange as yet.
Did his wife register the death? That is the only way her name would be on it
Best make your claim before wife does
You have to be married or in a civil partnership to get WB. Living together is not enough
Question Author
This isn't me..its a person close tho..

The name was added to the death certificate by the partner..who told me she was unable to add the wife's address as she didn't know it.

I think she must be confused. The only names that are entered on to a death certificate are the deceased, the person registering the death and the registrar.

That isn't really important. If your friend is going to pay for the funeral she needs to apply for the grant now as nothing is automatic.

the wife is still the wife and the separation was just they moved out innit?

in which case the wife inherits - and has a duty to pay for the funeral.but what the hell no one really knows diddly squat about that the family relations are, wills etc or what was written on - the DC?
//Widow benefit might help// It might, but this would go to the legal widow, not the partner. If there was no divorce the law is quite clear on this.
PP, the wife does not have a duty to pay for the funeral. She can be asked to but she can refuse to. He has left no assets so she will inherit nothing.
yes - or er no Barry
I was taking this as a classical
the wife has no assets except the assets she has
a recurring type of question to be found every week on AB

the one I buried they were particular that someone was found who cd pay before they did anything
( like go near the body)

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