Soaring funeral costs: people unprepared for bills

A funeral costs thousands – are you prepared?A funeral costs thousands – are you prepared?
A funeral costs thousands – are you prepared?
New research from SunLife shows almost 40% of people are not putting enough money aside to pay for their funeral, leaving their family to pick up an average £1,800 shortfall.

With the cost of living rising at an alarming rate, it’s perhaps not surprising that 1 in 5 are also having to borrow money to cover that shortfall.

New research shows families are struggling

SunLife’s Cost of Dying Report – the longest-running study into funeral prices – revealed this year that the average cost of a funeral is now estimated at £4,054.

But a third of people didn’t make provisions towards their funeral costs before they passed away. So it’s not surprising that some families said they had notable financial concerns when it came to making up the cost of their loved one’s funeral.

How are people finding the money to pay?

Of those who had to make up the shortfall, over half had to borrow money to cover the funeral costs. They turned to borrowing from friends and relatives, some used credit cards, and others took out a personal loan to help.1 in 5 are still surprised at the staggering costs of a funeral, with 25% claiming that the overall cost of the funeral was more than they expected it to be – explaining why so many people struggle to afford it when the time comes.

How people are keeping funeral costs down

People who have organised a funeral recently gave SunLife tips on how to save on costs – while keeping the send-off meaningful and personal. The most popular tips were to choose a cheaper coffin and spend less on flowers, followed closely by hosting the wake at home.

Another tip that came up time and again was to shop around. Less than 1 in 5 people got more than one quote when organising a funeral. But speaking to multiple funeral directors means you could get more for your budget.

Lots of people also opted for simple, personal touches to give their loved one a special goodbye. Digital photo montages, playlists of their loved one’s favourite music, and light-hearted dress codes were all popular choices. (Football jerseys, Hawaiian shirts and feather boas all made an appearance!)

How to find support for funeral costs

Organising a funeral is never an easy task, so SunLife has put together a simple guide on how to get help with funeral costs . And, to make life even easier for you, they also have a step-by-step guide on how to plan a funeral.

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