The average cost of a basic funeral in the UK in 2022 was just over £4,000. This includes employing a funeral director and the costs of a coffin, hearse and the funeral administration together with any burial or cremation fees and celebrant’s fees.

If you want more than a basic funeral, for example where friends and family gather together after the funeral to drink a toast or enjoy a time to reminisce over a cup of tea, the venue and catering would cost more. The Sunlife Cost of Dying Report 2022  says that the average cost of dying in 2022, which includes the funeral, professional fees and send-off costs, is £8,864. 

Funeral director’s fees usually consist of:

  • fees for the services and items they provide, such as the coffin and vehicles
  • fees paid to third parties, such as a minister or celebrant, doctors and the cemetery or crematorium
  • VAT for items such as flowers, catering or a memorial; the services of the funeral director, minister and cemetery or crematorium are exempt from VAT.

 This might not be the best of times for investigating costs, but it’s advisable to ask friends for recommendations and you might also want to get in some comparative quotes.

Getting help to pay for a funeral

If the deceased hasn’t left enough money to pay for the funeral and you don’t have enough money, all members of the National Association of Funeral Directors  (NAFD) and National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors  (SAIF) provide a simple funeral for people who cannot afford one or do not wish to pay for any ‘extras’. Ask your undertaker what such a package contains.

Alternatively, you might want to consider organising a direct (otherwise known as a basic) cremation, which is usually the cheapest form of funeral. The time and place of the cremation will be fixed by the crematorium and mourners aren’t able to attend, but the remains will be returned to the loved ones after the cremation.

Funeral Expenses Payment

A Funeral Expenses Payment can help pay for some of the costs of the funeral, including cremation and burial fees, travel to the funeral and the death certificate and other documents.

The payment won’t usually cover all the costs of the funeral and you or your partner have to meet certain criteria, including getting one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit: disability or severe disability element
  • Child Tax Credit.

If you’ve already paid for the funeral, the Funeral Expenses Payment will be paid into your bank, building society or credit union account. If you’ve not yet paid, it will be paid directly to the organiser of the funeral.

You must apply within six months of the funeral.

To find out more, go to the GOV.UK page Get help with funeral costs .

Related pages

  • Planning your own funeral, which includes information about purchasing a funeral plan. 
  • Arranging a funeral: there are many decisions to make when arranging a funeral and this article considers the key questions to ask yourself.
  • Planning for a funeral service: there are many things to consider when planning for a funeral service; read this article to find out about the most important aspects.

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