Family & Relationships Family

How is the Credit Crunch Affecting Funeral Costs?

It is easy to see the affect of the current financial climate on the cost of living at the moment, but in the UK, as well as the USA, there have been reports of an unprecedented rise in charges to those who are called upon to pay after a family member or loved one dies.
So are funeral costs, and others, really much more than they were before the recession? The Mirror has reported recently of increasing prices, claiming that the average costs have nearly doubled over the last ten years and has jumped by a third since 2004.
A survey by Mintel shows that the average price for a UK funeral stands at £2,549 and that 75 per cent of these are cremations at £2,287 whilst the typical burial today costs £2,811.
Additionally, Nargis Ahmad and Julian Knight of The Independent have also published an article about the increases.
They also highlight the fact that it can make a significant difference from location to location, indeed it costs nearly twice as much to be buried in London in comparison to Scotland; because of higher plot costs and overheads.
They also identify that the yearly seven per cent rise is "comfortably above inflation".
Of course many of us are covered by life insurance, with the intention that this will cover costs.
Some are also opting for pre-paid funeral plans which can be logical if bought quickly in a one-off payment but can incur interest if bought over a long period of time.
But still, there are many of us who still can't afford even monthly premiums.
In the US the prices seem to be even higher, with an average of £4,791 ($7,323), as reported by Thomas Barlas at pressofatlanticcity.
Subsequently, a rise in cheaper cremations has been seen, as well as basic burials, with a decline in flower and burial clothing sales.
Service free burials, home burials (subject to law and county permission) and green burials (using cheaper wicker or biodegradable caskets) are all considered viable choices at the moment for those who need to save money.
It is also seems more important now to consider the possible costs of other aspects aside from burial and certificate.
These could include transportation, price of a headstone and the wake costs - and if the price is set to continue increasing it seems easy to agree with Graham Williams, chairman of The National Association of Pre-paid Funeral Plans, whom anticipates a rise in sales, as well as more traditional life insurance policies

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