A fact that is inevitable is that one day we will all pass. It is not a subject we are always open to talk about, team that the topic of finances and it seems almost taboo.
But have you ever considered how much it would cost your family to host your funeral?
The average cost of a funeral in the UK is £3,757. Devon may be classed as below average at a cost of £3,694. However, this is still a staggering price and an amount few have as disposable income.
Exeter is the most expensive place within the South West for a cremation at an eye-watering £3,470 and burials average at £4,707!
£1,744 is the average debt families are incurring as a result of funeral poverty. 21% of those who were unable to pay for a funeral took out loans or credit cards to cover costs.
A Loving Tribute want to highlight the postcode lottery the public are currently facing and have designed this helpful heatmap.
Although many now take out prepaid funeral plans, these tend to pay out £1000 upon your death. Although this is certainly helpful to ease the financial burden on loved ones, it certainly still leaves a lot unpaid for.
So, how can we avoid funeral poverty and still give a decent send-off to those who have passed?
1. Cremation and Burial
The fees for burial and cremation are certainly the biggest expenditure of the funeral planning process.
There are alternatives to the traditional methods. Natural burials are becoming increasingly popular, not only for being more affordable but also better on the environment.
These burials take place in a more natural setting in comparison to a cemetery, headstones are usually replaced with a more modest memorial and coffins are typically made from biodegradable materials.
If cremation has been chosen, consider a direct cremation. This means the body is cremated shortly after death. Mourners may not attend the cremation but still receive the ashes.
Many who choose this tend to host a less traditional service and wake upon receiving the ashes.
Headstones are often the largest cost after the burial or cremation. A basic headstone can cost roughly £900. Contemplate a more modern memorial.
A very popular substitute is to plant a tree instead. Not only is this cheaper, it is better for the environment and widely considered a less morbid thing to visit and reflect on your loved-one’s life.
For younger mourners, why not create memory books with memories. Visiting a grave can be daunting for children but memory books will last a lifetime and have a less melancholy tone.
Everybody wants a funeral to reflect the personality of the deceased. An order of service can often be the best opportunity to do so.
However, this can come at a cost if you want something unique. You may not have the skill or the time to be creating these and designers are incredibly costly.
An affordable option is to use an order of service template, with so many styles to choose from there is bound to be something that fits. They are also incredibly easy to use.
Flowers and cards are often brought to a funeral by mourners. Instead of this, you can ask for donations towards the funeral costs.
Use social media to voice this when announcing the funeral. Very few people read announcements in local papers nowadays, it can be an unnecessary cost.
If you do not feel comfortable asking for cash, you can always request donations in another form to help keep costs down.
Ask others to bring small platters of food to the wake, perhaps even household items such as tablecloths or cutlery to avoid you having to purchase any.
5. Venue Hire
If you have the space, host the wake in your own home or the home of the deceased. Not only will this eradicate a large cost, it also gives attendees the opportunity to visit the deceased’s home a final time and help with closure.
It also means you can easily cater at home with the use of your own kitchen.
If the weather permits, you could host the wake outdoors in a free public space. Perhaps your loved-one had a favourite beach or park you could use. Just remember to consider practicalities such as toilets nearby and parking.