Funeral costs are usually borne in the following order: 1. By the deceased’s own Estate (bank savings, their home etc) 2. By a member of the family or a friend who agrees to take on the financial responsibility 3. Under some circumstances the Department of Work and Pensions will pay towards a funeral as a supplementary benefit. There are strict guidelines to who can apply for such a benefit and the application process can take some weeks. If successful, the amount provided, while substantial, is not intended to pay in full for a funeral; there will almost certainly be a balance to be paid privately. Applicants should liaise with their DWP office for more details. However, two simple parameters are that the Applicant MUST be on a qualifying benefit from the DWP already (or will qualify as a consequence of the death) and any Estate left by the deceased (possibly excluding the marital home if a dependant spouse continues to reside there) must be put towards the funeral costs. The Applicant must be deemed by the DWP to be the appropriate person to arrange the funeral and not simply one of convenience based upon their potential eligibility. 4. If all else fails the state provides in law that the local authority (council) for the area in which the death occurs must provide for a very simple cremation or burial. In such circumstances family and/or Executors must hand over all responsibility and rights to decision making to the relevant local authority (council). A very simple funeral will be arranged under the instruction of the local authority and the necessary costs borne from public funds. While simple, the funeral may be attended by mourners. Any Estate whatsoever left by the deceased (car, furniture, chattels) must be surrendered to the local authority.