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How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of a funeral is typically dependent on the location, type of service, transport, the type of coffin or casket, funeral director fees, and any extras such as flowers and catering for the wake. 

The average cost of a funeral in the UK is £4,271*. On average, the cost for a burial is £4,798, whilst the average cost for a cremation is £3,744.

Whilst the final cost will completely depend on the arrangements you choose to make, the overall quality of service which is provided can vary significantly. Dignity’s funeral services start from £1,695 in Scotland and £1,995 in the rest of the UK, and we promise to provide unequalled support, reassurance and attention to detail when arranging a funeral for your loved one.


Breakdown of funeral costs:


Funeral director fees

The majority of funerals in the UK are arranged by a funeral director. The funeral director fees cover most aspects of the funeral arrangements, though this can vary depending on which funeral director or package you choose. Typically, these fees will cover:

    • Overseeing your chosen arrangements before, during and after the funeral service
    • Being present on the day to supervise the occasion and direct all in attendance
    • Personal, face to face contact to discuss your individual requirements and take instructions either at the funeral premises or your home
    • Bringing your loved one into care at the soonest available time
    • Modern climate controlled mortuary facilities for the deceased to rest in
    • Caring for and preparing the deceased for the funeral service
    • Providing chapel of rest facilities so you can visit your loved one prior to the funeral
    • Co-ordination of all the required documentation and ‘external payments’ that are necessary for the funeral to legally proceed
    • A funeral coffin or casket
    • Providing sufficient pallbearers to carry the coffin or casket
    • Provision of a hearse, limousine(s) and necessary personnel
    • Co-ordination of additional extras such as funeral wreaths, music, funeral hymns and service stationery

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Third party costs

Third party costs, or external payments, are additional charges which we will manage for you and attach to your single invoice. These payments can vary widely depending on where you live and whether you choose a cremation or burial service for your loved one.

At Dignity, we will prepare, collect and distribute all the required documentation and coordinate external payments for you that are necessary for the funeral to legally proceed. Some of the more common third party costs are listed below:

Burial costs

    • Minister or Officiant fee: The person conducting the funeral service
    • The exclusive right of burial (EROB): This is the physical space itself, often known as the burial plot
    • The interment: This fee is for the preparation of the burial plot or grave
    • Fee to add or remove headstone: If a burial plot has a headstone then it will have been removed to allow for the funeral to take place. It also covers the cost of placing the headstone back on the grave
    • Maintenance and monument fees: Councils often charge maintenance fees, covering tasks such as grass cutting and insurance for the burial plot
    • Church fees: The cost of holding the funeral service in a place of worship
    • Memorial masonry: The cost of creating, installing, repairing and engraving a memorial


Cremation costs

    • Cremation fees at a local crematorium: The cost of cremating a loved one at a local crematorium
    • Minister or Officiant fee: For the person conducting the funeral service
    • Cremation documents fees: Forms for applying for a cremation
    • Interment of ashes: The cost of keeping the ashes in a permanent place, usually a burial plot
    • Scattering of ashes: Disposal by strewing of ashes in the Garden of Remembrance
    • Memorial masonry: The cost of creating, installing, repairing and engraving a memorial
    • Doctor’s fees: These charges are for the cremation certificates

 

Optional costs

Whilst funeral costs have risen considerably over the years, ‘optional costs’, which cover special requests and added extras, have remained at around £2,000 since 2008.

As in previous years, the stand out optional cost in 2018 was that of a memorial which costs an average of £824. Below are the average optional costs for a funeral in the UK:

    • Memorial: £824
    • Catering: £362
    • Limo hire: £264
    • Flowers: £171
    • Venue hire: £210
    • Death notice: £73
    • Order sheets/service cards: £82

 

Help with funeral costs

Public Health Funeral

If you cannot afford a funeral, your local council or hospital can arrange a Public Health funeral if:

    • There isn’t enough money in the estate to pay for it
    • There are no relatives or friends available to arrange the funeral

Funeral Payment Scheme

If you’re getting certain benefits, you can also apply for Funeral Payment from the government to help you pay for the funeral. It doesn’t cover all of the funeral costs and you will typically have to pay the government back from any money you receive from the person’s estate, such as their savings.

You have three months from the date of the funeral to make a claim. Visit GOV.UK for more information and how to apply for this benefit. If you live in Northern Ireland, visit NIDirect.

  

*Source: Some of the data in this article is based on the annual SunLife Cost of Dying report 2018

 

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