3 October How much does a funeral cost? October 3, 2017By Simon Franklin How much does a funeral cost in the UK? Probably rather more than you imagined with the Money Advice Service reporting that a funeral arranged in the usual way costs, on average, £3,675. And if you thought those funeral costs were already very high, there seems little chance of the situation changing at all in the future. The Cost of Dying Every year, insurers Sun Life publish a report entitled the Cost of Dying – the average costs involved in arranging a funeral and a host of related services. The Cost of Dying Report for 2017 indicates that the average cost of a funeral has risen by 4.7% in the last year alone and a staggering 70.6% over the previous ten years – a figure which not only outstrips the rate of inflation but is three times the increase in wages and average house prices over the same period. Looking to the future, Sun Life predicts a continuing escalation in the average price of funerals in the UK – rising to £5,094 within the next 5 years; £6,657 in 10 years’ time; £8,700 within 15 year; £11,371 in 20 years; and, £19,423 in 30 years. Funeral debt Similar findings are also reflected in the National Funeral Cost Index for 2017, compiled by Royal London. In its report, Royal London also comments on the growing incidence of funeral debt which has arisen as a direct result of such increases in the cost of funerals. In order to meet those increases, families have incurred average debts of £1,680 for every funeral that takes place in the UK. This represents a national total indebtedness or “funeral poverty” of a record £160 million in 2017 – an increase of more than £10 million on the same figure for last year. Your response With funeral costs already rising at a rate that far exceeds inflation, you might want to ensure your family receives the necessary help with funeral costs – so that you play your part in keeping them out of funeral poverty and any spiral of personal debt. Your most helpful response may likely be the purchase of a prepaid funeral plan. Not only does this give you the chance to say what kind and level of funeral you would like, but also how much might be spent on it. By paying at today’s prices – reflecting the average cost of a funeral at the moment – you are finding a way to beat the anticipated rate of inflation in those prices in the future. And not only is this likely to help with funeral costs, but save your surviving family members money over the longer-term. Another way of viewing the help a prepaid funeral plan might bring your family is to consider the value of any legacy you leave behind. If that legacy is currently in the form of a regular savings account, it is likely to be earning no more than around 1% in interest. Yet the savings you may achieve – savings that are ultimately part of the financial legacy you leave – are likely to be considerably more than 1% when used to buy a prepaid funeral plan. Even if you choose to pay for that plan by monthly instalments – an easy way of spreading the cost – we have demonstrated just how much you may save on the purchase of an average-priced, prepaid funeral plan.