22 May How Much Does A Funeral Cost in 2019
No one wants to even think about a funeral, let alone plan one. But working things out in advance and buying life insurance to cover the costs protects family members from the unpleasant job of negotiating services as they grieve for a loved one.
The average cost of a traditional funeral, including embalming and a metal casket, is almost £3,757, according to the most recent data from the Money Advice Services. “On average, the cost for burial is £4,267, whilst the average cost for cremation is £3,247. There are many things to think about and decide when arranging a funeral. It is often a difficult time for family and friends who are dealing with loss.”
Fun fact: Musician David Bowie and Booker Prize-winning author Anita Brookner both chose direct cremation instead of a funeral.
Types of Funerals
In the UK, there are three types of Funerals which are traditionally three funeral types which are most often or not presented to you. These are;
Direct Cremation – £1,712
This type of funeral simply involves the collection of the deceased, a simple coffin, and return of ashes. This often the most simple package available when dealing with funeral directors.
Cremation using a funeral director – £3,247
The second option involves the Collection and care of the deceased, a basic coffin, hearse and managing a simple service; but does not include an elaborate ceremony. Also includes cremation fees, and fee for cremation certificate from a registered doctor. This funeral is also very popular within the United Kingdom.
Burial using a funeral director – £4,267
For this type of funeral, it is often the case that there are a collection and care of the deceased, a basic coffin, hearse and managing a simple service; but does not include an elaborate ceremony. I also includes cremation fees and minister fees.
Based 0n where you live Money Advice Service has carried out the research of the cost of a simple cremation & simple burial based on where you live in the United Kingdom.
Cost of Using a Funeral Director
Using a funeral director is often the preferred method when organizing a funeral, simply because it provides the family/friends time to Grieve. Grieving is, of course, a detrimental part of organising a funeral so it is usually a good idea to use a Funeral Director so they can concentrate on all the details. As we have seen, this usually costs a lot more in fees.
How Much is a Funeral Director
According to Money Services Advice, “the funeral director’s fees can be the most expensive part of a funeral, in many cases making up between 50-66% of the costs. If you use a funeral director, they’ll collect, store, prepare and deliver the body to the cemetery or crematorium. They’ll also ensure the necessary forms for cremation or burial are completed, and some will also arrange a simple ceremony as part of their fee. They’ll also provide a coffin, hearse and usually a limousine.” Depending on the package you agree with the funeral director you will need to be mindful that all of the additional services the Funeral Director offers soon add up, resulting in a large fee.
Importance of Choosing a Funeral Director
When dealing with Funeral Directors, we strongly recommend taking the time to find the best option available to you. This means calling multiple Funeral Directors & finding out the best quote available. We also recommend taking the time to carry out some research on local independent Funeral Directors as they usually quote much cheaper for similar services (to the national chains). You will also often find that the service is much more bespoke & tailored to what you would like.
Ways to Reduce the Cost of a Funeral
There is no need to feel pressured to spend a lot of money or get yourself into debt, just to show your affection and respect. You can have a funeral that’s dignified and meaningful without having to spend a huge amount of money. A cremation is usually going to cost less than a burial. As is arranging the funeral yourself instead of using a funeral director.
But there are some ways to further reduce the cost of a funeral regardless of these choices:
- Shop around: funeral costs can vary a lot. While you might find it difficult, it’s important to compare prices and services.
Get a quote from more than one funeral director, caterer or florist so you can compare prices. You can then pick one that fits your budget.
- Ask family and friends: for example, instead of paying for a caterer, ask family and friends to bring food to the wake. You could also ask them to help you check for cheaper options.
- Charity collection and memorial: buying and maintaining a headstone or memorial plaque can be expensive. Instead, you can create an online memorial where family and friends can donate to a charity in memory of the deceased.
Websites such as JustGiving offer a charity online memorial indefinitely.
- Time of day of cremation, and who you use: picking a cheaper slot if available, such as an early morning or a weekday slot can also lower the cost. You could also pick a council-run crematorium, which is usually cheaper than a private one. The facilities and decor, however, might be a bit basic, so you might want to check it out beforehand.
- Type of coffin: there’s nothing in the law that says you have to use a coffin. You can use a shroud instead. Don’t feel pressured into picking an expensive coffin or shroud if you’re working with a limited budget.
You can sometimes get a cheaper option with the online coffin and shroud suppliers, check the Good Funeral Guide’s list of recommended companies.
- Natural burial: you might want to consider a natural burial ground, such as a woodland. These are often much cheaper than a traditional cemetery, which can be very expensive. Traditional cemeteries also charge ‘non-resident’ fees if the person who died didn’t live in the area. To find a natural burial ground, visit the Natural Death Centre website.
- Body donation: many people can apply to donate their body to medical schools for training healthcare professionals or for research. The body will not always be accepted as it will depend on the requirements of the individual medical schools, the circumstances of the death and the conditions from which the person has died. If the donation is not possible, other funeral arrangements will need to be arranged. Schools might hold a memorial or funeral service, but there is often a delay of two to three years before it takes place. Some medical schools will request a contribution towards transporting costs. Find your local medical school on the Human Tissue Authority’s website where you can get more information on the conditions they have for taking the body.
We understand that planning a funeral can be tough, however, there are options available to plan both an affordable & memorable send off for your loved one. It is important, you take good care when planning a funeral & we strongly recommend planning well in advance so you have a clear understanding of how much the funeral is going to set you back.