In certain circumstances Hastings Borough Council will make funeral arrangements under the National Assistance Act 1948 as amended by the Local Government Act 1972 and sections 43-46 of the Public Health Act 1984. These require the Local Authority to be responsible, in given circumstances, for the disposal of the dead.
The Authority becomes responsible if:
a) The deceased died within the Authority's boundaries, but not while under the care of the County Council or the Area Health Authority.
b) The value of the deceased's estate is inadequate to provide sufficient funeral funds.
c) The appointed executor or next of kin is unable or unwilling to make funeral arrangements, unless in receipt of DSS payments which would entitle him/her to their assistance.
d) No third party is willing to make provision for a funeral.
The Authority provides a coffin, floral tribute, minister, and cremation. Burial will be arranged if there is written evidence of this being the deceased's preference. Any addition to this is at the Authority's discretion and at a third party's expense (viewing etc).
Under the above mentioned Act, as with the Administration of Estates Act 1925 the funeral expenses have prior claim on the estate. To that end, all such estate as the deceased has, shall be contributed towards funeral costs. Should any estate expenditure, including administration costs; the balance is paid to the next of kin. Should there be no known next of kin, any balance would be forwarded to H.M Treasury Solicitor.
Burial and cremation information