More Families Getting into Debt over Funerals


There are many, many reasons why people end up in debt. Some people overspend on a regular basis, others might want to buy a car and yet others may just want a good holiday – not something I’d advocate by the way! Recently though, new research has shown that more and more families are getting into debt simply to be able to afford the increasing costs of organising a funeral for a deceased family member.

The research shows how funeral costs over the past 10 years have rocketed by 88% and that the average cost of a UK funeral is now around £3,693! This drastic rise is putting great financial strain on families who are faced with finding this money in an economic landscape where many people are just struggling to meet their day to day financial commitments. As we mentioned earlier, some families are even finding that they have to take out a loan or reach for the credit card in order to fund these increased costs.

This does only tell one side of the story, though, as not all of the rising costs are coming from people just trying to afford the basic costs associated with organising a funeral. For example, it seems that many of us are choosing to spend a lot more money on the not so necessary expenses that exist simply to make the event that little bit more elaborate. Some of these costs include extra flowers for the event – more than would normally be expected, a wake and so on. In some ways I suppose you can understand why somebody might want to spend a little more money in order to honour their loved ones one more time, but this trend is certainly pushing up the total average cost of modern funerals.

Are you prepared for these costs?

As much as death isn’t a subject any of us really like to talk about it’s worth asking the question, ‘am I prepared for these potential increased costs?’ This is a question that is pertinent to both the old and the not so old. If you are of increased years for example, have you made financial plans to cover these costs so as not to pass this burden on to your children or other family members once you have passed away? Also, as a younger person, if you know that your ageing parents don’t really have any plans in place to pay for their funeral and they don’t really have the means to begin to put away for it now, could you yourself start to put a little money away or invest in some kind of funeral plan on their behalf? This way you may not be caught so off guard and find yourself having to reach for the credit card too when this sad day arrives. If people of all ages can just start to think about this inevitable eventuality a little more, then financially this has to be a prudent move, doesn’t it?

So, as much as none of want to dwell too much on the thought of something as depressing as a funeral, it’s also true that we can’t escape the associated costs either. Unless we want to someday find ourselves in debt because we failed to make the necessary plans, then it would certainly be wise to ensure that we have adequate arrangements and plans in place now to cover the costs associated with organising a funeral.

Do you have plans in place in case of an unexpected – or an expected – funeral?

2 Responses to More Families Getting into Debt over Funerals

  1. Jack says:

    Perhaps it’s time to spread the Thai custom of funeral casinos. Since they have very long wakes, to keep relatives coming by and to cover expenses, they have casinos in the home with the body to keep the displaced spirit company as it transitions to the next life.

    Think New Orleans meets Las Vegas.

    Odd to the Western mind perhaps, but it sounds like more fun than life insurance.

  2. I just conducted my grandpa’s funeral a few weeks ago. On a visit to my dad about a week later he said, “want to guess how much that cost?” I put out a guess and wasn’t with in several thousands of dollars. We kept it pretty simple, but it is expensive. My grandpa had quite a bit of money and it was all planned ahead but it is expensive to die.

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