Losing a loved one unexpectedly as a result of an accident that wasn’t the deceased’s fault can cause a series of difficult and traumatic events for the family. As well as grieving, those close to the deceased are left to deal with several financial issues. This is why fatal accident claims is an essential part of the process for coping with the loss, both emotionally and financially.
R James Hutcheon Solicitors is a professional law firm in the United Kingdom that specialises in ensuring family members receive the financial support they require following the unlawful death of a loved one. In this article they will summarise some of the main financial considerations that arise due to the aftermath of an unexpected death.
One of the biggest financial burdens following the death of a loved one involves planning the funeral arrangements. The funeral expenses can clash with the grieving emotions to add more stress and worry on the shoulders of the family.
People who are of old age or have suffered for a long time with illness will likely have prepared a will and funeral arrangements in advance. In unexpected deaths, it’s unlikely that funeral plans will have already been set in motion. Funerals can be very costly with fees usually well into the thousands of pounds. When paying for a funeral, you will have to consider elements such as funeral director fees, burial or cremation fees, hire of limousines and flowers, and renting out a venue for the funeral wake.
Bills Belonging to the Deceased
When a person dies, not everyone with connections to the deceased will immediately be informed. This includes businesses who will be expecting bills to be paid by the deceased. As the victim’s spouse, you may have to inform the business about the death so that the bills can cease to exist. Bills may things such as utilities, insurance, mobile phones, memberships and subscriptions. Even if the deceased was responsible for the payment, if you live at the same property, then failure to inform them could cause debt collectors to show up which can add extra stress. If the deceased was responsible for bills for services that you had access to, then you may end up losing the service. If the bill was a joint agreement with you and the deceased, then it will usually become your personal debt. Elsewise, if the debt was solely that of the deceased, then it will usually be owned by the estate. A solicitor can inform you about the options available to you and explain what you are and are not responsible for.
Loss of Dependency
Another financial consideration to take into account is the implications that the death will have on your way of life. If a portion of the deceased’s income was used by yourself as a means of living, then this can be considered as a loss of dependency. Situations like this may mean struggling to pay rent, take care of children or buy necessities such as groceries. The next section will explain some of the benefits and compensation awards that are in place to help cover the expenses and loss of dependency accrued as a result of the death.
Benefits for a Bereavement
In the UK there is a system in place called the Bereavement Support Payment which is designed to help families cope financially following the death of a loved one. There are two rates for this benefit payout, the first of which is a higher rate provided to pregnant woman or those entitled to child benefit. This provides those eligible with a one-off payment of £3,500 for the first month and £350 monthly payments for 18 months. Others would be eligible for the standard rate which provides £2,500 for the first month and £100 for 18 months.
As part of a compensation claim, you can also work with a specialist solicitor to receive additional funding. The bereavement award provides a statutory amount of £12,980 for those who meet the criteria. A dependency claim can also be pursued which argues how the loss of life has negatively affected your life due to the loss of dependency in regards to financial circumstances.