How Much Does A Funeral Cost?
 Posted: 13 Aug 2018 at 15:04

When somebody passes away it’s a very difficult time for their family and friends. There are generally as many practical things to sort out as there are emotions to deal with. One of the highest priority items on the list is giving your loved one the send off they deserve.

If you’ve never organised a funeral before it can be difficult to know where to start. What do you need to consider? What options are there? How much will it all cost? These are just a few of the most common queries.

Do You Need A Funeral Director?

Flowers at a Funeral

Some people assume they have to have a Funeral Director. You don’t. That said, there are some significant benefits to having one though.

A Funeral Director manages all aspects of the funeral and make sure the build-up and the day itself run smoothly. They offer professional guidance and often their service is a one-stop-shop. 

They will take care of the deceased, ensure all the necessary paperwork for the burial or cremation is handled, provide a basic coffin, supply a hearse and manage a simple service. You’ll also often be able to purchase additional extras like flowers and headstones through a Funeral Director.

Fees for a Funeral Director can vary depending on the level of service you choose and also whereabouts in the country you’re based. According to information contained within the Sun Life Cost Of Dying and the Royal London National Funeral Cost reports, the average cost of a burial using a Funeral Director is £4,257 and the average cost of a cremation using a Funeral Director is £3,311.

If you’re looking to keep costs down and are confident of managing the funeral yourself, you are allowed to do that. Some of the key things you’ll need to consider include where the deceased will be cared for, the registration of their death, choosing a coffin, booking the cremation or burial, organising a ceremony and transportation of their body.

A Burial Or Cremation?

Burials are generally more expensive than cremations. With a burial you need to factor in extra fees such as the cost of the plot of land and a charge for gravedigging. The service might also cost more as it could be held in a church.

According to The Money Advice Service the average cost of a burial is £1,847 and the average cost of a cremation is £755. Often whether someone is buried or cremated comes down to the preferences outlined by the deceased before they died.

Whether you choose a burial or a cremation you’ll need to buy a coffin. Coffins can vary greatly in cost. Things like size, how decorative they are and the material of the coffin, can all impact the price. Coffins can range from £100 for something basic, up to tens of thousands of pounds for a highly decorative, hand-crafted, example.

Simple Service Or An Elaborate Ceremony?

As mentioned, if you use a Funeral Director, usually a simple service is included. Depending on budget and individual preference you may want to organise something more elaborate and perhaps have a wake afterwards too.

These are very much budget dependent, however some of the additional costs you need to consider are the length and style of service you want, venue hire and catering.  

Try our Funeral Plan Calculator

What Extras And Options Should You Consider?

These options are often very individual and you can either choose to arrange them yourself or use a Funeral Director to help source and obtain them for you. Things like memorial headstones/plaques, flowers, the types of vehicles used for transportation to the service, how many vehicles are needed (i.e. for close family and friends), urns for ashes, coffins for burials etc. are all things that can be upgraded or downgraded depending on budget.

Horse Drawn Funeral Hurse

Is There Any Help Available For The Cost Of A Funeral?

People have different circumstances and different budgets. Whilst we’d all love to be able to have the best of everything for our dearly departed, sometimes budgets simply can’t stretch to that.

One thing to consider is whether the deceased had a funeral plan in place. A pre-paid funeral plan or funeral insurance can help with funeral costs and, in some cases, even provide a full budget to hire a Funeral Director and pay for a complete funeral and service.

On occasions where there isn’t enough money in the estate to pay for a funeral or no family or friends are available to organise a funeral, the local council or hospital can arrange a Public Health Funeral. This is usually a short service and cremation, at a date set by the local authority. You can still attend the funeral, however there won’t be any extras included like flowers, cars, etc.

Another option to consider, if funds are tight, is ‘Funeral Payment’ which is a government-backed scheme to help people on certain benefits to help pay for a funeral. Whilst it probably won’t cover the whole cost of a funeral, it can certainly help and give a low-income household the chance to offer their loved one a good send off. For more information or to find out if you’re eligible, visit the gov.uk website.

Try our Funeral Plan Calculator

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