The costs and paying for a funeral

Every funeral we arrange is unique and it’s the choices that you make that will determine the final cost of the funeral.

In 2015, the total average cost of a funeral was £3,817 including our fees plus third party fees (essential services delivered by others that we will manage on your behalf).

You may like to watch our animation video below for information on paying for a funeral.

Costs for our services

The average cost of a funeral last year (2015) was £2,801 (excluding third party costs), but the final cost could be more or less depending on the choices you make and where in the UK the funeral is to be conducted. Our lowest price funeral is our Simple Funeral which costs £1,995 (excluding third party costs).

When arranging a funeral, there are a number of choices to be made which makes up the final cost. For example, you will need to choose between a burial or a cremation, the type of coffin, transport for the day, embalming, funeral flowers and so on.

Third party fees

In addition to the cost for our services there are also third party fees for essential services delivered by others that we will manage on your behalf.

On average last year (2015) our clients paid £1,016 in third party fees but this is a national average and may not reflect the price you might pay in your local area.

Costs vary significantly across the country therefore the price you pay could be higher or lower than this amount depending on where you make your funeral arrangements.

Other factors can also change what you pay in 3rd party fees such as the time and day of the funeral or whether you choose a burial or cremation (usually cremation costs less).

For a more accurate estimate of 3rd party costs in your area, please contact your local funeral director.

What’s included in third party fees?

For cremation third party fees usually include:

  • Cremation fees
  • Doctors’ fees (Not applicable in Scotland)
  • Officiant/minister/celebrant fee to lead the service

For burial third party fees usually include:

  • Interment (burial) fee
  • Service fee (at a church or other venue for example)
  • Officiant/minister/celebrant fee to lead the service

The cost to purchase a grave/burial plot should also be considered if you choose a burial.

Other third party costs could also include: musician fees for the service, grave digger fees (sometimes these are included as part of the interment fee), fee to remove a headstone for burial to take place, permit fee to erect a headstone, a fee for the scattering or burial of ashes plus other fees relating to memorial options.

We will provide you with a written estimate

When you have made your choices we will then provide you with an itemised written estimate of the funeral costs. If, at this stage, you would like to change anything we will help you do this, although any changes may affect the final funeral costs. 

At the time of arranging a funeral you will receive a fully itemised written estimate. The costs of a funeral are made up of the following:

  • Professional services. This is a fixed fee that covers the full arrangement of a funeral. This includes personal supervision of all the arrangements preceding, during and following the service, liaison with third parties, such as clergy, crematorium, cemetery and florists, use of the funeral home facilities, such as our Chapel of Rests and private remembrance rooms, preparing and attending to all essential documentation and provision of all necessary funeral staff to provide a dignified and personal service.
  • Supplementary charges. These include bringing the deceased into our care, presentation of the deceased, embalming and provision of a hearse and all necessary staff for the funeral.
  • The cost of the coffin or casket chosen.
  • Additional charges such as limousines, additional mileage and casket for cremated remains
  • Payments made on your behalf to third parties, which are known as disbursements. We kindly ask for payment for these at the time of making the funeral arrangements

Paying for a funeral

You will receive your fully itemised invoice within 7 days of the funeral. The invoice can be paid in person at your funeral home or at any bank, or by post. You can pay with cash, by cheque or with a debit or credit card.

If you wish the invoice to be referred to a solicitor, please advise us as soon as possible when arranging the funeral. However, please note that you remain responsible for the account being paid in accordance with our terms and conditions.

If there is any part of the invoice you do not understand or agree with, please contact your funeral home to discuss it.

The Simple Funeral

For clients wanting to arrange a simple funeral, we offer a ‘Simple Funeral’ option, the cost of which is lower than the average price of a funeral we arrange.

Take a look at what our Simple Funeral includes.

Meeting the costs of a funeral

The costs of a funeral are defined as a debt against the estate so you may be able to arrange for the funeral to be paid by the estate rather than paying this amount yourself.

For free legal advice and support on how to proceed, please call The Co-op Legal Services on 0800 587 5266. If you think you may have trouble meeting funeral costs, please discuss this with us at the time of arrangement.

You may be able to apply for a Social Fund Funeral Payment to help with funeral costs and we have information on who may be eligible and how to make a claim. Payment can only be authorised by the Department of Work and Pensions who can be contacted at www.dwp.gov.uk.

A Funeral Payment claim form (SF200) may be obtained from a Jobcentre Plus office or by calling the DWP Bereavement Service helpline (available Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm):

Telephone: 0345 606 0265

Welsh language: 0345 606 0275

Textphone: 0345 606 0285 

Welsh language Textphone: 0345 606 0295

The claim form – which comes with notes and details of where to send it – can also be downloaded here.

Please remember that you are personally liable for any amount in excess of the agreed payment by the Department of Social Security (DWP), or indeed the whole invoice amount if a payment is not received.

If you do not qualify for a payment we may still be able to advise you on other forms of assistance.