Latest news on rising funeral costs
According to recent research by the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD), the average funeral in the UK costs around £3,221 and this figure is increasing year on year and can cost more than £5,000 on average in some areas. Funerals have seen a rise in cost of around 32% over the last 5 years alone.
Some families are finding themselves in debt after trying to cover the cost of a loved-ones funeral. Others are cutting back on the choices they make for the funeral, such as reducing the flower arrangements and choosing a more cost-effective coffin. A recent report highlighted the pressure on the government’s social fund and growing concerns about funeral poverty. There have also been reports that some are resorting to disregarding a funeral altogether and burying relatives in the back garden.
The amount that councils are having to spend on paupers funerals (which are provided if the deceased had no close relatives to cover costs, or if the family could not afford the costs) has risen by a third since 2010. Public health funerals cost £3.4million last year, a 36% increase on the £2.5million in 2010.
There are currently calls for the government to provide a basic allowance for funeral costs as part of National Insurance contributions, this is to help to combat the rise of funeral poverty. The government have said that they currently offer funeral payments which on average equal £1,225, but that it’s important that funds are targeted effectively to those who need help the most, which is why the payments are linked to pension credits, tax credits and other benefits.
According to a study by the University of Bath, the rise in energy prices means the cost of cremation has risen at a consistently higher rate than the cost of burial. Crematoria used to be run by local authorities but there is an increased presence of privately-owned crematoria. Even so a burial is still around £1,000 more than a cremation. In addition clergy and doctor’s fees have also increased.
Funeral directing firms that offer Perfect Choice Funeral Plans are accredited members of the National Association of Funeral Directors, known as the NAFD for short. NAFD members follow a strict code of practice and are required to have price lists available showing the cost of the services they provide.
They are also required to provide you with a written estimate and confirmation of arrangements before the funeral takes place, as well as itemised accounts which can be easily compared to the estimate. This ensures that bereaved families are able to make informed choices and are aware of the costs of the funeral they have requested.
All NAFD funeral directors are also required to offer a 'simple' funeral option which is a basic funeral package – this can provide a good solution for families looking to keep costs down.