As funeral costs to continue soar, the average funeral now approaches £4,000

Research from SunLife’s 2016 Cost of Dying report cites the cost of funerals have more than doubled in price in little over a decade

With continued speculation on inflationary pressure post Brexit and the continuing squeeze on wages, investment’s and pensions funerals have now emerged as one of Britain’s fastest rising costs. In-fact SunLife’s annual Cost of Dying research shows that the cost of dying is the fastest rising (of any fixed) cost in the UK – rising at a much faster rate than the general cost(s) of living including food, utilities, housing costs, insurance and clothing.

The report illustrates that the average funeral now costs £3,897, with the total cost of dying (and related costs) £8,802 per person

With the continuing upward pressure on costs families are now spending 28% less on the send-off than they were five years ago simply as an attempt to negate rising funeral costs. The funeral itself makes up to 44% of the overall cost related to dying has alone risen by a staggering 5.5% in a year. If we take the comprehensive cost of dying (including death-related costs such as probate, headstones and flowers) in addition to the basic cost of a funeral we see an even steeper increase of 8.3% to £8,802.

To illustrate the level of inflation in funerals, if the cost of a funeral had risen in line with the cost of living it would now cost £2,540 – £1,357 less than today’s amount.

As probably expected London remains the most expensive place to die, with the average funeral costing £5,529, which is 42% more than the national average of £3,897.


Back in 2008, the average spent on the send-off was £2,097, which was almost a third (31%) of the total cost of dying. Now it is £1,976 which is just 22% of the total and a drop of 28%2. In comparison, the proportion spent on the funeral has gone up from 38% of the total cost to 44%.

One in seven people (13%) who have organised a funeral in the past four years admitted it caused them notable financial concern with the average shortfall standing at £2,334. Of these:

10% had to sell belongings to cover the cost
24% had to put the balance on a credit card
10% had to take out a loan
18% had to borrow money from a friend or relative
Lack of conversation

For the full report please click here

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