The probate genealogy company or `heir hunter’ launched the charitable funeral fund – Finders International – to help hospitals and local councils with the cost of Public Health Funerals. These occur when a person dies with no Will and no known next of kin (rather than relatives that refuse to pay for a funeral).
In normal circumstances, it is the responsibility of either the hospital where the person has died or the local authority to pay for a public health funeral, formerly called a ‘paupers funeral’.
Janine Porter, bereavement services at the Council, applied for the subsidy when a resident in his mid-60’s passed away without a will or any known next of kin. This allowed the local authority to provide a suitable funeral for the deceased while also helping the authority save money.
MD of Finders International, Danny Curran, said: “We welcome applications from the NHS and local councils as we can help significantly with finances that they may not have, while also saving them time and allowing direct access to our professional resources. Sadly, the causes of social isolation that often lead to a lonely death are unlikely to be alleviated soon. Finders International had a case where a man was discovered in his flat in Oxford seven months after he had died. Rather than being a rarity, this is becoming all too common.” Finders International created the Funeral Fund by donating a percentage of commission from next of kin tracing service for local authorities and NHS trusts.