who pays the funeral expenses?

After the death of a loved one, family members often have to handle many immediate expenses, specifically the costs associated with a funeral, before the estate is officially opened and the grant of probate is extracted to access the estate assets.

Indeed, paying the funeral directors expenses is often a worry for executors and families however it need not be where there are sufficient funds in the deceased’s bank account.

Deceased has Liquid Assets

If the deceased left a bank account with sufficient funds to discharge the funeral bill, then upon production of the funeral director’s invoice to the bank, it is the practice of most banks to provide a bank draft payable to the funeral director in satisfaction of the funeral bill, without requiring a grant of representation to have been taken out i.e. this can be done before the grant of representation is taken out.

If a relative has discharged the funeral bill out of their own pocket, the bank will typically release funds directly to the relative who has paid the funeral director on submission of the relevant receipts.

The banks and other financial institutions will have a standard form that needs to be completed. In certain instances, the death certificate may be required.

Deceased does not have Liquid Assets

In the event that the deceased does not have liquid assets (ie. Cash in the bank) available to discharge the funeral expenses then it may be the case that they have non-liquid assets.

If this is the case, it should be communicated to the funeral director and he/she should also be provided with the name and address of the legal personal representative(s) in case the funeral director needs to make personal contact with them in relation to the funeral expenses.

Where there are no liquid assets, the legal personal representative can dispose of the non-liquid assets to discharge the expenses arising during the administration of the estate such as the funeral expenses.

further reading 

  1. Why you need a Will!
  2. How long does probate take in Ireland?
  3. DIY Will
  4. Why Married Couples Should Make a Will


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