12 November 2018

How to pay for your own funeral

Funerals can be expensive, so, it pays to plan ahead and think about how your funeral will be paid for. Funeral costs are not getting any cheaper and prices can vary substantially depending on where you live in the UK, and whether you opt for a burial or cremation. Average UK funeral costs have risen from £2,971 in 2011 to £4,086 in 20171. If prices keep rising at the rate they did between 2011 and 2017, the average funeral could cost £5,925 by 20242.

Thinking ahead

Paying for your own funeral may be a significant expense for you to think about covering, especially if you have a more elaborate service in mind or the costs include paying for a burial plot. It's worth trying to estimate what the likely costs will be, and then looking into ways you can begin putting plans in place to help pay them. In order to get you started, we have introduced some of the most common payment options below. Each has its own merits, so consider each option carefully.

Using your assets

If you’re lucky, you’ll have enough money in your estate to cover your funeral costs. If you'd like this money to be used in this way, you should ring fence it, leaving clear instructions with family members or a solicitor. Remember that, if funeral costs continue to rise faster than savings grow, it may be necessary to review and increase the amount set aside. If you feel you need more information, you should seek professional advice.

Prepaid funeral plans

Prepaid funeral plans are an option for those who wish to pay for a funeral in advance at today's prices. If you're considering one, ensure you read the information thoroughly as not all plans are the same. Once you’ve paid the agreed amount, the parts of the funeral included in the plan are covered when you die. The provider will pay the Funeral Director direct, so your friends or family won't have to get too involved in the financial or administrative side.

A prepaid funeral plan will usually cover the essential costs of a funeral director, including the coffin, care of the body, cars and pall-bearers, plus either the cost of cremation or a burial, according to choice. It’s unlikely to cover other costs such as a wake, floral tributes or a headstone. A prepaid funeral may tie you to a particular Funeral Director or funeral company, which may become difficult if you move in the intervening years. What’s offered can vary a great deal, so make sure to check that everything you want is covered on any plan you take out.

Over 50s life insurance

Over 50s life insurance plans are designed to pay a cash sum to your loved ones that can be used to contribute towards your funeral, unpaid bills or even to enjoy as a gift when you’re gone.

Find out more about our Over 50s Fixed Life Insurance Plan.

Ultimately, whichever option you choose, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you’ll have helped your loved ones by making things easier for them at a difficult time.

1 Independent research by Matter Communications on behalf of Dignity in 2017. 22024: Forecast based on average annual compounded growth rate of 5.45% each year between 2011 and 2017.