Cost of dying rises to £8,800 as funeral prices double in a decade

The cost of a funeral has more than doubled in little over a decade as the total cost of dying soars to an average £8,800, according to a report.

The average funeral, which makes up 44% of the cost of dying, now sets families back £3,897, an increase of 5.5% on last year, insurer SunLife found.

The cost has more than doubled since SunLife began tracking prices in 2004.

London remains the most expensive place to die, where the average funeral costs 42% more than the national average.

However, families are tackling the rising costs by spending 28% less on the 'send-off' than they were five years ago.

SunLife director Graham Jones said: "The send-off is the only part of the overall cost that is discretionary and has been around £2,000 for the past 10 years, which means as a percentage of the entire cost of dying, it has been slowly dropping for a decade.

"This suggests that families are being forced to cut back on the extras due to the rising fixed costs."

One in seven people (13%) who have organised a funeral in the past four years said it caused them notable financial concern, finding themselves with an average shortfall of £2,334.

Mr Jones said: "We all know that death will eventually come to us all and, therefore, we will all need to pay for a funeral, yet it is something that, as a nation, we are uncomfortable talking about or planning for.

"Unfortunately, this reluctance to talk death is not only causing financial issues, but emotional ones too.

"Our report shows that just 1% of those organising a funeral knew the preferences of the deceased, which means at a difficult time many of us our forced to make decisions about a loved one's funeral not knowing if it is what they would have wanted."

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