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Assisted Funerals

Assisted funeral are funerals arranged under The Public Health (Control of Disease Act) 1984.

Under Section 46 of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 Basildon Borough Council have a duty to bury any person who has died or 'found to be dead' in the Basildon area in any case 'where it appears to the local authority that no suitable arrangements for the disposal of the body have been or are being made'.

Therefore, Basildon Council are responsible for making sure that anyone who dies in (or is found deceased in) the Borough of Basildon, is properly buried or cremated if suitable arrangements have not been made.  This could be due to the fact that there is not anybody available to arrange the funeral. Various reasons could apply, such as:

  • No family, friends or next of kin have been identified/ located.
  • Insufficient funds available in the estate of the deceased to pay for the funeral.
  • Family or friends are either unwilling, or do not have funds available.

Should information of family or friends be found, they will be informed of the death and asked to make the funeral arrangements.  However, if this is not possible for whatever reason, Basildon Council will make arrangements for a basic funeral.

Basildon Council is also responsible for making sure that anyone who dies while being provided with accommodation under Part III of the National Assistance Act 1984 is buried or cremated properly.

Recovering the funeral costs

Where possible the cost of the funeral will be recovered from the estate of the deceased or from a family member.

If the deceased left items of value (for example; furniture, electrical goods, jewellery or other personal effects) arrangements will be made for the disposal of these items and any money recovered will go towards the cost of the funeral. Likewise if there was a pension or insurance policy, money in a bank, post office or building society account, the local authority have first claim on these funds to help pay for the funeral.

Referring the estate to the Treasury Solicitor

When all costs are known, and if the value of the estate exceeds the cost of the funeral, the Treasury Solicitor will be informed.

What to do after someone dies and help with funeral costs for those on a low income

For further information and advice see:

  • GOV.UK - Bereavement Payment - You may be able to get a £2,000 Bereavement Payment if your husband, wife or civil partner has died. This is a one-off, tax-free, lump-sum payment.
  • GOV.UK - Funeral Payments - Help with funeral costs for those receiving certain benefits or tax credits.
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