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According to the latest SunLife Cost of Dying report, the overall cost of dying - which includes costs such as probate, headstones and flowers in addition to the basic cost of a funeral - has risen by 8.3% to £8,802 in the past year.

The average cost of a basic funeral has increased by 5.5% to £3,897 which is more than twice as much as it was when SunLife first started tracking funeral prices in 2004.

A major driver of the increase is the cremation or burial fee, the second largest expense linked to funerals. The UK's average cremation fee has increased by 6.5%, now accounting for £733, while burials cost almost £2,000 now, a 7% increase.

The cost of a basic funeral is calculated by adding together the funeral director's fees and disbursements, which includes the cremation or burial fee, doctor's fees and clergy/officiate fees.

Funeral director's fees

Funeral director's fees, which usually cover the cost of the coffin, hearse, collection and care of the deceased plus the funeral director's professional guidance, make up the majority of the cost of a basic funeral. This cost has risen slightly more than the rise in the cost of funerals - up 5.7% over the past 12 months from £2,282 to £2,411.


Cremation and burial fees

After the funeral director's fee, the second largest cost is the cremation or burial fee. In 2015, the average UK cremation fee was £688 - this has now increased 6.5% to £733 - while the cost of a burial has risen by slightly more - 7% from £1,822 to £1,950.

Funeral directors say there is no one reason for the rise in cremation and burial fees, but suggest it is a combination of Government cut backs, inflation, and the cost of making improvements and modifications.

Doctor's fees

Doctor's fees have remained unchanged at £164, but this figure now excludes Scotland. In May 2015 doctors' fees for funerals were removed in Scotland.

Minister's fees

The average fee paid for a religious or secular service has also dropped, down 2.8% to £148 from £152 in 2015.

While most people plan ahead for weddings, holidays and even birthdays, why don't they plan ahead for the inevitable? Although death is a subject no one really wants to think about, much less plan for, planning ahead could really help to ease the emotional and financial burden on loved ones at what will inevitably be a distressing time.

To find out how Golden Charter can help you with your later life planning needs, request a free info pack,  or call us on 0808 169 4534.

Golden Charter

Smart Planning for Later Life

Golden Charter has one of the largest networks of independent funeral directors in the UK. Many are long-standing, family-run businesses and all provide a compassionate and professional service.

Find out more about how you can plan for your funeral with one of the funeral directors in our network.