Don’t let the high cost of funerals erode your estate
By Maplebrook Wills
5th Apr '19
Looking after loved ones is why most people make a will. After all, you want your money and assets to have a positive impact on the lives of people you wish to benefit.
But when you pass away, the cost of your funeral can be a big drain on your estate. It can take a big chunk out of the estate your loved ones will inherit.
A new study
In fact, costs have risen so much that in 2018 the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it would carry out a market study of the funeral market. Its final report will be published in 2019.
The study will examine whether the information on prices and services provided by funeral directors is clear enough. With cremations accounting for around 75% of funerals, the rising cost of cremation fees will also be examined as part of the CMA survey.
Said CMA senior director of markets Daniel Gordon: “As part of this study, we want to ensure that people can at least receive clear information on prices and the services making up a funeral, and that people get a fair deal on the cremation fees charged.”
A rising cost
The average cost of a funeral is now around £3,800, with extras potentially adding another £2,000 on top. Paying for a funeral, then, could cost people on low incomes one-third of their annual salary.
If funerals seem expensive now, the trend seems likely to continue. The cost of funerals is currently rising about 10% per year on average. That means that in 2030, a funeral here in the South West is likely to cost over £10,000.
So what might come of the market study? The CMA says it could take further action. This could be opening consumer or competition enforcement cases, or launching a full investigation.
If price rises do eventually slow down as a result of the CMA report, it seems like it will could some time to happen. Fortunately, there is action you can take now to avoid your funeral taking a big chunk out of your estate.
A pre-paid answer
The answer is a pre-paid funeral plan, which allows you to pay for a funeral at today’s prices. At Maplebrook Wills we offer reasonably priced pre-paid funeral plans. They include fees for the funeral director and cremation or burial.
Funeral plans also allow you to specify details, such as particular flowers, music or transport, so that your wishes are carried out to the letter.
Married couples may wish to choose an ‘either/or’ funeral plan. It’s cost-effective because it will pay for the funeral of the first person who passes away. In the absence of a second pre-paid funeral plan, the estate of the surviving partner will pay for their funeral when they pass away.