It's hard to believe that the average cost of a funeral has doubled since 2004, from £1,920 to today’s price tag of almost £4,000.
Even more bewildering is the latest SunLife Cost of Dying Report also revealed that had prices increased in line with normal inflation (CPI), the average cost of a funeral would be a mere £2,540; a whopping £1,357 less. It's therefore not difficult to see why the purchase of prepaid funeral plans has soared this year by over 20% according to the Funeral Planning Authority, bringing the total number of plans in place to over 1 million.
A prepaid funeral plan is quite simply a way of putting your wishes and plans in place in advance, so that when the time comes, your family will have nothing to worry about. In fact research by over 50s specialist Over50choices has found that nearly three quarters of people that had purchased a funeral plan, did so to save their families from the stress and worry of arranging their funeral.
The report also found that nearly 50% also purchased a plan to remove the financial burden, as a prepaid funeral plan will also freeze your funeral services at today's prices, therefore avoiding the impact of future inflation.
Ashley Shepherd, Managing Director at Over50choices said, "The survey confirmed that as a nation we are a caring society; after all protecting your family emotionally and financially by putting a plan in place could be one of the kindest things you can do for them”.
Whilst SunLife reports that more people are talking about dying, it also found that only 1% of families knew the full wishes of their loved one once they had died and only 4 out of ten knew whether they wanted to be buried or cremated.
Commenting on the report, Ashley went onto say, "Contrary to superstitious belief, talking about dying won't make it happen, but not talking about it makes life so much more difficult for families who are left to pick up the pieces, both emotionally and financially".
When it comes to funeral planning, the very least we should all do is tell our families what type of funeral we would like and then, if possible, go that one step further and put more formal plans in place with either a prepaid funeral plan or life insurance plan that will help with costs.
The largest variable cost of any funeral is the cremation or burial plot as both are outside the control of the funeral director and predominately down to the local council. In addition, the costs vary depending on where you live in the country.
This is where prepaid funeral plans can help keep costs down; as it doesn't matter where you live the cost of your funeral director's services are guaranteed at today's prices. Plus for those costs that the funeral director doesn't control such as those mentioned and the ministers fees, either have an allowance to help with the costs or with Dignity and Coop are also guaranteed at today's prices.
Funeral planning isn't just for the elderly. If funeral inflation continues at a similar rate, the cost of your funeral in 12 years time could as much as £8,000, so putting plans in place in your 50s and 60s could potentially save you and your family thousands of pounds.
For those who haven't made their funeral arrangements yet, it's worth noting that the first of the leading funeral plan providers, Dignity, is due to carry out it's annual price review on 19th December 2016 and as an incentive they are offering a £150 discount to highlight this deadline.
At the end of the day dying is the one thing we all have in common and there is no avoiding it, so don't put it off any longer; tell your family how you would like your life celebrated today.