Funeral Costs Will Continue To Rise.
Funeral costs seemingly inexorable rise can be the last straw. We all expect to the emotional trauma of a death. Time helps the healing process. And there is usually plenty of help available, though often only to those who actively ask for it. Friends and family rally round in the short term. Professional grief counselling is available.
But the financial impact of a death can be worse. Help with finances can be a lot tougher to find. Discussing financial issues after a death can be even more of a taboo than talking about the death itself.
This is a real issue: the cost of dying just keeps on rising. Funeral costs have risen much faster than inflation for many years. Why will funeral costs continue to rise?
Funeral Costs – the only way is up!
The Cost of Dying Report 2011 from Sun Life Direct shows the average funeral costs and other associated costs of death are now £7,237. That is a lot of money.
There are three main costs.
- £3,091 – actual funeral costs.
- funeral director fees;
- doctors’ fees;
- fees for a religious or secular service;
- burial or cremation charges. These are relatively fixed.
- £1,864 – Additional variable funeral costs: these are often much higher.
- death and funeral notices.
- order sheets;
- funeral cars;
- catering for the wake;
- venue hire;
- a memorial. These are the costs you have more control over.
- £2,292 – Estate administration fees .
- the cost of professional services such as solicitors and banks to wind up the deceased’s estate. You could make some savings – banks in particular can be really expensive.
- Court Fees.
That adds up to a lot of money. If you are well off, funeral costs etc may not be a problem. But imagine two or more relatives dying close together and the collective funeral costs could be well into five figures. Older couples often die close together. Car accidents commonly involve multiple funeral costs. Not nice to think about, but there are many ways we can help with advance planning.
Funeral costs have gone up over 61% in the last eight years, says Sun Life. Funeral costs have been rising three times faster than inflation. Currently it’s around 8.74%. For your savings account to keep up with this, they would need to return well over 11% a year!!
Funeral directors own fees have played a relatively modest part. They have still risen over 7% in the last 12 months.
Funeral costs from the Church of England have also gone up very substantially.
The largest increases in funeral costs are the charges of council crematoria, as over 65% of Britons are cremated. The Yorkshire Post says these have much more than doubled in 10 years. The average cremation – just a part of the overall funeral – now costs £705. If you are unlucky enough to die in Liverpool, you could pay double that!
This element of the cost of dying has risen because councils have had to spend large sums of money updating crematoria to comply with new environmental regulations, while some may also be leaning on them as a valuable source of income to compensate for cuts elsewhere in their budgets. Councils have also increased the costs of being buried in their municipal cemeteries, meaning burial will seldom provide a cheaper option.
How to prepare for Funeral Costs and the other costs of dying.
The ideal way to ease funeral costs and the other costs of dying is to plan for the inevitable. Removing or reducing the extra trauma and costs associated with the death of a loved one is a great service. Contact us for our free guide to reducing funeral costs and how to reduce the financial and emotional distress for those left behind.