Tag Archives: funeral costs

Another 50% Rise in Funeral Costs. What to do?

Another 50% increase in funeral costs is on the way. What to do?

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

Cash poor local authorities are sometime dramatically increasing the cost of death.  This is leading to pay day loans, Facebook fundraising pages and people being left in freezers while the family try to scrape together the necessary funds.  In one case, the undertaker apparently refused to part with the ashes until the final bill had been paid. At death, there is a captive audience, who are pretty much forced to pay whatever is asked, and it is possible the commercially minded firms might use this as an opportunity to sell more expensive coffins and other non-essentials.  That’s fine if the family have the money, but an increasing number do not, which is an even strong reason for looking a prepaid funeral plans.

Don’t forget that funeral directors are not in business to be debt collectors – the last thing they want to do is chase people for money.  So increasingly, they want to be paid in advance, especially as they will be liable for payments to the crematorium etc which are starting to reach the £1,000 mark in many area in 2016 with Beckenham, Crawley, Chichester, Leatherhead and Nuneaton as near as makes no difference charging that much already.  For burials, some cemeteries in London are charging more than £3,200 just for the right to use a grave for 40 years.

Many people buy life insurance instead of  funeral plan, and we have set out our comments on the debate comparing Over 50s Insurance to prepaid funeral plans.

Apparently, the Work and Pensions Committee has called on the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate the prices being charged by the big funeral director chains.  Whilst some of the larger firms do have good quality prepaid schemes and good terms (which we can offer) the same is not true of all.  Whilst we have seen the damage that insensitive regulation does in other markets, we are very concerned that the so called Regulator (actually a club) of the funeral plan market is happy to accept practices which have no place in a modern society.

The perfect solution to these issues is not always available or indeed affordable, but a decent prepaid funeral plan takes away much of the stress and deals with most if not all of the financial issues.   So why not get started today, we’ll do the research for you, and maybe you can afford to shoulder the burden yourself, you may be surprised.

Funeral Costs Shock 200,000 Families Every Year

Over 200,000 families fail to plan for funeral costs shock.

funeral costs shock

Avoid the funeral costs shock.

Funeral costs shock 200,000 families every year. say Co-op Funeralcare. Surveys reveal that failure to plan for inevitable funerals is costing next of kin dearly. Over 200,000* families being left without any funds to cover their loved one’s funeral in 2015.

Even in cases where financial provision had been made, the YouGov** survey found that 11% hadn’t left sufficient funds to cover the full cost.

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

As a result of this shortfall, in spite of financial provision having been made, a fifth of families (18%) have had to unexpectedly fund over three quarters of the total funeral cost, equating to over £2,500 on average. With the average funeral now costing over £3,800, the majority of families left to fund any shortfall did this in a range of ways including:

  • 54% – accessed savings of family and friends of the person who passed away.
  • 10% – took out a personal loan.
  • 9% – covered the costs on a credit card.
  • 6% – sought assistance via the Government’s Social Fund.

Measures introduced by the Co-op, to tackle the issue of funeral affordability include improvements to Co-op’s most affordable funeral option, reducing 7% on average off the cost. Co-op has also become the first business to sign an enhanced pledge from campaign group Fair Funerals to tackle funeral poverty and increase price transparency, in addition to re-launching its funeral planning range to offer the UK’s most affordable*** national fully-guaranteed funeral plan. (We would add that you should read our review before considering a funeral plan – Prepaid Funeral Review Team.)

12% said they weren’t aware of the Government’s support via the Social Fund.  Of those that did apply, a third were not eligible for funding.  They then had to find alternative means to cover the funeral cost. This is a situation that is set to continue with nearly half of UK adults (48%) yet to consider how their funeral would be paid for.

Amongst the remainder who have made plans, the most popular way to save to cover funeral costs is as follows.

  • 44% – in a bank and building society savings account. (Please read the link Prepaid Funeral Review Team.) 
  • 20% – via a pre-paid funeral plan.
  • 20% – through other savings and investments. (Please read the link Prepaid Funeral Review Team.) 
  • 16% – via an over 50’s plan(Please read the link. Prepaid Funeral Review Team.) 
  • 13% – via their life insurance. (Unless written in trust or owned by a partner etc, these will not be released until probate has been granted, which could take months! Prepaid Funeral Review Team.) 

For those who have taken out a funeral plan, their intention was to ensure that their families had nothing more to pay to cover funeral costs. Highlighting this, 45% said it was very important that their funeral plan was inflation proof and fully protected loved ones against any future rises in costs. In spite of wanting to put arrangements in place, findings show that as many as 96% of those with a funeral plan don’t know whether it will cover the total funeral cost. (We have news – NO normal funeral plan will cover ALL of the costs, they just cover the costs stated in the plan brochure or provide a fund towards those costs with some form of indexation.  This is especially important for burial plans. If a plot needs to be bought at the time of death.  Prepaid Funeral Review Team.) 

Commenting on the findings, Richard Lancaster, Managing Director for Co-op Funeralcare said: “The end of our lives isn’t an easy thing to think about and as a result thousands of families are being left with a legacy of financial as well as emotional grief following a loss.”

“With a range of measures already launched this year, we are focused on playing our part to tackle the issue of funeral affordability both by reducing the cost of a funeral, and also by making it more accessible for families to make plans and budget gradually for funeral costs.”

Stephen Pett of The Prepaid Funeral Review said: “We welcome the Co-op Funeralcare initiative but would ask them to put their own Terms and Conditions of Business on a footing acceptable to anyone who takes the trouble to read them. THAT is treating customers fairly.”

References

*There were 529,655 deaths registered in England and Wales in 2015 according to the ONS. Based on 40% of this figure, 211,862 adults in 2015 were left without financial provision for a funeral in 2015

**You Gov research conducted amongst a sample of 1100 UK adults in May 2016

***According to a comparison of national funeral plan providers, the Simple Funeral plan is the most affordable set plan for both burial and cremation available nationwide and fully covering third party costs. (What they ACTUALLY cover is not ALL third party costs, but all LISTED third party costs.  The Co-op Plan would be a good one if the Terms of Business were acceptable. Prepaid Funeral Review Team) 

Funeral Costs: How to Reduce the Cost of Dying

Funeral Costs Rocket Ever Upwards

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes – keeeping costs down.

In the 2014 review of funeral costs, overall funeral costs have risen by a dramatic 10.6% to an average of £8,427.

To be fair this includes other aspects of the cost of dying :

  • £3,590 for the actual funeral.

Includes the fees for the funeral director, the cremation or burial, the doctor, and the minister or celebrant.

  • £1,883 for funeral extras.

Includes the memorial, death and funeral notices, flowers, order sheets, limousines, the venue and catering for the wake.

  • £3,004 for dealing with the probate side of the estate.

This is the average amount spent on hiring a professional. Many people of course will deal with straightforward estates themselves or us DI Probate help for deaths in England and Wales. The Probate Department Ltd also offers relatively low cost help.

So what can you do to keep the cost of dying down?

  • Prepaid funeral plans vary widely in what they include as standard, and some don’t even cover the cost of cremation, leaving the family with an unexpected and sometimes large bill. The cost of cremation varies dramatically from area to area, as does the cost of burial plots.

Most prepaid funeral plans will include the costs of the actual funeral, but not always of a minister.   Most give you the option of including limousines if you think they are important.   Most do not include any other matters, but some will allow you to include a sum of money to cover other things mentioned above, and will increase that sum in line with inflation.

  • Make a Will and keep it both safe and up to date.

Folk booking a prepaid funeral plan through us can have heavily subsidised new or revised Wills and a comprehensive estate planning review. Will Custodian Ltd offers storage and review services.

  • Review your savings and investments.

Very often, probate is required for the sake of one investment, or of having too much money in one place. There are some tips you may find useful here: http://theprobatedepartment.co.uk/avoid-probate/

This puts your home outside your estate from the point of view of probate, though it does need to be included on the IHT400.  Your home can then be dealt with immediately after death rather than waiting several months for a grant of probate.

Funeral Costs Mean Debt Without Planning

Funerals costs are creating debt for families.

Failing to plan for the inevitable funeral costs is creating major debt issues for many familes when the cash just isn’t available at the right time when a family member dies.

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

A survey by Royal London shows that funeral debt in the UK has reached £142,000,000. And that at a time when prepaid funeral plan sales are booming. But the rapidly rising cost of funerals is only going to make things worse in future, for families who haven’t planned.

Why not contact us and set up a Family Funeral Plan – one which can be used by any member of the family who dies, rather than – as most are – being restricted to just one person. We think that is a great way of improving things.   But on with the report from Royal London.

The National Funeral Cost Index: average funeral costs £3,551.

More worryingly a massive 109,000 people have been caught out and ended up with an average debt is £1,305. In terms of timing, the combination of grief and debt is awful.

YouGov (commission by Royal London) surveyed just under 2000 people who had arranged a funeral in the last 5 years. 46% said it cost more than expected. Around one in five said they had problems paying.   The Social Fund contribution to funeral costs is minimal.

Despite this, most were determined to give their loved one a “good send off.”   Surprisingly only just over one in ten of these economised on the funeral.   Significantly more that one in three spent their own savings to help pay.   Almost three in ten borrowed from family or friends. A scary 20% went into debt typically using a credit card or a loan.

The National Funeral Cost Index is to repeated annually by Royal London and the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management which represents professionals working in burial and cremation throughout the UK.

The ICCM study highlights how funerals are polarising society: those who can afford and those who can’t afford the cost plus those who pay in advance (which needn’t be too expensive. It also shows funeral costs differ dramatically ranging from £2,859 for a cremation in Belfast, to whopping £6,899 for a burial in Beckenham, Kent.

But as we would say, a large proportion of those people could have benefitted from a prepaid funeral plan, whether purchased by them or another family member.