One in three UK adults had to borrow money to pay for a loved one’s funeral
By Richard Jenkins
Published 6th Oct 2021, 12:56 BST- 2 min read
Research of 1,549 who have arranged a funeral in the last five years also revealed 38 per cent of those who contributed to the cost of the send-off struggled to cope with the additional financial strain.
A nationally representative survey of 2000 people found, on average, respondents paid nearly £2,000 from their own pocket towards their loved one’s funeral, with 14 per cent paying more than £3,500.
And 69 per cent of those aged 18 to 24 have had to help out with funeral costs, while 45 per cent of those over 65 have done the same.
As a result of their paying towards a funeral, 31 per cent had to borrow money to cover the cost while almost one in five were left behind on their own financial commitments.
One in six have resorted to credit cards and payday loans in order to pay the bill.
Average funeral costs
The new figures follow the release of the Funeral Costs Report by British Seniors, which has found a weighted average cost of a funeral to be more than £5,600.
David Rees, Executive Director at British Seniors, said: “There are many considerations when it comes to a funeral, and each can have an impact on the cost.
“Many funeral costs can come as a shock to the family of a lost loved one, who are already grieving, and now have to consider and deal with unexpected expenses.
“This can mean that families are left to finance some or all of the costs of a funeral, while they are still coming to terms with their loss and trying to balance their own everyday expenses.”
Of respondents who had to pay toward a send-off, a quarter were unable to access the funds that had been set aside for the funeral through the estate, while 23 per cent said the money the deceased had set aside ended up having to pay for something else.
However, of these same respondents, more than one in four wanted to provide a better send off than what was budgeted for despite the unexpected cost.
No savings for funerals
A third have nothing set aside for their own funeral costs according to the research from OnePoll.
Having to cover such costs left 41 per cent in a state of stress, with more than a quarter overwhelmed with the additional cost.
A further 25 per cent had less disposable income for a significant amount of time, with 19 per cent ending up behind on payments.
David Rees from British Seniors, added: “While your own funeral isn’t something you might necessarily want to think about, it is important to have plans in place.
“Spending a little time and money now can go a long way towards helping your friends and family, ensuring they can celebrate your life without the burden of unexpected funeral costs.”
To see the full Funeral Report by British Seniors, head to https://www.britishseniors.co.uk/funeral-plans/funeral-costs-report-2021/