Friday 23 February 2018

Finance Fridays – Funeral costs

We were looking at what makes your car insurance cost more for last week's Finance Fridays. This week we are talking about something nobody likes to think about – funeral costs. One thing that is certain is that dying isn't cheap. You may think you have plenty of assets to leave your loved ones but estates take a time to settle and you could leave your family difficulty in paying for your funeral. Let's have a look at some of the costs involved in a funeral and how you can pay for it.

What's involved – First of all the death needs to registered. In order to obtain a death certificate you will need to pay £4 for each certificate if the death is registered in England and Wales (£8 in Northern Ireland). This cost rises if you wish to buy one after you have initially registered the death. It is a good idea to get several copies as you will need to send them to several companies and you won't want to be waiting for them to return it before you send it to another one.

The biggest cost involved in a funeral is usually for the funeral director. They will collect the body and care for it until the funeral. In addition they will supply a coffin, arrange a hearse and other transportation, complete the appropriate forms and arrange a simple ceremony. A cremation is cheaper than a burial but this can still cost around £4,000 if arranged through a funeral director.

If you decide to not use a funeral director you can save money but be prepared for having to deal with the most morbid aspects of a death. If a person has died in a hospital or hospice they may keep the body until the funeral if it is arranged quickly. Otherwise you will have to store the body yourself. You don't have to have a coffin but instead a shroud would need to be used to cover the body. You will also need to get the body to the crematorium or burial plot.

After the funeral you may wish to go home by yourself and let the other guests leave. However you might find it appropriate to host a gathering afterwards. This could be in your own home or at another venue. Either will involve catering costs and possibly venue hire. If the deceased was of a certain status a memorial service later may need to be arranged as well.

Plan ahead – Many people already have in place a funeral plan. Either a one-off lump sum or regular payments can secure a range of funeral expenses such as burial plot, cremation fees, funeral director and even flowers. If you do take out one of the these plans make sure that everything you require is included in the plan and there won't be additional costs for your relatives to pay once you die. Also make your relatives aware of your funeral plan and where the paperwork is. You can only have one funeral and you wouldn't want your relatives paying out again or going against your wishes.

Government help – If you meet the eligibility criteria you could receive a Funeral Expenses Payment. This can cover the cost of burial and plot fees or cremation fees, payment towards the funeral director fee and coffin, travel to the funeral and death certificates. Do be aware you will need to be in receipt of certain benefits and closely related to the deceased person. If you receive money once the deceased's estate is settled you will be required to pay back the Funeral Expenses Payment.

If you want to join in with this week's Finance Fridays then add your link to the linky below. Any post concerning financial matters is allowed. Full details here. It doesn't have to be published today as you have until 23.55 on Tuesday 27th February 2018 to join in.
Finance Fridays

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1 comment:

  1. Interesting stuff. As a result of a recent family bereavement, I have been looking at funeral plans. Morbid, but I fear it has to be done.


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