Cost of a funeral in the UK

We understand that losing someone close to you can be a difficult or stressful time. If you have recently lost a close friend or family member, we can help you navigate this tough time with care and respect, helping you to choose the right funeral for you.

How much does the average funeral cost in the UK?

The average cost of paying for a funeral in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is approximately £3,858 for a cremation and £4,975 for a burial (SunLife Cost of Dying Research 2020). The cost of a funeral in the UK will usually depend on three main factors:

  • Funeral director fees – funeral arrangements, coffins, hearse, staff etc.
  • Third party costs – doctors’ fees, burial fee, cremation fees etc.
  • Optional extras – flowers, catering, headstone, urn, transport, order of service, obituary etc.

All our funeral homes will give you a quote for the expected total cost. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, all our funeral homes offer a ‘Basic’ fixed-price funeral package which includes: taking the deceased into our care, basic veneer coffin, limited choice of funeral day, date and time, hearse and pall bearers.

Can I get help paying funeral expenses?

If you are currently claiming benefits and struggling to cover the costs of the funeral, you may be entitled to financial assistance from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The Funeral Expenses Payment will not usually cover the total cost of the funeral, but it will significantly help.

Can I claim government benefits?

If your spouse or civil partner has died, depending on your circumstance, you may be able to apply for Bereavement Support Payment. This scheme is designed to help ease some of the financial worries you may be facing following the death of a loved one.

Alternatively, if you live in England, Scotland or Wales you may be eligible for a Budgeting Loan. If you live in Northern Ireland, the process for claiming a Budgeting Loan is slightly different.

What are third party costs (disbursements)?

Third party costs, also known as disbursements, are external payments that are paid to third parties. These payments can vary depending on whether you choose a cremation or burial service for you loved one. Your location may also impact these costs. Common disbursements include:

  • Burial fees – including exclusive right of burial (EROB), interment (preparation of the burial plot or grave/keeping the ashes in a permanent place)
  • Church fees – cost of holding the funeral service in a place of worship
  • Cremation fees
  • Doctors’ feesdeath certificate
  • The person to conduct the service – minister, officiant, civil celebrant
  • Flowers
  • Memorial masonry – creating, fitting, repairing and engraving a memorial
  • Order of service
  • Catering and venue hire – for the reception or wake
  • Maintenance fees – such as grass cutting and insurance for the burial plot

Note: Our Funeral Arrangers will supply a full estimate of the funeral, including relevant third party costs, before you confirm the funeral arrangements.

Fees for paperwork

Even though paperwork is probably the last thing on your mind, to arrange a funeral there are some official documents you will need to apply for. These include:

  • Death certificate – £11 in England and Wales, £10 in Scotland, and £15 in Northern Ireland
  • Certificate for Burial or Cremation (Green form) – free

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Who arranges the funeral for a person who has died?

When a loved one dies, a Personal Representative will be put in charge of the deceased’s estate and it will usually fall to them to organise the funeral.

What is an executor?

The person in charge of a deceased’s estate is also known as an executor. These individuals are usually named in the Will, or, if there isn’t one, are legally nominated. If you are the executor, you will require a grant of probate to carry out the wishes of the deceased. You’ll find more information about Wills and a Grant of Probate below.

Who pays for a funeral?

When it comes to the financial obligations of a funeral, there are usually a few different answers for who covers the cost. The most common is using funds from the bank of the person who died, or taking the money back from the estate after it has been sold – the executor of the estate will take care of paying the funeral bill in these instances.

Alternatively, a relative or close friend may choose to pay for the funeral if there is not enough money in the bank or estate.

Repatriation costs

If a loved one has died abroad and their body needs to be returned to the UK, you will require repatriation services to transport them back home. Alternatively, some British Nationals want to be buried or cremated abroad and their body will require repatriation from the UK. The price of this will depend on travel and coffin type, but usually ranges from £2,000 to £4,000.

For more information, please contact your local funeral director where our dedicated team will be happy to discuss our funeral services and prices.

DWP Claims

People claiming benefits may be entitled to help from the DWP.

Government benefits

People can be on benefits for a variety of reasons and a change of circumstances, especially the death of a partner, can affect your own entitlement.

Payment terms

Funeral Partners payment terms. We will fully quote costs covering all four elements on our estimate.

Wills and Probate

Applying for the legal right to deal with someone’s property, money and possessions when they die is called ‘applying for probate’.

Further Reading: Bereavement Support

It can be a confusing time following a death and difficult to know what you need to do first. We are glad to be able to offer help and support at this difficult time.