One in five have experienced financial difficulty due to funeral costs September 21, 2023

New research from pre-paid funeral plan provider Ecclesiastical Planning Services, shows that one in five over 50s have either found themselves in financial difficulty due to the costs incurred by a funeral, or know someone else who has.

When someone dies, the cost of a funeral often falls to family and friends of the deceased, and this can be unexpected and unaffordable if there is no financial arrangement in place.

In a survey carried out by research agency OnePoll, 44% of over 50s said they expect their savings and investments to cover the cost of their funeral. However due to probate and other legal processes, the deceased’s funds are not always immediately available to those who are left to make the arrangements. Family and friends of the deceased may therefore find themselves having to use their own savings to cover the costs. Alternatively, at what may be an extremely difficult time emotionally, they may have to turn to credit, loans or contributions from friends and family.

The same survey revealed that 20% of those over 50 have experienced financial difficulty due to the costs of a loved one’s funeral, or knew someone who had.

Funeral costs have risen significantly in the UK over the last decade, with SunLife’s Cost of Dying Report (2022) showing that the average cost of a burial funeral now stands at £4,927 and a cremation at £3,7651. If trends continue, the cost of an average basic funeral could increase to £5,089 by 20261.

Taking out a pre-paid funeral plan can be an effective way to make financial provisions for the cost of a funeral in advance, allowing you to fix your funeral director’s costs and make a contribution towards third-party costs. They can also help to protect those who are left behind from footing the entire bill and reduce stress for family and loved ones at an already emotional time.

Craig Jackson, Funeral Operations Manager said: “Lots of people worry that when they die, they won’t leave enough money for their funeral and those organising the arrangements will be left with the bill. With a funeral plan, you arrange and pay for it in advance, giving you peace of mind that most of the costs will be taken care of and your wishes respected.”

For more information about pre-paid funeral plans and the benefits of planning ahead, please get in touch.

Terms and conditions apply – please ask for details.


Co-op Funeral Directors are an Appointed Representative of Ecclesiastical Planning Services Limited, a funeral plan provider authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm Reference Number 958152.

About Ecclesiastical Planning Services: Part of the Benefact Group, Ecclesiastical Planning Services works with over 800 funeral directing outlets across the country, providing a safe home for funeral pre-payment funds. The Benefact Group is a UK-based financial services group, part which has been protecting people, property and funds since 1887.



 OnePoll research of 1,000 UK residents aged 50 and above, on behalf of Ecclesiastical Planning Services, October 2022.

1.SunLife (2022), Cost of Dying Report,