Do I have to wait until I have registered the death before arranging the funeral?
No. Arranging the funeral services involves your Funeral Director discussing with you the type of funeral required, and offering you advice and information as appropriate. This can be done as soon as you have made certain decisions about the funeral e.g. whether it is to be a burial or cremation.
Death Certificates where to get one?
Where death occurs in a hospital, the hospital authorities register the death and a copy of the Certificate may be obtained from the Office of Registration of Deaths & Births, Adelaide Street Cork, or the local Registration Office (a list of which are available) where the death occurs. Where death occurs at home the next of kin obtains a Certificate as to the cause of death from the doctor attending the deceased and takes the Certificate to his/her local Health Centre. Where a Post Mortem takes place it is the Coroner who registers the death and a copy of the Certificate again may be obtained at the Office of Registration of Deaths & Births, Adelaide Street, Cork. 021-4275126
What about Death Grants Benefits?
Please note that the Bereavement Grant available from the Department of Social and Family Affairs has been discontinued.
If the death of your loved one happened because of an accident at work or while travelling to or from work or as a result of a prescribed disease, you may be entitled to a Funeral Grant of €850 under the Occupational Injuries Scheme. Please refer to http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/social_welfare/social_welfare_payments/death_related_benefits/ for more information.
You may also be able to get assistance towards the funeral expenses under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) scheme, which is operated by the Health Boards. No social insurance contributions are required as payment is based on the means of the person responsible for paying the funeral bill. You should apply to your local Community Welfare Officer at your local Health Centre before you pay the funeral bill, as the cheque will be issued to the undertaker/funeral director. The SWA scheme also provides for Exceptional Needs Payments in particular situations.
Payments of Benefits after Death?
The scheme enables an adult dependent of a person who dies while receiving certain Social Welfare payments to continue receiving the payment for a period of six weeks. Where this happens other Social Welfare payments such as widows pensions arising out of the death will not become payable until the end of the 6 week period. Where to Contact? Department of Social Welfare (your local office)
The Irish league of Credit unions has introduced a new benefit for members, a sum of €1350 will be paid towards funeral expenses. Your local Credit Union will advise you.
Bank Accounts & Probate
For accounts in a sole name with a sufficient credit balance. Reasonable funeral expenses may be paid without a Grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration), upon production of an invoice from the Funeral Director. This does not extend to payment for associated hospitality or other significant discretionary expenditures.
We have never been a religious family, do we have to have a Priest to take the service?
No, there is no requirement to hold a religious funeral service, and there are a number of alternatives. Perhaps a relative or friend could take the service if they feel able to do so. Other members of the congregation could speak or read verses of poems. Ask Fitz-Geralds for more information or to organise a Humanist ceremony.