How to pay for a funeral

June 13, 2017   //   No Comments

When organising the funeral of a loved one during the difficult time of bereavement, the last thing any of us want to be worrying about is money.

Unfortunately, for many people, this can be a time of significant financial strain as well as emotional stress.

The current average cost of a funeral in the UK is £3,897* and this figure has been rising over recent years. It also does not reflect the full picture because there are significant regional variations across the country with funerals typically even more expensive in London and the South East.


So, why are funeral costs rising?

Nearly half the total cost of a funeral is the cremation or burial fee and councils have been increasing their prices. This is partly due to legislation changes, for example new rules on air pollution have resulted in crematoria having to invest and upgrade their facilities at significant cost.

Other third party fees, such as for coffins, flowers and catering, have also risen which has contributed to this growth in overall funerals costs.

With regards to funeral director fees, the vast majority of SAIF members have only increased their prices in line with inflation. As independent firms, they also have greater flexibility as they are not part of a large group which is why their costs are very competitive.


How to pay for a funeral

When paying for a funeral, it is important you are fully aware of the total cost (this includes the funeral director’s fee, burial or cremation and all third party fees).

All our members abide by a Code of Practice that commits them to complete openness and transparency in funeral costs, upfront, with many now displaying full prices on their websites. This gives peace of mind that you know exactly how much it will cost and you won’t be taken aback by any hidden fees.

When you first speak with the funeral director, don’t be anxious about discussing money. They will often have different ‘packages’ to choose from to suit your budget with complete flexibility to ensure you receive the funeral you want for your loved one.

All SAIF members also offer a ‘simple’ low cost funeral which maintains the dignity you would expect from a funeral but at a reduced price.

When it comes to paying for the funeral, many of our members offer different payment options, such as lump sum payments or spreading the cost over several months.

If you are on a low income, you may also be entitled to government support through the Social Fund payment which can help with some of the cost. If you are unsure if you are eligible, speak to your local SAIF member who can advise and help you with your application. You can also find more information on our advice pages.


To find a SAIF member near you, click here.

*Sun Life, Cost of Dying report, September 2016

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