How much money do you currently have in savings? We ask this question as a recent study showed that the average cost of a funeral is now about £3,693…

No-one likes the thought of dying suddenly and leaving relatives grief-stricken, but indebted as well because a funeral plan isn’t in place can be an added nuisance when people are trying to cope with their grief.

Here at Finders, in the main we deal with people who have not left wills (and wills often specify funeral plans or wishes) so we are familiar with this issue. Funeral costs have actually risen for the 11th year in a row – and the combined average cost of a burial and cremation funeral is up almost 3 percent on last year, a rise of 88 percent more than a decade ago.

If funeral prices keep on rising at the same rate, the chances are that by 2020, the average cost of a funeral might rise to as much as £4,620.

The news comes from insurance company SunLife’s Cost of Dying report, which did reveal that while funeral costs have increased, the total cost of dying has decreased by some £3000, mainly because of a fall in the costs of administering an estate.

The average cost of a basic funeral (fees for the funeral director, the cremation or burial itself, and the minister or celebrant) is reckoned at £3,693. The average amount spent on the send-off £2,000 (this amount takes into account the combined costs of the death and funeral notices, flowers, order sheets, extra cars, the venue and catering), and £2,433 to hire professionals to administer the estate. Assuming all of those services are used, the total cost of dying then tots up to £8,126.

The cost of the wake, the SunLife report, has also increased – at £2,000 it’s up 10 percent on 2014. Memorials now cost £862 on average, which is 12 percent more expensive than 2014 and this cost contributes to about 40 percent of the total amount spent on extras when it comes to funerals.

As you might expect, funeral costs vary widely, with the most expensive place to die being London with the average cost of a funeral at just over £5,000 – more than £1,300 over the national average and even 34 percent more expensive than the south west of England, which is the second most expensive place to die.

The cheapest funerals are to be had in Northern Ireland, where the average cost is £3,203 (£500 less than the national average).

You can help yourself by ensuring that your will includes plans for your funeral or you have discussed this in detail with your nearest and dearest, as families can agonise over funerals when they don’t know what their loved one wanted. Pre-paid funeral plans might also be an idea.

Finders International specialises in finding missing wills, or missing heirs when a person dies intestate.

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