The Risng Costs of Funerals

The Rising Costs of Funerals
 Is It TOO Expensive to Die?


With the cost of living increasing rapidly, the last thing people want to think about is the cost of dying. But funerals and arrangements can absorb large amounts of money.

Prices and crematorium fees vary tremendously across the country - a cremation based funeral could cost anywhere from £1,700.00 to £5,000.00.

Burials, other than ‘Woodland’ or natural burials - and even some of these, run at much higher costs nationally, anywhere from about £2,400 to £7,000.00 - according to research.

“People don’t realise the costs involved,” says Paul Shoobridge, of Shoobridge Funeral Services - an experienced funeral pre-planner and certified, East Devon funeral director.

It is also a notable factor that some national funeral providers tend to upsell at a time when those who are grieving are at their most vulnerable, stressed and distraught - it is said.

However, there are ways to cut back on death-related expenses without economising on the ‘memory’ or significance of a loved one.

Consider ‘The Direct Cremation.’ This is one of four service ‘collections’ constructed by Shoobridge Funeral Services to create a ‘package’ that encompasses everything needed to complete a full funeral service but with some of the ‘frills’ removed.

This option is less expensive than a burial service (though a local, ‘eco’ or natural ‘Woodland’ burial rivals this price closely).

The body is removed locally, from home, hospital or a residential care facility during normal office hours then taken to the funeral director’s premises/Chapel of Rest.

Once the arrangements and administration procedures have been completed and a date set, the deceased will be transported to the crematorium for the funeral service.

Prior to the funeral, visits to the Chapel of Rest will be allowed during office hours and normal sanitization procedures do not include embalming which is sometimes necessary when more time is needed from the time of death to the day of the funeral.

This usually occurs when relatives are abroad or on holiday.

Many religious traditions such as Jewish and Muslim faiths for example, require that the family or community be directly involved in a person’s post-death care or preparation for burial or cremation.

Our staff welcomes this approach and have experience in accommodating such practices and traditions. Our staff also receive on-going training to aid their ‘knowledge’ as more and more approaches of this nature are common along with individual aims to demonstrate how a person’s death can be celebrated or remembered in a unique manner.

Such services can attract additional fees but numerous factors affect this outcome.

It is noteworthy that the Internet has eroded many myths concerning the subject of death and although attitudes are changing, we still essentially live in a 'death taboo' society. This is notable when the topic of pre-planning one’s own funeral arises – even between relationship partners. ‘Paul,’ remains optimistic that people will promote discussion concerning their own final journey, which he hopes will clarify the wishes of the deceased prior to their passing.

With regard to the collection or storage of cremated remains, you may be able to use an item of pottery or other articles of your choice but initially, the ‘ashes’ are collected in standard containers, mostly of a plastic construction, by the funeral director or other authorised person. The container is not designed to be attractive so much as practical and normally, the funeral director will transfer the ashes into the container you supply or a casket for interment (burial) if chosen.

An advantage of planning your funeral ahead of time is grounded in economy – financial savings. Numerous articles abound on our website and in the ‘Blog’ section describing the practicalities, emotional benefits as well as the monetary savings if pre-paid in advance Paying in advance also means your loved ones don’t have to negotiate or shop around at the time of mourning when everything is confusing, distressing or both.

In reference to questions of arranging a funeral, a contract between the funeral company and the individual making the funeral arrangements, I have heard it said, “When someone dies, that’s not the time to do business. You’re not thinking clearly, you’re not thinking there are options, and you’re not thinking to ask questions so you just sign the bottom line.”

Also for consideration is organ donation or indeed, whole body donation.

This generalises numerous concepts and ideas and whilst there’s a vital need for organ donors, a lesser-known option is to donate your entire body to a medical training facility so that future doctors, dentists, and other health professionals can use it for study and research.

The Human Tissue Association is well established in the UK and pre-death arrangements can be ‘finalised’ in advance thereby avoiding dispute, arguments among families, confusion and distree that can be apparent when relatives are informed.

Obviously, there is no ‘funeral’ service but usually, a Memorial service. The human remains are disposed of in the future and the details are varied but can be found quite easily. Often, a number of costs are eliminated though transporting the deceased to a facility will require funeral director’s transportation expenses as well as removal and storage. There will also be some administration fees to cover. Details are available from us and we would suggest you phone for an appointment – we can visit you in your home and make all the arrangements or give you the relevant information.

Not all cadavers will be accepted. The cause of death is of vital importance and people who have contracted infectious of notifiable diseases, will be assessed on numerous factors.

Sometimes, there is more supply than demand. Registered cases will obviously take priority over casual applicants.

Self-catering, after a funeral service, will undoubtedly save you money and supermarkets cater for special events or occasions  - you can shop-on-line and have the produce delivered to your home of directly to the venue chosen.

For further in-depth ways to save on funeral costs, please contact Paul or Penny Shoobridge who will give you advice without obligation.


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