How the rising cost of funerals can have an impact on your family finances

For young families, any unexpected large expense can be a costly and stressful situation. In the UK alone, it’s estimated that 2.5 million young families are struggling to keep up payments on their debt and making up for this by taking out more loans. This is only for short-term costs too and if you’re struggling to meet your monthly bills, what do you do when you’re hit with an unexpected financial setback? This can cover anything from major house and car repairs, to medical costs and funeral payments.

Out of these major expenses, funeral costs are something that are, ultimately, unavoidable. The average cost of a funeral in the UK funeral is currently around £3,609, and between $8,000-$10,000 in the United States. These costs are set to double by 2024 so although it may seem ‘out of sight, out of mind’, the cost is expected to nearly double to £6,801 by 2024. Many of us have had to organize funerals on behalf of relatives and if you have, you’ll know all too well of the financial pressure it can put you under – along with the emotional stress.

If you’re taking on the responsibility of organising a funeral for a loved one and have limited money, there are a few things you can do. But first of all it’s good to create a list of all the likely expenses from, funeral directors, flowers and making sure you have down all the perhaps unexpected fees of death certificates. This will also make you start to decide what kind of funeral you would like to have for the relative.

  1. If they do not have funeral insurance, in some situations, it can be arranged so that the cost of the funeral is paid directly from their bank account. However, this is only applicable in the case that it is not a joint account.
  1. If you’re using a funeral director, they may allow you to pay monthly. They can often be very understanding in such situations and will naturally want to secure the best possible outcome for all the parties involved.
  1. If you are on a low income, there are certain government funds that you can apply for to help cover the cost.
  1. Talk to your family member about what they want. They might not want a big funeral and may have specific wishes – either way, it’s key that you speak to them and note down what they want, so when the time comes, you’re aware of what you need to do.

A lot has been said about the difference in cost between burial and cremation. Recent research by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) has highlighted that although cremation is cheaper than burial, there isn’t much difference between the two. They found that while the average cost of a burial was around $6,195, cremation wasn’t far behind, with an average cost of $4,965.

Whatever you decide is right for deceased, there are many ways in which you can make it special and without putting yourself into financial hardship at the same time.


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