'In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.' - The Works of Benjamin Franklin, 1817.
Funeral prices are estimated to increase by 31% to £3,481 by 2014. That is for a 'standard' funeral, nothing fancy, just a hearse, a limousine and a simple oak veneer coffin.
Most elderly, if they possibly can, leave enough money for their family to see them sent on their way. Some are fortunately and will leave more especially if property is concerned. The inheritance tax level is presently £325,000 and anything more is taxed at 40%.
Not content with the amount of inheritance tax the Treasury receives, Labour are proposing an 'Inheritance Levy' to fund social care. Radical proposals for a £20,000 compulsory levy may be endorsed by the government before the general election.
The levy would be deducted from the estates of older people when they die, replacing a system that forces many pensioners to sell their family homes to fund nursing home bills.
Andy Burnham, the heath minister, is hopeful that he has the support of Lord Mandelson - the man who will oversee the party's election strategy. The political danger behind the compulsory scheme is that the child of a parent that needed little expensive social care in their old age would still see the levy being imposed on their parent's estate.
Gordon Brown's latest social care plans do need to be paid for, but wouldn't it be better to give less aid to China and India and use the money here at home before taxing the elderly further. Many have paid tax throughout their working lives and again pay tax on their pensions.
Will the tories support this levy? They been silent so far on the subject although in the past couple of hours Andy Burnham has speedily back-pedaled.