Talking about dying and death is still a subject which everyone avoids…the big taboo!
It’s for this reason that there’s a lot of ignorance around what happens when someone dies, especially if it’s a sudden death.
Your funeral options
Most people google the local funeral company and ask them what to do, including arranging the funeral. Again, because the deceased funeral wishes are generally unknown, the next of kin would normally arrange a traditional funeral followed by a burial or cremation. The funeral industry is very unregulated and little price transparency. At a particularly vulnerable time for the deceased family, a funeral can be very expensive. The average bill for a death in the UK is just under £10,000, up over 130% over the last 15 years. The Competitions and Markets Authority has even launched an investigation after years of above-inflation rises.
How to spend less than £1,000 on a funeral
My gripe is that this modus operandi is generally very unsatisfactory for everyone. Most people would opt for minimal fuss for their funeral and would not want to burden their loved ones with a large expense. They would prefer that money to go to charity or to the beneficiaries in their will. Most people don’t know what their funeral options (and costs) are. You can opt for what is called a direct cremation, where the body is collected and the ashes then returned, for as little as £1,000. There are also many other options discussed in this article.
What funeral do you want?
I’ve sat in funerals of friends who have had a sudden death and really wondered what that person would have thought of their own funeral. I think they would have done it differently to what their family, to their best of their ability and well-intentioned, had arranged. Most people, myself included, would want some sort of celebration of life or remembrance service, not a sombre funeral with everyone dressed in black.
Your life…your death
It’s my life and my death. I have detailed everything about my end of life, where I want to die, what type of funeral I want, what type of remembrance service I want, what charities I wish to support, where I want my ashes scattered and so on. This will make everything so much easier for my family (and avoid family arguments) when I do pass away. It will also save them money which means the charities I want to support will get more.
Your funeral is your big day, it will only happen once, make sure you prepare for it. It will give great peace of mind in your final days.