It costs an average of nearly £6,000 to die in the UK after the cost of a funeral rose by 10% during the past year.
The average cost of a funeral is now £2,390, with cremations, which account for 72% of funerals, costing around £2,160 and burials costing £2,620, according to financial services group AXA Sun Life Direct (ASLD).
But the funeral is only the beginning of the costs families face when they lose someone, with around £229 typically spent on flowers, £98 spent on a death notice in a newspaper and a further £149 paid for a funeral notice.
On top of this, people also spend an average of £341 on catering at a wake, £612 on a memorial such as a headstone and £2,107 on the administration of an estate, bringing the total cost to £5,923.
Dying abroad could double or triple this cost due to the expenses involved in bringing a body home.
There is a growing trend for people to have green or woodland funerals, although the cardboard or wicker coffins used in these burials often cost more than conventional coffins.
The cost of funerals looks set to continue rising, with market estimates that charges will rise by a further 38% between now and 2012 to average £3,299.
Unsurprisingly, the cost of dying is highest in London, where it averages £8,020, while it is lowest in the North East at £4,573.
During 2005/2006 the Government paid out £45 million to help cover the costs of 35,000 funerals, although they recover this money wherever possible from the deceased's estate.
Paul Dwyer, consultant to ASLD, says: "Funeral prices alone have risen faster than inflation. This survey reminds us that we need to save more money to cover the total cost of dying."