Arranged funeral and thought state would pay

Ask a Lawyer

Question

Country: United Kingdom
State: All States/Provinces

At 43yrs old my father left UK and lived in South Africa. He returned in Dec 2000 but died in June 2005. Was told that as his wife of 11yrs had no money that the state would pay for his funeral. Now the funeral directors have singled me out to pay for the entire costs. His wife went back home to South Africa and, even though she is his next of kin, the funeral people are not interested in trying to recoup the money off of her but just me, his son. I did not sign any documents nor was I the executor. There was no estate or money left in the will but his wife did insist that I speak to the funeral directors and book the funeral. They are now threatening to take me to court over the final bill. I just do not have that kind of money and do not know where I stand legally. I am 38yrs old with a young family. Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Who is liable to pay the costs, myself for speaking to the funeral directors or his wife of 11 years?

Answer

You normally are not responsible if you had not specifically agreed any of the costs or burden.