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Funeral costs are under-estimated by £1,275

Funeral plan specialist, Perfect Choice, recently carried out a survey to discover the public’s perception of the cost of a funeral. We discovered that the average funeral cost is under-estimated by £1,275, by two fifths of UK citizens who haven’t been involved in organising a funeral. Also, over half of those questioned believe that the coffin is the most expensive aspect of a funeral.

We polled 1,793 British adults, all of whom were aged 18 or over. Participants were asked about their experiences of funerals as part of our ongoing research into funeral planning trends across the UK.

First, we asked “Have you been involved in the organising of a funeral?” to which 61% people said that they had and 39% stating that they hadn’t. We then asked those who had taken part in organisation, to state how much the total cost of the funeral was. The average cost was £3,175.

To further understand the public’s opinion on perceived funeral costs the survey then asked all the respondents who had not been involved in organising a funeral to say how much they believed the total cost of a funeral might be. Using the responses we calculated an average figure of £1,900, which revealed a difference of £1,275 when compared to the average actual cost.           

We then asked all respondents who had not been involved in the planning of a funeral to provide details on what they believed was the most expensive element of organising a funeral. They were able to select all answers they felt were applicable, which revealed the below top 5:

1) Coffin – 54%
2) Wake – 46%
3) Burial/Cremation – 32%
4) Care of the deceased – 25%
5) Hearse/Limo hire – 18%

To contrast these results, we then asked all respondents who had organised a funeral to state which part of the funeral had been the most expensive. The majority (59%) said that the burial/cremation had cost the most, 35% said that the cost of the service was the most expensive element and 25% stated that the coffin had cost the most.

Finally, we asked all respondents who had been involved in planning a funeral whether the costs had been taken care of prior to death either via a plan or saved money. 6% said that they were unsure currently, 35% said no, there were no plans in place, which left 59% where the costs had been planned.

It is interesting to see just how much actual funeral costs differ to the perceptions of those who have never had to organise the finances for a funeral. These costs can be surprising at first and they come at the worst time, when very few people are in the mood to sit down with a calculator; because of this, we aim to educate people about these costs and the various options that are available to suit differing budgets and circumstances. Working with funeral directing firms across the country, we know they work hard to keep funeral costs down but many costs are outside of their control.

We would encourage everyone to consider forward planning so that financial provision is in place for when the time comes.

Perfect Choice Funeral Plans is a trading name of Ecclesiastical Planning Services Limited Reg. No. 2644860 which is registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester GL1 1JZ.
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