The Cost of Dying - Average £7.5K?
The Cost of Dying and, your choices!
I was reading with interest a publication by Jon Kelly of the BBC News magazine entitled, ‘Happy funerals: A celebration of life?’
As it was a subject that I have recently written about, I noted that Jon states the following: “..with the average cost of dying - including funeral and estate administration fees - standing at an estimated £7,622 in 2014, it's understandable that families demand a more personalised service.”
Funerals ARE, expensive! They always have been. Leaving this earth is costly.
I remember in 1998, when pre-paid funeral plans were fast emerging into our profession and ‘markets,’ I could purchase a funeral for £650.00 from memory. Our local crematorium’s price for a cremation had recently increased from £138.00 to £141.00 and then later went to the higher price of £147.00. I scoffed back then! I, as a funeral director, would naturally only pay ‘trade price’ for my funeral!
Looking back, I have seen crematorium prices increase sometimes more than annually to around and in excess of, £900.00! Doctor’s fees for completing (and certification of), cremation forms has exceeded the 1998 crematorium price! Shows how accurately I predicted the future! If only I had purchased my plan back then!
Is it too late? Obviously never. I purchased plans for myself and my wife in about 2007 – eight years ago.
So, what’s my point?
Every year, Golden Charter, one of the prime pre-paid funeral service providers in the United Kingdom and probably the singularly, most used, plan provider to the UK independent funeral sector, poll their ‘member’ funeral directors for increases in funerary charges locally, across the nation.
Taking an average of these charges along with popular choice options of clients, pre –paid funeral plan prices are adjusted accordingly.
Knowing prices in and around our locality very well; knowing funeral director charges generally too we know what the public pay for funerals. Yes, we also hear of higher fees from time to time, rarely lower than our own (Shoobridge Funeral Services), and wonder at what appear to be, sweeping statements of £7,622.00 and similar. Reading the sentence again, I noticed that Jon included ‘estate administration.’
In my experience, some solicitors charge a percentage commission on estate administration, so it is extremely difficult to tell where the separation lies in this ‘average’ price structure OR, everybody is paying more for estate administration than they are for funerals?
What is absolutely clear, as with a private personal pension plan is that, the earlier you start, the more ‘you’ will save. One problem is that, despite knowing this, there are far too many demands on our money than spare money to put aside and, after all, is there a rainy day that I can’t handle? Not really, since credit was popularised and mechanisms for dealing with debt regularly in the media, we can never really get into trouble any more, can we?
Finally, it’s about concept or, perspective. I hear quite often, statements like these:
When I die, I leave my problems behind me. My ‘funeral price savings’ will NOT benefit me. If I have debt when I die, I won’t know about the problem or the solution. There will be enough equity in my house sale, for the ‘kids’ to have more than enough to bury me!
True words of course but what of your, ‘significant other?’ Do you have one? Are your savings going to be enough for your spouse or partner to survive on? Aren’t we supposed to make it easier for our children? As a caring, loving person, your ‘job’ is to minimise the suffering that may follow your death or, maybe not?
As always, you, have choices. Choose well.