How much does a funeral cost?

how much are funeral costs

A funeral in the UK currently costs £4,138 on average, depending on the type of service you choose. Cremation is more popular and cheaper, costing £3,885 on average. At £5,033, burials are more expensive; plus there’s the additional cost of the burial plot to consider.

In this guide you will find:

Funeral costs 2021

In 2020, the average UK funeral costs almost £4,400. Over the last 10 years alone, cremation fess have risen by 58%. Burial funeral costs, which account for 23% of funerals, have increased further, having risen by 65%.

The cost of a funeral doesn’t just depend on whether you choose cremation or burial though. It also depends on where you live, as funerals costs vary by region.

What is the breakdown cost of a funeral?

This cost breakdown of a funeral highlights the average price you could expect to pay for a funeral in the UK in 2021. Prices vary depending on the type of funeral, where you live and the services you include.

  • Basic funeral costs (funeral director and 3rd party costs) - £4,184
  • Additional funeral expenses – £2,532

What is included in the basic funeral costs?

 1. Funeral director’s costs in the UK currently average £2,687.

The funeral director’s costs include collection and care of the deceased, administration, viewing, the coffin, hearse, funeral cars for family and services on the day. The funeral director will also liaise with third parties and provide support for the family throughout the process.

2. Third party funeral costs

Third party funeral costs comprise of those essential services not provided by the funeral director. This includes the cremation or burial fees, the minister or celebrant’s fees (which currently average £169) and the doctor’s charges. 'In England and Wales, Doctor's fees may be required for cremations currently costing approximately £164.

What are the additional funeral expenses?

Additional funeral expenses are the services you choose as optional extras to personalise the service such as:

  • Memorial - £1,016
  • Limousine hire - £336
  • Wake, including venue hire and catering - £450
  • Order of service - £94
  • Flowers - £193
  • Death notices - £75

What are the professional fees?

Professional fees for administrating the estate may be necessary if probate is required, however this all depends on whether you decide to do it yourself or use the services of an expert.

For more information look at our guide to probate.

Funeral costs by UK region

The cost of a funeral varies throughout the UK. As you may expect, London funeral costs are the most expensive, however funeral costs in other regions of the UK have risen at a faster rate.

Where are UK funeral costs the highest?

  • London £5,235 (+3.4%)
  • South East & East of England £5,007 (+9.8%)
  • East and West Midlands £4,488 (+3.9%)
  • Yorkshire and the Humber £4,270 (-3.6%)

Where are UK funeral costs the lowest?

  • Northern Ireland £3,222 (-7.4%)
  • Wales £3,718 (+0.4%)
  • North West England £3,785 (+5.2%)
  • North East England £3,826 (-1.8%)

According to the Sunlife’s 2021 Cost of Dying report, funeral costs in the South East increased by 9.8% between 2019 and 2020 – a huge difference compared to the average national increase of 1.20%.

Funeral costs calculator

Our funeral cost calculator can help you understand how much a funeral may cost in years to come. It also highlights the benefit of paying with a prepaid funeral plan versus using your savings.

Just use the sliders to confirm your current age and an estimate of how long you think you might live and the funeral calculator will do the rest.

Your age:
 
Your guesstimate of how long you will live:
 

Average cost of a prepaid funeral plan today is £3,750

 
 
 
The amount £3,750 will have grown to at 1.5% AER in a savings account
Cost of a funeral based on funeral inflation for the last 10 years at 4.7%
The amount you could save your family if you buy a prepaid plan today
According to Sunlife the average cost of a funeral in 2020 was £4,184
Note: Graph visuals are representative. Accurate figures and savings are provided

Can I get help with funeral costs?

Yes you can get help with funeral costs through the government’s funeral payment scheme. This funeral expense payment is for people on low incomes claiming certain benefits. Whilst it doesn’t cover all funeral costs, the funeral payment can help with cremation or burial fees, transportation of the deceased and death certificates.

In addition, the funeral payment also provides up to £1,000 for additional funeral expenses such as the funeral director fees, flowers or the coffin.

You can also get help with funeral costs through the Bereavement Support Payment. This allowance is for bereaved spouses or civil partners under the state pension age. If eligible you receive a one-off bereavement support payment, plus 18 monthly payments, the rates for which depend on whether you have dependent children.

Frequently asked questions about funeral costs

What is the most expensive part of funeral costs?

The most expensive part of funeral costs is often the funeral director’s costs. However, how expensive a funeral is will also depend on things like the coffin, transportation and burial plot prices.

Who pays for a funeral if there is no money?

If there is no money to pay for a funeral, the local authority has a legal duty to provide a small, dignified service, known as a Public Health Funeral.

Public Health Funerals are usually cremations with a short service for people to attend. The date and time of the service is chosen by the local authority and there are no extras such as viewing, flowers, cars or notices.

Is the next of kin responsible for funeral costs in the UK?

The family or the executor of the estate is usually responsible for paying funeral costs, however they are entitled to claim the money back from the deceased’s estate once settled.

Do the DWP pay for funerals?

The government’s funeral payment scheme can help people on low incomes claiming certain benefits with funeral expenses.

What is a pauper’s funeral?

A pauper’s funeral is a funeral that is paid for by the local council. Thankfully, the term pauper’s funeral is no longer used, having been replaced by the public health funeral.

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