Advice on getting help after a death in the household
Whatever your circumstance, losing someone close to you is a terrible experience to go through.
You do not have to deal with everything on your own. There are specialist agencies that can help you cope with bereavement, and others that can help you with legal, practical and financial issues.
Help with bereavement
When someone you know or care about dies, it can be difficult to come to terms with, whatever the circumstances are. If you are having difficulty in coping with the loss of someone close to you, contact a bereavement organisation such as Cruse for specialist support and counselling in confidence. You could also talk to your GP, who may be able to refer you to local counselling organisations.
BUPA have a factsheet about bereavement on their website, which you may find helpful.
Help with the funeral
If you find that you have to make the funeral arrangements, it can be daunting. A funeral director will guide you through the process of arranging the funeral and make all the necessary arrangements.
You can get advice about choosing a funeral director and search for a company near you at the National Association of Funeral Directors. They can help you apply for funeral payments from the social fund, if you’re eligible.
Help with housing issues
If you are unsure about your housing and benefit rights following a death in the household, you should get advice – visit advice near you for your nearest advice surgery.
An adviser can look into your situation and explain your rights. They may be able to help you deal with practical issues – for example if you need to make changes to your tenancy. Shelter Cymru’s specialist housing advisers can help you protect your rights or call our advice and support services on 08000 495 495.
Help from a solicitor
In many cases, particularly if your home is owner-occupied, you will also need help from a solicitor to sort out your housing situation. You may only need to see them once, but it’s best to find out where you stand early on.
You can find a solicitor in your area through the Yellow Pages, the Law Society or use the directory of local legal advisers and solicitors on the Community Legal Service Direct (CLS Direct) website. CLS Direct also have a helpline you can call for free, confidential and independent legal advice on 0845 345 4 345.
Be aware that you may have to pay solicitors’ charges. Find out whether you may be eligible for help with these costs using the CLS Direct Legal Aid Calculator.
If your husband, wife or civil partner has died in the last year, you may be entitled to special benefits.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to claim:
- bereavement payment or widowed parent’s allowance
- bereavement allowance
- a funeral payment.
For more information about the financial help you might be eligible for, visit the Directgov website or visit advice near you for your nearest advice surgery.