Every parent wants to feel secure in the knowledge that their children are well looked after and supported in the event of their death. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The current law on Bereavement Payments only applies to spouses and civil partners. If your child is your next of kin, they will receive no bereavement payment to help them pay for your funeral, leaving them to find the money themselves with no help. This article looks at my friends fight to get the law updated so no other child has to suffer the stress, of not only the loss of a parent, but funding the funeral and costs alone.
At the age of 23, Bex tragically lost her father Paul unexpectedly in December 2011. Paul was divorced, never re-married and had no will. It was because of this that Bex naturally and automatically became his legal representative after death. Amid the shock and upset of losing her dad, she had to organise his funeral and other finacnes. Having heard of a one time, tax free payment that family can receive after the loss of a loved one, she looked further into it to see how to obtain it. To her shock, she found that she was not eligible as she was a child executor, not a spouse or civil partner. This meant that she had to look elsewhere for the money to fund Paul’s funeral and other issues. At a time of grieving, no child should have the added pressure of having no financial help during such a time of need.
I’ve known Bex for a number of years, having become friends at university. She is one of the kindest and well meaning people I know, so it was no surprise when I heard she had set up an official petition to get this outdated and unfair law changed. I agree whole heartedly with this petition and hope to help spread the word. You can follow her progress on the official petition Facebook page. Be sure to “Like” it and sign the petition!
It’s not just children to whom the Bereavement Payment does not apply. You may have been in a long term relationship, but your partner will also be excluded from the payments. Just think: you have lived with your partner and shared your lives for years, but in the eyes of the government, they are not entitled to financial help in the event of your death. This is unfair, that your decision to not marry can have legal and financial implications upon death. Alternatively, you may also be the one left with no money to pay for your loved ones final goodbye. You too can help change this by signing the petition.
Bereavement Payment Should Apply To All Next of Kin
This law needs updating. It is outdated and old fashioned and in todays society, it is not good enough. To exclude partners and children from this one off payment means millions are left unable to pay for the farewell they want for their loved one. If you agree please sign the petition as linked below. Please also share this link as much as you can, whether it be social media, word of mouth or by writing your own article!