Red and white roses being placed on a wooden coffin at a funeral Red and white roses being placed on a wooden coffin at a funeral August 10, 2018

Nobody wants to think about death, but failing to prepare can have a serious financial impact on your loved ones.

According to SunLife’s Cost of Dying Report 2017, the average cost of a basic funeral was £4,078 in 2017. However, many families are unprepared for the cost, leading to an average funeral debt of £1,680.

The actual cost of a funeral will depend on the type and location of the service, plus any additional spending on discretional things.

What are the typical costs of a funeral?

Burial - £4,561 / Cremation - £3,596

The total cost of a basic funeral covers the fees for a funeral director, the cremation or burial and the minister or celebrant.

The actual cost varies depending on location. A burial in London will cost an average of £7,311, versus £5,158 in the South East, and only £3,874 in Wales. The cost of cremation is influenced to a lesser degree by location, costing an average of £4,591 in London, £4,155 in the South East, and £3,049 in Wales.

One in 10 cremations take place without a service, called a direct cremation. By skipping the service, cremations can be performed outside of sociable hours, which usually costs less. A typical direct cremation costs £1,835.

Funeral director’s fees - £2,491 of total funeral cost

The funeral director’s fee makes up a large part of the overall funeral cost but does usually include the coffin, hearse, the collection and care of the deceased plus the funeral director’s guidance.

The wake and additional costs

As you’ve seen, the cost of a basic funeral will often run into thousands, and this figure can easily rise by an extra £2,000 when you add the extra costs associated with a send-off.

The biggest expenses will be the memorial (a headstone or plaque) and can extend to venue hire and catering costs, depending on the type of wake.

Average costs:

Memorial - £782
Catering - £348
Limousine hire - £235
Venue hire - £214
Flowers - £150
Order sheets - £73
Death notice - £63
Funeral notice - £62

Now you have an idea of the cost of a funeral, would your family be able to cover such large sums of money? Would you want them to?