According to SunLife’s annual Cost of Dying report, funeral prices have increased by 5.5% to £3,897 in the past year. This is double the figure recorded in 2004, when the funeral plans provider first started tracking funeral prices.
Encouragingly, the number of people making at least some funeral provision is the highest on record. Approximately 62% are putting at least some money aside, up 5% compared with 2009 figures.
19% do not leave enough and 38% leave nothing to cover funerals
However, due to the rising cost of funerals, 19% are failing to leaving sufficient funds to cover the full amount. The report shows that 13% of those left to cover the bill have experienced financial difficulties as a result, with the average shortfall standing at £2,334. A worrying 38% are leaving no funds at all to cover the cost of their funerals, failing to take advantage of low-cost funeral plans or to set money aside in a savings account.
Graham Jones, director at SunLife, said: “While there are still people not making any provision, the number that do is rising, which is encouraging, and shows that keeping this issue in the public eye is having a positive effect on attitudes. However, many are still vastly underestimating how much a funeral actually costs and not leaving enough.”
SunLife’s research found that 40% of people tasked with organising a funeral said it cost more than they expected and 38% of these said it cost significantly more. As a result, one in twelve had to cut back on funeral spending or change some of the ‘send-off’ arrangements they had planned for their loved one.
Graham Jones concludes: “We all know that death is inevitable, but leaving debt and emotional stress behind for our loved ones is not, so this year we are working alongside Dying Matters to encourage people to talk about dying and start planning for it, both financially and emotionally.”