Bereaved family face funeral ‘nightmare’

S02357H14 Jane Coles and daughter Laine Bolton
S02357H14 Jane Coles and daughter Laine Bolton

A BEREAVED daughter has criticised the council for its ‘disgusting’ actions following her father’s death.

Mr Tomblin, 88, who had dementia, was cared for at Rectory House in Sompting until his death on December 21.

He had set up two life insurance policies to cover his funeral costs but when he died Ms Coles found out the policies were only worth £866 rather than the expected £4,000.

She then discovered Mr Tomblin’s bank account had been changed when the county council took control of his finances in February 2012 and the direct-debit payments had been stopped.

Ms Coles, who had assumed power of attorney over her father’s finances, was told by the council that Mr Tomblin was not well enough to have agreed to this arrangement.

She blames the council for the shortfall, and wants it to pay the missing £3,094 towards the cost of her father’s funeral.

“I just can’t believe it,” she said. “It’s an absolute nightmare. My dad wouldn’t have wanted any of this.

“I just think it’s disgusting.

“The council is supposed to be acting in my dad’s best interests. I can’t even choose a coffin for my dad let alone arrange a funeral because the money isn’t there. It’s totally inhumane.”

Ms Coles feels that without a funeral she and her 15-year-old daughter, Laine, who was particularly close to her grandfather, will not be able to get closure.

West Sussex cabinet member for finance, Michael Brown, said it was always difficult to comment upon such cases.

“Our first obligation is to Mr Tomblin and we can’t reveal his details even after his death and even in response to concerns expressed by family members,” he said.

“There is also a wider legal process which needs to be gone through and that needs to take its proper course.

“I have, however, spoken to the staff involved and I am satisfied they are acting entirely properly.

“I am also confident they will support Ms Coles, in what is obviously a difficult time for her.”