7 September 2018

The Average Cost of a Funeral in the UK – Time to Plan More Than the Music?

Recently a friend of mine stopped smoking, drinking, gambling, overeating and chasing women all at the same time.  It was a lovely funeral.  Joking aside, I realised recently that I hadn’t really planned my own funeral at all.  I had decided the songs to be played while people wept profusely in to their sleeves (just as likely to be snickering up them), but that was pretty much that.  As for the cost – I hadn’t given it a first let alone a second thought.  However, perhaps I should plan beyond the music: a recent survey conducted by Legal & General has shown that the price of funerals in the UK has risen sharply in the last four years.  And I hate paying too much for a party I won't be going to - if you see what I mean...

You can read the report in more depth on the Legal & General website but I’ll put a few of the more interesting (to me) facts and figures here for you to digest.  The greatest relief is that many people are like me – they haven’t really thought about it too much.  So I’m not alone in that respect but I suppose if there is one thing that unites us all it is birth and death.  The days in-between the two events are numerous but a single day can shape the rest of your life, positively or negatively and I have always thought there are about four or five of these pivotal days in anyone’s life.  So perhaps we should count the funeral as an honorary pivotal day and start thinking more about it.

£4.6K is, apparently, how much it will cost for me to be cremated (I live in Greater London) but to be buried that rises to £7.7k.  I am rather thankful I don’t live in Enfield because I don't like the place and, moreover, the cost there rises to as much as £13k. That seems a rather exorbitant price to pay for expiring in that rather grim borough!  Yet even though there are cheaper (and more pleasant, no doubt) places to die than London the price of dying will be, on average, £5,925 by 2024.  They might just as well have rounded that up to £6K and be done, frankly.

I’m disinclined to inform my family and friends that I should be given a pauper’s burial even though I have to admit the thought of that is almost attractive in a Dickensian mid-Victorian gothic novel kind of way. Perhaps what I will do, however, is take a look at how I can plan for my own funeral instead.  Although I have never been too good at forethought, when I imagine how things might be done if certain relatives are left to organise it a slight shudder courses its way down my spine.  Always look on the bright side of life is a good rule while blood is coursing through our veins.  Once that stops and I slip of this mortal coil I think I would like to know exactly how my funeral will go, including the playlist obviously but with all the other details in place too.  Time to make a plan, methinks.