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25th November 2016, 19:19:PM #1
Acting as an Agent when planning a funeral
My father passed away suddenly on Tuesday evening and I have been helping my mother arrange things, she is the responsible person for the funeral. However I have offered her help in the form of a "loan" should any payments be needed upfront, I am a full time student so am using some of my student loan for the upfront costs. The intention is to apply to the DWP for the Funeral Payment as my mother is entitled to Universal Credit, obviously this wont cover all the funeral costs but there will also be bereavement allowance etc.
After speaking with the Funeral Director (FD) today he suggested I sign as the "client" and my mother is listed as next of kin on their forms, at the time I went along with this as obviously the FD has the experience.
I made clear to the FD I was acting as an agent of my mother who was the responsible person, though I guess that matters more to the DWP.
Having read the Advice for Decision Making Chapter L3: Universal Credit - Social Fund - Funeral Payments I am slightly confused regarding what evidence they need as to me acting as an "agent".
It is not necessary that the funeral arrangements are made by the responsible person. Another person can act as agent for the responsible person. The responsible person does not have to be named on the funeral account and the funeral director does not have to know that the person who is instructing them is an agent. However there should be evidence that the responsible person gave the other person the authority to make the arrangements on their behalf.
The account is evidence that a contract exists for
1. the funeral director to provide goods and services
2.the responsible person to pay for those goods and services.
An agent may pay the funeral account in full or part. The agent has not accepted responsibility for the funeral costs,
but makes a payment on behalf of the responsible person.
Example: A son acts as agent for his recently widowed mother and arranges his father’s funeral. The funeral director wants an advance payment for the interment fee. Theson makes the payment. The funeral account is in the son’s name but his mother makes a SFFP claim. The mother is responsible for all the funeral expenses. The interment fee is included in the allowable expenses.
After this section it references R(IS) 6/98, sadly I can't find a copy as I assume this would detail the kind of evidence needed to prove you are acting as an agent and wondered if anyone had any idea what this would include?
I guess my main questions are what evidence would I need to prove I was acting as an "agent" and not taking responsibility for the funeral costs. And should the final invoice from the FD be issued to my mother rather than myself?
Thanks in advance.
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