FAQs: Bereavement

Q: My cousin died in UK and paid inheritance tax to UK. She left the house to my brother who lives in the South.  Can he claim back the 40% paid on the value of the house and then pay the 20% Southern Tax?

A:  The UK inheritance tax was payable on the death of your cousin, it cannot be reclaimed.   However Irish Revenue are obliged to reduce your brother’s  20% inheritance/gift tax liability by the amount of UK inheritance tax paid on your late cousin’s estate because of the double taxation relief agreement between the Republic and the UK.

Q:  Is there any financial help available with funeral costs in England (parent lives in Ireland)?

A:  There are only two types of UK benefit payment relating directly to funeral costs.  The first is a ‘bereavement payment’ which is a lump sum payable to the surviving spouse of a deceased person who has paid national insurance.  The second is a funeral payment which is a means-tested benefit only payable to a UK resident who is in receipt of a qualifyng benefit and who ‘reasonably accepts responsibility’ for the funeral.   If any relatives of the deceased are resident in the UK their local Citizens Advice Bureaux will be able to advise on their potential eligibility for the funeral payment.

Q:  Both my husband and I lived and worked in NI for over 12 years. My husband recently passed away, Am I entitled to any benefits that he would have paid while living and working in NI. He was born in NI.

A:  As you are below retirement age (currently 60 for a woman in NI you will be entitled to a Bereavement Payment from NI on the basis of your late husband’s National Insurance contributions.

This is a lump sum of £2,000 which must be claimed within 12 months of your husband’s death.   I presume that you have no dependant children, in which case, subject to your husband’s contribution record, you may also be entitled to some rate of Bereavement Allowance (only payable for 52 weeks).

You can claim both of these benefits by completing form BB1 available from the NI Social Security Agency. As you are not a UK resident your claim to bereavement benefits will usually be dealt with by the International Pension Centre in Newcastle, England.

If you or your late husband also worked in Ireland, remember to put details of your NI employment on any claim to an Irish Widow’s Contributory Pension in Ireland.  This is because the NI employment may enhance the rate of your Irish Widows Pension (if you are entitled to one) under European rules.