Recent research shows how we feel about funerals in the UK. People are often reluctant to talk about death, so the Sunlife report is a fascinating insight into the opinion and costs of dying.

The cost of dying

In 2022, the average cost of dying was £9,200. This shows an increase of 3.8% compared with the previous year. This figure includes funeral costs (which reduced by 2.5% year on year), professional fees and send off costs.

The cost of a basic funeral was £3,953 during 2022 compared with £4,056 in 2021. Whilst professional fees and send of costs reduced in 2021, they both increased during 2022. This could be explained by the impact of the pandemic on funeral and wake options during 2021.

Where you die impacts the cost involved. London is the most expensive region, but costs decreased by 1.4% last year. Only funeral costs in Wales and Northern Ireland increased during 2022.

Types of funerals

The proportion of funeral types held during 2022 was the same as in 2021:

  • 57% Cremations
  • 25% Burials
  • 18% Direct cremations

Direct cremations involve a funeral without a service. They are the most affordable funeral option and became a practical option during the pandemic. This trend continues.

Paying for funerals

69% of people make provisions for their funeral costs, however only 59% put sufficient money aside.  Savings and investments remain the popular way of funding funeral costs. During 2022, 19% of families had significant financial concerns when paying for a funeral. The average amount they needed to cover was £1,870.

57% of people tried to cut costs when arranging a funeral during 2022. The most common ways of doing this were:

  1. 18% Choosing a cheaper coffin
  2. 17% Spending less on flowers
  3. 16% Having a home wake

Time to talk

Only 0.3% of people knew all their loved one’s funeral wishes – and 18% didn’t know any of their preferences at all.

Of those who knew their wishes, 59% had been told directly, 19% were told by family and friends, and 16% found out from the will.

64% of people have thought about their own funeral. However, only a third of people have spoken to someone about their funeral preferences.

Talking about dying and funerals may feel uncomfortable. However it can be reassuring for the person whose funeral is involved, and is hugely helpful to those making arrangements when the person dies.

If you’re arranging a funeral and would like to discuss the options and process involved, please talk to our team. Our offices are throughout Hertfordshire and our staff offer reassurance and advice as they help you make arrangements for your loved one’s funeral.

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