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What Happens if No One Can Afford Your Funeral?

Honouring a loved one is one of the ways to show them respect when they’re gone. But the harsh reality is that an individual or family may be unable to pay for a funeral. So what happens if no one can afford your funeral? Read on for details. 

What if You Can’t Afford the Funeral?

Funerals can be expensive, and it isn’t uncommon for the actual cost to be daunting. If you can’t afford a burial, the government can’t deduct money from your assets or family. Instead, they can charge it to your savings. 

If your family is aware of your assets with the bank, they can request a release. In cases where the deceased has no outstanding debts, proceeds from the assets are used for the funeral.

What if You Have No Assets?

If you have no assets or funds and your family can’t afford the funeral, your body can be signed to the council. Before they can take responsibility, your family must provide a written disclaimer. Then, the council conducts a local authority funeral or a public health funeral. 

When the council takes care of the funeral, it’s usually a cremation. Family members may attend; however, the council decides when and where. This doesn’t include flowers, notices, or other extras. 

What Are Your Options?

Before turning the decision over to the council, you have some options. Although there are several types of funerals, you’re likely to get a befitting funeral with good planning and thoughtfulness.

  • Ask family members: There’s no shame in asking family and friends for help when needed. Family is likely to rally around you in times of grief. 
  • Crowdfunding: Using online crowdfunding sources is a popular way of raising money for a funeral.
  • Loans: Because the cost of a funeral may be expensive, you may consider a loan to cover the expenses.
  • Life insurance policy: A burial insurance policy can also come in handy in these situations.

Lastly, a religious organisation can help an active member in an emergency. Sometimes, these organisations can cover a part of the cost or provide financial assistance. The funeral service can also be done free of charge in special cases.


If no one can afford your funeral, you may consider a green burial, cremation, body donation, or an affordable coffin. In addition, enrolment in an insurance program might make it possible for family members to cover the costs.