What are the costs of a funeral?

Paying for a funeral

Dying can be expensive. Fees for decoratives extras, such as flowers, can escalate. Even after a quick Google search, the sheer amount of gladioli available can reckon with a wallet already stretched at the seams. Instead of panicking over the many choices presented by the flower arranging industry, here’s a clear outline of the costs you should expect to be landed with when arranging a funeral.  

What fees are involved with arranging a funeral?

Expect to receive a bill written by the funeral director estimating the costs involved. This will be made up of the funeral director’s own services, and payments they’ve made to third parties. Here’s some of the costs you can expect to see:

    • Fee for looking after the body until the funeral
    • Fee for funeral transportation and staff
    • Cost of the coffin or casket
    • Fees from professional services, including legal advice
    • Fees issued by a crematorium or cemetary
  • Fee for all paperwork

How can I pay for a funeral?

Paying for a death comes in many forms. As of 2016, the average cost dying, all in, stood at around £8,000. Though, even after you’ve gone, you can provide some financial help. This can come in the form of

  • A lump sum from your pension scheme
  • A pre-paid funeral plan you took out
  • Your estate
  • Money you had in a bank account

What is a funeral plan?

This allows you to pay for your funeral upfront, or through instalments which can be paid between one and ten years. One-off payments depend on the plan and who’s providing it, but they’ll usually range between £3,000 and £5,000. Read our article What is a Funeral Plan? to get a better idea.

Getting financial help from bereavement benefits

These are a non-means tested welfare benefit. If you have a partner, then after you die they may be able to claim financial support.

Bereavement Support Payment
This consists of an initial lump sum of either 2,500 or 3,500 if you have children, in addition a further 18 monthly payments of £100. If you have children, this becomes £300.

 Bereavement Allowance
This is paid weekly for a year after the death of a partner. Unlike the Bereavement Support Payment, this is taxed. It is also liable to a partner’s National Insurance contribution and the age of the person left behind. 

Widowed Parent’s Allowance
You’re eligible for this if a partner has died and you’ve got kids who are dependent. If you’re receiving Child Benefit or are under State Pension age, the payment will start from £112 a week.

What’s worse than a really expensive funeral? A funeral that’s both expensive and totally irrelevant to the way you lived your life. By getting to grips with the costs involved in arranging a funeral and the ways you or your family can pay for it, you can focus on the details that are really worth forking out for.

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