At an already difficult time, the last thing on your mind should be the financial anxieties planning a funeral can bring. With the average funeral cost creeping higher year upon year, it is no wonder that many of us struggle to fund a funeral service.
Whether a loved one has passed unexpectedly or suffered with a long-term illness, funeral costs can add to the emotional strain of such a trying time.
But try not to worry, here are 6 smart ways of keeping funeral costs low:
Did your loved one have a funeral plan?
Also known as a pre-paid funeral plan, funeral plans are designed to help people cover the cost of their funeral before they pass. It is likely that your loved one will have paid into their plan until they covered the majority – if not all – of the funeral costs.
If the deceased had a funeral plan, this can lift the financial burden of funding the service. Funeral plan providers will issue the funds directly to the funeral director of your choosing to allow them to make arrangements.
Your loved one may have spoken with you about having a pre-paid funeral. If this is the case, simply locate the paperwork and get in touch with the plan provider.
Sourcing money from the estate
As the average funeral cost grows, another option to keep costs low is to use funds from your loved one’s estate to arrange their funeral. Once you’re able to give their bank a certified copy of the death certificate and an invoice from the funeral director, in many cases they will release the funds.
There are some circumstances whereby the bank may require a grant of representation prior to allowing you access to their account. This can take a few months, however if this does happen you are able to claim back any money spent on the funeral from the estate once you are granted access.
If you do choose to claim, ensure to keep a record of all funeral expenses.
Otherwise known as online donations, crowdfunding is an alternative way of keeping funeral costs affordable. At such a difficult time, friends and family members are often happy to help in any way they can to give someone the send-off they truly deserve.
Consider emailing the crowdfunding link around your contacts to spread the word, as well as sharing it on your social media accounts and encouraging others to share it too.
One thing to keep in mind is that your page will need to look legitimate, so ensure you write a clear and concise intro into what you’re raising money towards and lots of photos of your loved one.
Are you eligible for Government funding?
If you are struggling to afford the funeral costs, there are government schemes that could help:
- Funeral Payment, for those on qualifying benefits.
- Bereavement Support Payment, for bereaved spouses.
Both have an eligibility criterion; to find out more about government funding please click here.
Enquire about a public health funeral
Somewhat uncommon, a public health funeral is paid for and organised by the local council.
These are rare as the local council will often only intervene if a person has passed away without any living family or friends who are able to fund the funeral.
Find out more about public health funerals here.
Our top tips for low cost funeral arrangement
If some of these tips aren’t quite the right fit for you, we also have some advice on how you can keep costs low for the service itself. From arranging your own transport to considering a direct cremation, find out more about our top tips to keep funeral costs low here.