Funeral Bills Getting Very Large – What To Do

January funeral bills could exceed £495million.

Provisions left by the deceased will only cover 70% of their funeral bills.

January typically sees highest death rate in the year with 60,888 deaths registered in January 2015.1

  • Provisions left by the deceased will only cover 70% of their funeral bills.
  • Friends and family are left to pay £2,449 each which could total £150 million.
  • One in seven will be forced into debt as a result of paying for loved ones’ funeral costs.
Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

January is a tough month thanks to almost six weeks between pay days, Christmas to pay for and many of us thinking of booking our summer holiday. Now, new research from SunLife has found it’s also the month with the highest funeral bills of the year. And, because we only make sufficient provision to cover 70% of our own funeral bills, loved ones could be faced with a £150m funeral bill this month putting even more pressure on family finances.

SunLife’s research2 shows that two in five (42%) don’t make any financial provision for their own funeral, and of those that do, only 70% of the total cost is covered, which leaves friends and family are left to pay the shortfall – £2,449 on average – putting one in seven into financial difficulty.

Of those, half have to borrow money- either from friends or relatives (21%), the bank or a loan provider (8%) or via a credit card (21%) – while one in seven (14%) had to sell belongings.

Graham Jones, Commercial Director at SunLife said: “It can cause loved ones a great deal of added stress at a difficult time if no provisions are in place so it’s important to consider making some plans.”

“There are a number of options – the most popular is through savings and investments (60%), while prepaid funeral plans are becoming more popular – 27% had one in place compared to 24% last year while just over a quarter (26%) had a life insurance plan in place.”


1. Deaths registered in England and Wales, ONS

2. SunLife’s annual Cost of Dying 2015 report found the cost of dying is now £8,126, while the cost of a basic funeral is £3,693

£8,126 (cost of dying 2015) x 51,940 (average deaths Jan 2011-2015) = £422,064,440

£8,126 (cost of dying 2015) x 60,888 (deaths in Jan 2015) = £494,775,888

£2,449 (shortfall) X 51,940 (average deaths Jan 2011-2015) = £127,201,060

£2,449 (shortfall) x 60,888 (deaths in Jan 2015) = £149,114,712