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A

BILL

TO

Require the Secretary of State to undertake a review of funeral affordability
and costs; to require the providers of funeral services to offer a Simple Funeral
Service; to require the Secretary of State to make certain arrangements relating
to Funeral Payments; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Review of funeral affordability

(1) The Secretary of State shall undertake a review of funeral affordability and
factors affecting funeral costs.

(2) The Secretary of State shall make arrangements for a public consultation on the
5matters to be considered by the review.

(3) The scope of the review shall include, but not be limited to—

(a) the operation of existing State support including Funeral Payments and
Budgeting Loans, and the speed with which claims are processed;

(b) public health funerals;

(c) 10the relationship between funeral affordability and the availability of—

(i) burial space, and

(ii) crematoria;

(d) public awareness of and information on funeral planning and available
support; and

(e) 15regulations to establish a Simple Funeral Service.

(4) The Secretary of State shall lay a report on the review and public consultation
before both Houses of Parliament within six months of the completion of the
review.

Funeral Services BillPage 2

2 Establishment of a Simple Funeral Service

(1) The Secretary of State shall make regulations requiring funeral directors to
provide a Simple Funeral Service and setting out the components of a Simple
Funeral Service.

(2) 5A funeral director must provide to a customer an itemised price list for a
Simple Funeral Service before selling that customer any funeral.

(3) The individual components of the Simple Funeral Service must be provided to
the customer at no more than the listed price if the customer requests them.

3 Orders and regulations

(1) 10Any power to make regulations under this Act is exercisable by statutory
instrument.

(2) A statutory instrument containing regulations under section 2 may not be
made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before and approved by a
resolution of each House of Parliament.

4 15Duty to carry out eligibility check for Funeral Payments

(1) The Secretary of State must carry out a preliminary check of a potential
applicant’s eligibility for a Funeral Payment if requested.

(2) The Secretary of State may request from an applicant indicative information
which the Secretary of State deems necessary to make a reasonable estimate of
20that applicant’s eligibility.

(3) The Secretary of State shall inform the applicant of whether, on the basis of the
information provided, they would qualify to receive a Funeral Payment
through the Social Fund.

(4) The Secretary of State must inform the applicant that the preliminary check of
25a potential application does not represent a final decision.

(5) A person who requests a preliminary check of eligibility for a Funeral Payment
must receive the outcome of the check within two working days.

5 Requirement to provide an invoice as part of a Funeral Payment application

An applicant for a Funeral Payment shall not be required to provide an invoice
30in order for the application to be processed.

6 Financial provisions

There is to be paid out of money provided by Parliament—

(a) any expenditure incurred under or by virtue of this Act by the Secretary of
State, and

(b) 35any increase attributable to this Act in the sums payable under any other Act
out of money so provided.

7 Short title, commencement and extent

(1) This Act may be cited as the Funeral Services Act 2015.

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(2) This Act shall come into force 6 months following the date of Royal Assent.

(3) This Act extends to England and Wales and Scotland.

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