Budgeting for a funeral

Funerals aren’t pleasant to think about. However, they do cost money, and it may be worth budgeting for in advance to ensure that you don’t leave your loved ones in debt, or to ensure that you can afford it should you have to face the unfortunate loss of a loved one.

Funeral costs can cover a number of things, from funeral director and local authority fees to third-party costs. The latter can include charges for cremation or burial, transportation, venue hire fees and other costs related to the ceremony itself.

Who will pay for the funeral?

Some people choose to pay for their own funerals in advance, so as not to saddle their loved ones with the expense – or even debt – of funeral costs. Options for doing this include pre-paid funeral plans or funeral insurance. You may also opt to leave some money aside – in this case, the executor of the estate will ensure that funds are allocated to funeral costs. Sometimes a family member or friend will take on the responsibility for paying for these.

What if you can’t afford it?

If there aren’t enough funds in the estate to pay for funeral costs – and there are no family members or friends to arrange payment – then the local council or hospital can arrange for a Public Health Funeral. This usually involves a short cremation service, without extras like flowers or newspaper notices.

If you’re on a lower income, you could be eligible for the Government’s Funeral Payment scheme. There are conditions based on factors like what country the funeral will be held in, your relationship with the deceased, and the government benefits you’re already receiving. You can find more about these specifications on the GOV.UK website. The amount you’ll receive depends on a number of circumstances, including whether there is already a pre-paid funeral plan or insurance policy in place.

You may also qualify for bereavement allowance or other related help following the passing on of a loved one. The type of support you could receive will depend on your relationship, for example, if you were married or in a civil partnership.

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