Saying goodbye: funeral costs are more than you’d expect, warns Which?
Nearly half of Which? members* who have organised a funeral in the past two years spent more than £3000, with one in ten spending over £4000. The research** from consumer champion Which? marks the publication of a new book, What To Do When Someone Dies, which offers advice on the practicalities of dealing with bereavement.
Over forty per cent of Which? members surveyed said that the whole process had been more costly than expected. Most funerals organised by Which? members in the past two years were paid for using money from the deceased’s estate. However, in nearly one in five cases***, the cost of the funeral was paid by a family member of the deceased.
The research also revealed that organising a funeral can be confusing as well as expensive – over a third of those surveyed**** found there were rules and regulations they hadn’t known about. Organising a funeral for the first time can be especially daunting – 90 per cent of members who had never organised a funeral said they would appreciate some guidance on what is involved in organising a funeral.
Anne Wadey, author of What To Do When Someone Dies, says:
“Death of a loved one is something many of us are reluctant to think about, but the majority of us will have to cope at some point in our lives. Not only do many people not know where to begin regarding the formalities, they can also feel intimidated and anxious by the risks of not doing things properly.
“Having some guidance on how to register a death, or how to sort out the financial affairs of the deceased can help the bereaved feel a little more in control of an unfamiliar situation, while also experiencing emotional turmoil and distress.
* 45 per cent of member had spent over £3000 on funeral expenses, including service, burial or cremation, coffin, flowers and wake.
** Which? Connect online survey of 2,386 members, carried out in January and February 2010.
*** 16 per cent
**** 37 per cent of Which? members who had organised a funeral.