Funeral costs: Where are the most expensive places to die in the UK?
When it comes to your final send-off, the expense of a funeral can be huge, depending on the location. According to a study, the south of the UK tops the most expensive list, but surprisingly, it’s not London.
Watford, Hertfordshire, appears to be the most expensive place to die, where the cost of a funeral is 37% higher than the national average.
37% cost differential can make a big difference to the final inheritance figure after the funeral cost is deducted from the deceased’s estate.
Where are funeral costs highest in the UK, the most expensive funeral locations?
RANK TOWN AVG FUNERAL £
1 Watford £5,814
2 London £5,749
3 Redhill £5,352
4 Guildford £5,317
5 Liverpool £5,157
6 Newport £5,149
7 Brighton £5,013
8 Halifax £4,976
9 Salisbury £4,959
10 Aberdeen £4,942
11 Durham £4,854
12 Hemel Hempstead £4,831
13 Coventry £4,752
14 Southend-On-Sea £4,701
15 Medway £4,696
16 Hereford £4,695
17 Tonbridge £4,689
18 Northampton £4,665
19 Slough £4,660
20 Bristol £4,697
Source: The Sun, August 2018.
According to the Beyond (funeral price comparison site) survey, seven cities and towns have higher than average funeral costs, which total more than £5,000. After Watford, the following most expensive places in the UK are London, Redhill, Guildford, Liverpool, Newport and Brighton.
When it comes to funeral costs in Scotland, Aberdeen is the most expensive with an average price of £4,942 and 10th overall, whereas Newport is the most costly in Wales, with an average cost of £5,149 6th overall on the list.
It found the cheapest place to die is Derby which the average cost comes in below £3,000.
Funeral costs are worked out by:
- Funeral director’s fees
- A basic veneer wooden coffin
- Minister or Celebrant
- Hearse and one family limousine
- Prices for burial or crematorium
(This data takes into account a ratio of 70:30 of cremations to burials), within each region.
The price rise seems to be due to more prominent funeral companies hiking up their already inflated costs by up to £500 in the last two years. However, independents who represent approximately one-third of the market have dropped their fees in the previous 12 months.
The CMA, Competition and Markets Authority have recently embarked on a review of the funeral market. The regulatory body is concerned that the consumer is not getting value for money, as services vary within each region.
James Dunn, of https://beyond.life/, stated:
It looks like a football league, but this is one table you don’t want to be topping. Death is big business, with 500,000 Brits dying every year, but not shopping around results in mourners, often vulnerable, paying more than they need to.
“A lack of transparency in the funeral market is what’s fuelling price rises, particularly among big chains”.
So when costs are this high, how do some families pay for a funeral?
The first thing to check when someone dies is to see if the deceased has a pre-paid funeral plan. Surprisingly, not many do, so it’s down to the family to cover the costs.
Unfortunately, there are cases where the family do not have enough money to pay for a funeral, so the estate meets these expenses and bills paid in the correct order, set by law. Funeral expenses are at the top of the list for payment by estate funds.
A grant of representation is required (including a grant of probate and grants of letters of administration) to distribute the deceased’s estate.
The deceased’s estate is distributed once the legal authority is granted. The Executor or Personal Representative can sell any property before the Grant of Probate is issued, but the Grant must be in place to exchange contracts and transfer Land Registry.
Probate can take many months depending on the complexity of the estate, so it’s best to get on with processing it the earliest you can. Likewise, putting the property on the market is best to be done quickly to settle bills, etc., as it’s one of the most significant assets.
Once the property has sold, the monies discharge creditors and the estate’s beneficiaries.