Recent research has revealed that the cost of dying is now the fastest rising fixed cost in the UK, ahead of costs of living including rent, utilities and food. Funeral costs are also now rising faster than inflation, wages and pensions. The average cost of a funeral within the UK is now £3,897, 44% of the current total cost of dying per person which now amounts to £8,802.
This marks a rise of 8.3%, with funeral costs on their own rising by 5.5% in one year, an increase over ten times that of the cost of living in the same period. The current average funeral cost is more than double what it was in 2004. The most expensive place to die is London where the average funeral costs £5,529 – almost £1,500 more than the next highest figure for the South East & East of England.
The study also showed that two in five people who had organised a funeral found that it was more costly than they had expected, with around one in twelve saying they had either changed or cut back on aspects of a family member’s funeral. 30% said they had reduced the limousines for immediate family, 27% had cut back on the cost of the headstone, urn, or other form of memorial, whilst 15% relocated the event to a more affordable venue.
As alarming as these figures are, planning ahead for your own funeral arrangements can ensure that your loved ones aren’t stung by unexpectedly high costs when the time comes for your own send-off. Just as it’s a good idea to ensure that you have a comprehensive and up-to-date will in order to avoid complications and emotional turmoil following your death, it’s also sensible to ensure your family knows what your wishes are in terms of the arrangements for when you die. Setting these out formally as part of your legacy, and ensuring that money has been set aside to avoid leaving your loved ones with a hefty bill to remember you by.