Funerals are rising, leading to unnecessary stress and anxiety for a lot of people.
Following much press coverage surrounding the rising cost of funerals, we’ve compiled a guide on how to get help with funeral costs and how pre-paid funerals and direct cremations can help you avoid rising costs.
Are funeral costs forcing families into debt?
Howard Hodgson, the founder of Memoria, spoke to the Sunday Express in April 2016 to reject claims that there weren’t cheaper options available to bereaved families who might struggle to find the £3,500 + needed to pay for a funeral.
He pointed out that Memoria offered two direct cremation options – the least expensive starting at £1,295 (a saving of some 66% of the cost of a traditional funeral).
Affordable alternatives to costly funerals
Mr. Hodgson began Memoria to offer affordable cremation and funeral services nationally. Memoria was one of the first businesses to offer Direct Cremations.
This is one of the first ways in which to seek help with funeral costs, the average cost of direct cremation is £1,600. Through owning our own crematoria Memoria is able to offer direct cremation from as little as £1,295.
Can you get help with funeral costs?
Simply put: yes you can.
There are many ways you can get help with funeral costs. A good starting point is the Government’s ‘Funeral Payments’ scheme.
How to Claim funeral expenses.
To be eligible for the scheme you must:
- Claim within 3 months of the funeral
- Be claiming one of a range of benefits or tax credits e.g. income support
- Meet the rules on your relationship with the deceased
- Apply using form SF200 or over the phone with the bereavement service helpline
What to do if you don’t qualify for funeral cost help?
Bereavement payment is another option available.
Bereavement payment is a one-off, tax-free lump sum of £2,000. Available if your civil partner, husband or wife paid NI contributions. You must be below state pension age when your partner died, or if over – they must not have been entitled to a state pension.
Citizens Advice is a great organization and can help you understand if you’re eligible for bereavement payment.
Another way to help with funeral costs is to prepay for a funeral or cremation plan.
What is a prepaid funeral plan?
Prepaid funeral plans are arranged by the deceased prior to their death and can be paid for in full as a lump sum or via instalments.
Choosing a prepaid funeral plan has the advantage of spreading the cost and ensuring you receive a fixed cost at the current rate, avoiding rising costs. Plans are underwritten by an insurance company and can be claimed by the person arranging the funeral.
Unfortunately, there is no central database or directory to check if the person who has died had a plan in place. So if you’re taking out a prepaid funeral plan, ensure you notify next of kin and keep the documentation safe. Ideally stored with the will, a family solicitor or at the bank.
The average price of funerals is still rising, but it is possible for families who are struggling to get help with funeral costs. If this is you, remember that you can always get in touch with a funeral provider to discuss your situation and find out what options are available.
Memoria brings 90 years of collective experience serving the bereaved in every way. Our dedicated, compassionate team are here to explain your options and help you to make the right choice, whatever your circumstances. Whether you’d like to discuss an affordable cremation or arrange a pre-planned funeral, we are happy to help.