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Average cost of a funeral

Average cost of a funeral

No one likes to think about their own funeral plans. But given how high funeral costs can be, it’s an important thing to consider. Read our straightforward guide so you can help your loved ones plan for the future.

Kamran Altaf
From the Life team
minute read
posted 22 JANUARY 2020

What is the average cost of a funeral today?

According to Money Advice Service, the average cost of a funeral is £4,078. And much of that is for a funeral director to take care of the basics of a burial or cremation. Also, you need to remember that funeral expenses can vary significantly by location, so you could expect to pay up to twice the average in London.  

Funerals aren’t just about saying goodbye, they’re a celebration of life too. If you’re worried about the costs then you may want to think about getting life insurance, which can give your family either a lump sum or monthly payments if you pass away.

What are the typical expenses for a funeral?

A key factor will be what sort of funeral you decide on having e.g. a cremation or burial. Depending on your choice you’ll need to factor in costs for transportation, a ceremony and a burial or cremation plot. If you simply want to take the stress out of all the arrangements, then you might want to use the services of a funeral director.

Funeral directors can be costly. According to the Money Advice Service, a typical burial using a funeral director will cost you, on average, £4,257; for a cremation, the average is £3,311. This will include care and transportation of the deceased as well as a simple ceremony.

Funerals don’t have to be organised by a funeral director, you can of course plan and organise a funeral independently for a loved one. It does mean you’ll have to consider everything though: such as transportation to the crematorium, organising a ceremony, as well dealing with the leasing of the burial plot or crematorium fees.

Can I get help with paying funeral costs?

Yes, in some cases the government can help with funeral costs via a Funeral Expenses Payment if you get certain benefits. A funeral payment is a bit like a loan, and is available for people who receive certain benefits – but it won’t usually cover the cost of the entire funeral.  

If there’s any money remaining from the deceased’s estate, you’ll usually have to pay the government back for the costs. However, you won’t need to pay it back if only personal possessions remain and if a house left is still occupied by a spouse.

Local councils can sometimes organise public health funerals for those with no family or friends or if there is no money in the deceased’s estate to pay for one.

Could life insurance pay for my funeral?

It can and it’s a good way of making sure that the burden of cost doesn’t fall on those you leave behind. If you organise your life insurance well in advance it doesn’t have to be expensive either, because the cost tends to go up the older you get. There are two main types of life insurance policy –  term life insurance  and  whole of life  policies. If you’re still not sure then you can read more about funeral cover.

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