The Fixer: cost of a funeral

I do not want my funeral to push my son into debt.

Have you been left out of pocket due to poor service or sharp practice? Do you have a money problem that won't go away?

It can seem impossible to get a fair result when you are battling a financial issue alone. But never fear! The AOL Money Fixer is here to help.

Dear Fixer,

When one of my friends died recently, her family really struggled to pay for her funeral, which cost more than £3,000.

Her children are still paying it off now, even though she died about five months ago.

I am a widow of 68 years old. I do not have a large income or a lot of savings. However, I really do not want my son to have to struggle as my friend's children have to cover my funeral costs.

I have read about funeral savings plans. Is it worth paying into one to ensure he does not have the stress of paying out more than he can afford when I die?

G Hanson, Liverpool

Dear Ms Hanson,


According to recent figures from SunLife, the average funeral in the Northwest, where you live, costs £3,381.

Its research also shows that one in seven of those who have organised a funeral in the past few years have had to borrow money or dip into their savings to cover a typical shortfall of £2,334.

The company is therefore urging people in your position to talk to their families about what sort of send off they want.

To help with this, it has launched a funeral calculator to help people work out how much their funeral is likely to cost, and created an online tool to help them communicate their wishes to their loved ones.

Both are free and will help you to make life easier for your son. Funeral plans, however, are often an expensive way to save towards your funeral costs.

I would therefore recommend taking out an over-50s life insurance plan instead. These pay out a lump sum - that can be used to cover the cost of your funeral - when you die and can cost less than £5 a month.

You can find out more about these policies, which are offered by a number of insurers including Aviva, Saga and SunLife, here.

The Fixer

Whatever your financial problem, write to themoneyfixer@aim.com and The AOL Money Fixer will get on the case.