Research of 1,549 Scottish citizens showed that around 38% required help financially to pay for a loved one’s funeral.
The report showed that on average, relatives paid nearly £2,000 for the funeral of their loved one, with 14% paying more than £3,500.
The research raises awareness of the rising costs of funerals, which continue to grow faster than inflation and depending on their size, can exceed £5,000 or £10,000.
It also highlights how households are turning to high cost loans, such as payday loans, in order to cover what should be essential expenses. Such loans can be quick and convenient, with funds available on the same day of applying, but often at a price far greater than your typical personal loan or credit card.
“The cost of funerals are increasing rapidly,” explains David Beard, founder of price comparison website, Lending Expert.
“From people less than £1,000 not long ago, they are quickly escalating and becoming unaffordable for the average family. It is unfortunate that people have to resort to high cost loans and other means of borrowing, during what is likely to be a difficult time.”
“If this study raises awareness, it is that we should be putting money aside for a funeral and for a rainy day. Or alternatively, you can consider funeral plans which cost just a few pounds per month and are designed to cover your entire funeral expenses including the burial, ceremony and administration.”
One of the biggest funeral expenses is the price of the funeral director. This role can make up 66% of the overall funeral cost, which involves overseeing the transportation of the body, necessary paperwork, hearse, flowers, purchase of the coffin and they conduct the ceremony and burial process on your behalf.
Unsurprisingly, there has been a rise in people choosing cremation over a traditional burial. Price is something that is driving this change with a cremation costing around £850, it is around the half the price of even a basic burial.
Some areas are more expensive to bury than others, with London being the most expensive to be buried, but one of the cheapest to be cremated. According to figures, Belfast is the cheapest area for a simple burial, at £3,061.