With the average cost of a funeral increasing 42 per cent in the last three years alone, pauper’s funerals have become increasingly common. Only recently, the family of Chris Sievey, creator of Frank Sidebottom, was forced to consider applying for a council funded funeral after the much-loved comedian died penniless. It was only after fans created an online campaign to donate money that he was spared this fate.
Today, the average cost of a basic funeral in the UK is £2622. Add in, personal touches such as a church service and flowers, and prices can soar to well over £3000.
Mike Cooper of Avalon Funeral Plans says, “The plight faced by Mr. Sievey’s family is incredibly sad but unfortunately this is the reality for those who don’t plan for their own death. In this case, Mr. Sievey was very lucky to have such dedicated and generous fans. With an alarming increase in the cost of funerals, it is important that people start to make plans early. The loss of a loved one should not be associated with money worries, which is often the case.”
As a result of the cap on Social Fund grants, which aid payment of funerals for those with low incomes, a shortfall now exists between the bereavement grant and the most basic funeral package available. Mike Cooper comments, “When bereavement costs can regularly exceed £2000, a £700 grant just does not cut it. There are funeral plans that are cost effective and ensure the deceased’s wishes are fully catered for. People need to make sure they do their research."