How to avoid (even more) funeral price hikes
By Maplebrook Wills
17th Jan '19
Funeral Planning, Legacy Planning
An unjustified rise
The price of funerals has risen by three times the rate of inflation over the past decade, according to a government report.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that funeral price rises don’t appear to be justified because they haven’t led to improvements in quality.
Funeral director fees have risen by 68% and crematoria fees by 84% on average over the last decade. The big funeral chains have put up prices year-on-year, the report says.
The cost of dying
Bereaved people often don’t shop around for a cheaper price. Not only because they’re quite understandably in a state of distress but also because prices often aren’t published online. Funerals today cost between £3,000 and £5,000 to organise. That’s a rise of more than two-thirds in the last 10 years.
According to the CMA, these fees account for 40% of the annual outgoings of those on the lowest incomes. This is more even than the amount they spend on food, clothing and energy combined.
With the final report not due until May 2019, and any action likely to take a while longer, what can you do today if you’re worried about the rising cost of funerals?
One solution is to pay for a funeral now, upfront. A pre-paid funeral plan enables you to select exactly what you want for your service. But it locks you into today’s prices.
The average price of a cremation is now £737. Some 77% of funerals involve cremations but again the CMA report highlights a problem, with only a limited selection of crematoria available in parts of the country.
The CMA is now carrying out a consultation with the funeral industry to work out what action it should take next.
“People mourning the loss of a loved one are extremely vulnerable and at risk of being exploited,” said CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli.
“We’re very concerned about the substantial increases in funeral prices over the past decade. We now feel that the full powers of a market investigation are required to address the issues we have found,” he said.
To find out about pre-paid funeral plans, contact Maplebrook Wills on 0117 440 1555.