12 min read

How to plan a funeral

White roses and green plants over part of a coffin

The rising cost of funerals

And it’s never been more important to think ahead, as the cost of funerals has risen by around a third over the last five years and here in the UK nearly £2 billion is spent on funerals every year.

In fact, between 2012 and 2017 the average cost of a cremation rose from £2,896 to £3,894, and the price of a burial has increased by 26% to £5,446. To put this into context, inflation has risen by just 11.91% over the same time*.

Location, location, location

The price you pay will also differ hugely depending on where you live in the UK. If you live in London rather than Northern Ireland, your family can expect to pay £5,465 more for the average cost of a burial. Londonderry, NI, is the most affordable, where the average cost of a burial is £3,610. Unsurprisingly the most expensive area is central London, costing £8,625. However, if you wish to be cremated, the most expensive place is Northamptonshire costing £5,131, and the cheapest in Gwynedd, Wales, at £2,475.

The danger of death poverty

Bearing in mind that the average weekly income in the UK after tax is only £194 , death poverty is a very real possibility for many bereaved families who cannot afford to pay for all these bills. Many UK families are finding themselves in debt because they have to pay these increasing funeral bills to say goodbye to their loved ones.

If you want to know how much a funeral is in your area, OneFamily has created a funeral calculator to help calculate the cost of a funeral so individuals and families can plan ahead.

What’s driving these huge sums?

Funeral director fees make up a considerable part of these rising costs. Regarding a burial, a funeral director’s professional fees, the administration of necessary forms, care of the deceased and Herse travel to the ceremony all average out at £2,217. In addition the church, clergy and burial fees come to an average of £1,626. Headstones are now priced at £1,010 and coffins at £454. Cremation fees a little less, with funeral director’s costing £2,211, coffins at £446 and the cremation itself costing on average £745.

When it comes to arranging a funeral, most people choose to use a funeral director as they will arrange everything on your behalf. However it is possible to make the arrangements yourself, although you should research this carefully before making any final decisions due to the complexities involved. The government has useful information and you can read our guide on what you need to do when a loved one dies.

So what can you do to plan ahead?

To ensure your family aren’t left with bills to pay Many people choose an Over 50s plan, which will cover the costs of a funeral as well as enable you to leave a small lump sum to your loved ones if you wish.

Alternatively, you can choose a funeral plan that just covers the funeral. Some people simply put the money aside in a bank account, but it’s important to bear in mind that sorting out personal financial matters, such as current accounts or savings accounts, can take some time after your death.

However you choose to plan, making sure you have thought ahead. This will help give you peace of mind and allow you to have the send-off you want without leaving your family worrying about money.

Written by Emma Banks

*Source: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-1633409/Historic-inflation-calculator-value-money-changed-1900.html

**Source: https://www.funeralzone.co.uk/funeral-planning-in-the-uk

Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Talking Finance content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions. The opinions expressed within this blog are those of the author and not necessarily of OneFamily.