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How much does a funeral cost?

In 2018 the average cost of a funeral was £4,271 in the UK and this is predicted to rise to £5,120 by 2023**. However, the cost of a funeral varies depending on where you live, the time and day you choose to have the service, and whether you would prefer a cremation or a burial.

Costs You Need to Consider for a Funeral

As well as the funeral director and cremation or burial fees, there are lots of other costs involved in planning the perfect send-off. The cost of items such as flowers, venue hire and catering can quickly add up, and if you wanted to have a headstone or plaque created in your memory, this could add almost £1,000 to the cost of your funeral.

Source: The SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2018

Which is more expensive; a burial or a cremation?

A burial tends to be more expensive than a cremation, but the average costs will depend on where you live, as well as the time and day you choose.

Average UK burial costs

The average cost of a burial is £4,798 in the UK, but in London the average cost goes up to £7,538.** If you choose a burial funeral, you will also need to consider the cost of purchasing a plot as the fee for the plot is not included as part of the standard burial costs.

Average UK cremation costs

The average cost of a cremation is £3,744, but costs will vary across the UK**. While London cremation costs are £4,222 on average, the South West of England saw the highest cost of £4,365 in 2018**. Doctors’ fees may also apply for certifications, which are typically £164 total. You might also have to pay a fee for scattering ashes in a particular location.

Source: The SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2018

What is included in Funeral Director fees?

A funeral director can help with arranging and conducting a funeral. They will typically provide:

  • a coffin
  • arrange the preparation and transportation of the body
  • organise a funeral procession to the crematorium or burial site
  • drive the hearse
  • provide a limousine for family and mourners

Disbursement (third-party) costs

The funeral director will normally also manage any third-party costs, also known as disbursement costs, on your behalf. This includes the burial or cremation fees, and the cost of the officiant or clergy member to conduct the funeral service. Should you choose to have a cremation, they will also make arrangements for a medical referee’s certificate.

A direct cremation in the UK will need to include doctors’ fees (typically £164 total) for certifications. This excludes Scotland, where doctors’ fees are no longer charged.  Doctor’s fees for certification do not currently apply for a burial.

Why are funeral prices rising?

The average cost of a funeral in the UK has more than doubled since 2004.** There are many reasons for a funeral to cost more and more each year. Key factors include:

  • Local authority cuts which leads to a rise in cremation costs and reduced subsidies for burials.
  • Wage rises for all parties involved.
  • An increase in funeral director fees.
  • Rising fuel prices.
  • A shortage in space, as well as a rise in cost for burial sites.
  • Improvements and investment to cemeteries and crematoriums.

As a result, research shows that one in five families are now unable to meet the full cost of a funeral.^^

Source: The SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2018

How can I pay for funeral costs?

There are many ways to save up in preparation for funeral costs to prevent yourself, or loved ones, from incurring costly bills, however; they don’t offer the same guarantees as an Age Co Funeral Plan.

You can pay via a funeral plan

With a prepaid Age Co Funeral Plan, prices starting from just £2,995, helping to save you and your loved ones money in the future.

Plus, as prices continue to rise year on year **, an Age Co Funeral Plan is one of the best ways to beat rising funeral costs.  It guarantees the cost of funeral services included in your plan, no matter how much funeral costs increase in the future. Find out more about our different plans.

But won’t my savings cover the funeral costs?

Many people think that their hard-earned savings and any interest it may earn will be enough to cover the cost of a funeral, but with interest rates at such low levels, your savings are unlikely to keep pace with the rise in funeral costs. 

Purchasing an Age Co Funeral Plan today guarantees to cover the funeral costs outlined in your plan and will fix the cost at today’s prices. It also means that your savings can go to the people that matter – your family and loved ones.

Will Over 50s life insurance cover funeral costs?

It’s widely believed that over 50s life insurance policies are guaranteed to cover funeral costs. However, the lump sum that is paid out on death may not cover the cost of a funeral in the future. This means that your loved ones could be left to find the additional money required. Many policies also require you to pay monthly instalments until you reach 90 or pass away. If you cancel the policy or stop making payments you may get nothing back. Depending on how long you live, your contributions may even exceed the cash sum payable on death, meaning you could pay in more than you get out.

An Age Co Funeral Plan lets you take care of the arrangements in advance, helping to reduce the stress and worry for your loved ones. 

Find out more why an Age Co Funeral plan is one of the best ways to pay for a funeral.

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