It’s no secret that the cost of funerals is getting higher with each passing year. In 2014, a study from the University of Bath’s Institute for Policy Research found that the average cost of a funeral had risen to £7,622, with over 100,000 people struggling to afford the rising cost in a single year.
Since, for obvious reasons, the majority of those requiring funerals are elderly retirees, many have struggled to leave enough money to cover their funeral plans, particularly when no specific arrangements are made before death. Other issues, such as a loss of mental capacity, can further impact things and cause financial problems and stress for surviving family members. There are also other things to take into account – for example, what to do with your body. Burials can be particularly expensive, especially in more densely populated regions – for example, the cost of burial in London is, on average almost £3,500 higher than the cost of burial in Northern Ireland.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure that things don’t spiral out of control. It’s important to have a plan for your own funeral to be put into place after you die, so that you can pre pay for your funeral or set money aside, keep costs down, and prevent any complications. Funeral plans are also regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority to ensure that providers are meeting a high standard. Here are some of the most important ways that you can plan ahead for your own funeral and make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
How you can cut down on the cost of your own funeral
Let family members know
Making arrangements with family members not only makes sure that you get the service you want, but can also help you potentially eliminate any costs. If, for example, you wish to be cremated, you’ll save money on a burial plot, while you can also leave instructions to cut down on the cost of flowers if you’d rather the money went elsewhere.
Make a financial plan
You can also set aside some money specifically to cover the cost of the funeral, and there are a number of ways to do this. Using a dedicated savings account, using your life insurance policy, and taking out a specific funeral plan with a bank or building society are all great ways to ensure that the money will be there when you’re gone.
Make sure you have contingency plans
Even if your finances are up to scratch, things can still go awry. It’s important, for example, to nominate a friend or family member for Lasting Power of Attorney to cover you in the eventuality that you lose your mental faculties. This will ensure that things can proceed smoothly and that your wishes can be carried out – without this, serious problems can arise, and legal costs could eat into the money you’ve set aside.