Talk money before a bereavement

Posted 10 Nov 2021

Talking about money is often a sensitive and private topic, but there are many reasons why it’s a good idea to share details about debts and savings with those close to you. There are lots of situations that you can’t plan for, and sadly ill health and death are events that can take us all by surprise. 

Our One Money team provide advice on debts, benefits and money issues to our tenants, and come across difficult situations that might have been different if a conversation was had with trusted family or friends. Many people are not aware that a debt can be passed to their partner once they die - such as Council tax - so talking about money with them is very important.  

A recent example caused a lot of distress to a family when a partner died. Following their death, benefit payments were significantly reduced. As the couple were not married, the widow did not meet the criteria for bereavement benefit and other financial support. With funeral arrangements and funeral costs to contend with as well, what was already a difficult time became even more stressful and worrying. The impact on their mental health meant they had to give up work, and with the additional financial problems, they felt like they couldn’t deal with telling anybody. 

As money is a subject that lots of people don’t talk about, it can make them feel overwhelmed when they are forced into dealing with a tough situation. 

Did you know that: 

  • you can tell the Council once and they will update most government organisations and council departments for you in one go
  • power of attorney means you can appoint somebody to help or make decisions on your behalf. This gives you more control over what happens to you if you have an accident or an illness and cannot make your own decisions. Make, register or end a lasting power of attorney
  • if you are married or have a civil partner, bereavement support payments can pay between £100-£350 per month for up to 18 months 

Our message is clear, if you’re worrying about money, we’re here to help. Our goal is to support people to find solutions to money, debt and benefit problems. The One Money team are available to speak to Monday to Friday between 8am-5.30pm. Get in touch on 0330 355 1000 or email contact us.