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To say to the council - you deal with it

(190 Posts)
Lazyjane76 Mon 19-Dec-16 11:37:17

I have been with my partner for 22 years, his relationship with his mum has been difficult over the years. He grew up with her threatening suicide regularly, at 9 she would tell him she would be dead when he returned from school. In the last few years he has managed a reasonable relationship with her, visiting once a week.
He has a brother who is severely disabled and lives in supported accommodation, he has behavioural problems and becomes aggressive when he drinks.
Last Sunday his mum had a brain haemorrhage. She was in intensive care where her condition kept improving and then deteriorating. She passed away on Wednesday.
All week we'd been told different things as her condition kept changing. this is no ones fault but we went from speaking about organ donation to rehabilitation to sitting at her bedside as she passed.
I'm obviously upset but I'm very angry.
She was 63, she brought up her 2 sons alone - my partner and his brother with severe learning difficulties. She cared for her disabled mum too. She had significant health problems - almost completely deaf, high blood pressure, asthma, depression and osteoarthritis from lifting her own mother out of a wheelchair. She used to have life insurance but cancelled it because she had to pay bedroom tax and couldn't afford it. She begged to move into a smaller property for years.
Eventually she moved to a council bungalow.
Over the last few years she has been systematically bullied by the DWP into getting a job. She had a 'fit for work' appointment a month ago, 1 year from her retirement where after her assessment she was told that she 'might get better'. Friday we were at her bungalow and a letter came informing her that she had to attend another assessment to assess her capability.
She has 19p in her bank account, she has a partner of 25 years who is a pensioner but they didn't live together.
We have no money,we work but live payday to payday. The council have said we need to borrow the money for a funeral from "somewhere". Where? And should we? My partner is pragmatic, in his opinion his mum passed on Sunday it just took until Wednesday for her body to catch up.
Does everyone else have thousands in the back that they can use for this?
As far as the council is concerned it's my partner's responsibility as next of kin, her partner doesn't count.
Am I being unreasonable to make the council pay?

Lazyjane76 Mon 19-Dec-16 11:37:43

Sorry for a ridiculously long post.

AndNowItsSeven Mon 19-Dec-16 11:39:06

The dwp have a funeral fund that can be applied for.

19lottie82 Mon 19-Dec-16 11:39:20

YANBU. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it.

19lottie82 Mon 19-Dec-16 11:40:35

The funeral fund / grant will only be awarded if the next of kin earns under a certain amount.

Lazyjane76 Mon 19-Dec-16 11:41:10

Unfortunately the DWP funeral fund is for those on benefits, which we're not. Her partner is but they've said it's not relevant as they didn't live together.

19lottie82 Mon 19-Dec-16 11:41:20

And you have to be on some kind of benefits too I think, like tax credits?

19lottie82 Mon 19-Dec-16 11:42:33

www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/help-paying-for-a-funeral

Sixisthemagicnumber Mon 19-Dec-16 11:45:00

If you are on a low income then you can apply for a funeral grant from the DWP. Failing that the funeral is the responsibility of the next of kin. When a next of kin is known the council are unitedly to agree to pay for even a paupers funeral.
I do sympathise because my own mum is next of kin for her very aged and unwell father and I was extremely concerned a few years ago about him dying and leaving my
Mum with a huge funeral bill which she wouldn't be able to pay. I finally
Convinced grandad to take out a prepaid funeral plan (he wasn't happy about it). It's really terrible when people die and there are no means to pay for a funeral but the councils are not usually willing to cover the cost.
I know some funeral companies charge half the price of others donut is worth googling local low cost funeral options. Did your MIL have anything worth selling to help with the cost?

Sixisthemagicnumber Mon 19-Dec-16 11:45:40

And yes, her partner is totally irrelevant as he isn't next of kin.

Lazyjane76 Mon 19-Dec-16 11:45:45

Thanks Lottie, my partner wants a Public Health Funeral. He's not religious and is obviously angry at the way she has been treated but when I rang the council they were adamant that that's not a possibility. He has an appointment to register the death tomorrow and will speak to them again. He's on his knees with exhaustion but is at the point of telling them to keep the body then.

VeryBitchyRestingFace Mon 19-Dec-16 11:47:10

Does your partner want a funeral for his mother? He wouldn't be up for donating her body to medical science?

My father has already told me he'd be okay with that, although I'm squeamish at the thought.

Condolences to your partner. flowers

Lazyjane76 Mon 19-Dec-16 11:47:53

Six, thanks for your response. MIL has nothing of value - unless anyone wants to buy a collection of ceramic ducks.
I feel cross with her for not making provisions but I do understand why she couldn't.

Daisyfrumps Mon 19-Dec-16 11:48:21

You don't have to pay thousands. Ring up local funeral homes and get quotes for direct cremation.

If the council won't contribute due to your income level then you'll have to reach an arrangement with the undertakers to spread the payments, or pay via credit card / overdraft.

Lazyjane76 Mon 19-Dec-16 11:49:19

Very, he would do that - he has no feeling for the body but unfortunately even that isn't simple and we have her elderly partner to consider who is very traditional. His brother wouldn't understand either.

19lottie82 Mon 19-Dec-16 11:50:22

OP, the council will organise a "paupers funeral" if they have to. They can't leave a body to rot. You just have to keep telling them you can't / won't pay for it.

The council can then claim their costs back through the deceased estate, if there is one that is.

LIZS Mon 19-Dec-16 11:50:32

Could you claim citing bil's benefits?

AndNowItsSeven Mon 19-Dec-16 11:50:56

Her partner isn't her next of kin though. Your MIL sounds like she was very unwell when your dh was a child and also had to care for a severely disabled child.
You can pay off funerals in instalments it's very cruel not to want anything to do with her.

Lazyjane76 Mon 19-Dec-16 11:51:43

Thanks for your responses and condolences everyone. It's really kind of you to take time out from what I know is a busy time for all to reply.
I am reading all and investigating all possibilities suggested.

Beaching Mon 19-Dec-16 11:52:28

What happens if the next of kin just flatly refuse to pay.

Presumably there must be some kind of provision for that? They don't just leave unclaimed bodies lying around

Sixisthemagicnumber Mon 19-Dec-16 11:52:50

As daisy said there is the low cost option of direct cremation. Prices for this usually start at just over £1000 which is significantly cheaper than a traditional funeral but I do appreciate that even £1000 is a lot of money when you don't have it.
Does your DH have any other family who could help with the cost?

Lazyjane76 Mon 19-Dec-16 11:53:38

Andnow- cruel for who? For her? - we have no belief, she is gone now. For my partner? - if he could he'd take her body to ATOS and request that they fine her work now.

Lazyjane76 Mon 19-Dec-16 11:54:43

Lottie - thanks, that's what we think too. I think we just have to be strong and keep saying no.

Lazyjane76 Mon 19-Dec-16 11:55:55

Six - there is no other family. He was born as the result of assault on his mother. There's no one.
£1000 may as well be a million.

DeadZed Mon 19-Dec-16 11:56:03

Try speaking to a funeral director. Some offer payment plans and very low cost funerals like direct cremation. Many of them have websites which can give you an indication.

I am sorry you are in this position though. It is a terrible stress on what is already a difficult time.

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