/ Money

Is it too expensive to die? It is if you can’t foot the bill

Man with calculator

They say life is cheap. Well, death certainly isn’t. Recent figures from Sun Life show that the cost of dying has increased to over £7,000. But who should be responsible for footing the bill?

The report also reveals just how few people are organised in their planning for passing away. Over half of those with responsibility for such outlays were surprised at the costs made up of funerals, probate, flowers and headstones.

Funeral expenses themselves have increased 61% over seven years, with no apparent end in sight. The assistance available is dwindling in comparison, with the government’s Social Fund funeral payment scheme contributing on average only £1,217; even then 45% of applications were unsuccessful.

Why are we financially unprepared for the inevitable?

It appears that inaction, a lack of understanding and expectation on the next generation are to blame. While it’s usual to discuss wills with nearest and dearest, this survey revealed that many in old age had not planned for their funeral, as they expected family and friends to organise it for them. They also expected them to fund it.

It’s unpleasant – and most of us wouldn’t want to think, let alone say it – but the elderly need to make suitable arrangements in good time – not only will it avoid additional stress for loved ones but it will also make expenses much clearer before the inevitable happens.

This may all sound very callous, but it seems that an essential part of life is thinking about – well, death. Perhaps, you feel the government’s responsible? Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that, post-Dilnott report, the government will increase spending on the elderly to encompass these death costs.

In the end, it’s our own responsibility and we all need to make plans or our families will be in grave danger of having to pay a heavy price.

Who do you think is responsible for your funeral costs?

Me (81%, 245 Votes)

My family/friends (13%, 38 Votes)

The government (6%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 302

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Comments
Member

So who pays if one is on benefits and there is nowt left? Bet it is the Government AKA us.

I think this should be costed in as part of NI contribution. Lets face it once I have gone I don’t give a damn and I don’t expect any relatives I have left to pay either.

Member
Sophie Gilbert says:
25 September 2011

We should pay more towards NI and let the government dispose of our bodies with a minimum of dignity (in my book that would mean getting us cremated in a good shroud and in a decent place). The extra theatricals (flowers, coffin, ceremony) can be subsidised by us/family/friends.

Member

Actually we pay too much toward NI already.

2 year s NI would pay for mine, why should I contribute more toward what I see as an unnecessary burden. They ( the governments) have squandered all this money paid in to the system since 1948 and they have only themselves to blame.

The NI should immediately be ring fenced and only paid out for what it was intended + a funeral. Only people who have paid into the system should receive any benefit at all IMHO.

Member
Barbara Kelly says:
21 September 2013

Why are coffins so ridiculously expensive and allegedly made from wood. If we put laminate on our worktops and floors surely it is good enough to kindle. There must be a great gap in t he market here for budget funerals! Oddly cardboard ones appear to be as expensive as mahogany.

Member

Who cares, when your dead your dead, I don’t give a damn about what happens afterward, throw me to the wolves as far as I am concerned.

I will die the government can pick up the tab!