Funeral Costs to Become More Transparent
Funeral costs can frequently rise to more than the anticipated. This can cause unnecessary distress and expenses for the family. To promote clearer pricing and greater transparency the government proposes new legislation. This will ensure that no-one can take advantage of the bereaved family who is particularly vulnerable at this sad and difficult time.
How much does a funeral cost?
Funeral costs vary depending on the requirements for the funeral, the circumstances of death, and the location. The Royal London National Funeral Cost Index Report 2017 gave an average price for a traditional funeral and burial at £4,257, while a funeral followed by cremation costs on average £3,311. However, additional extra costs can raise this figure by as much as £2,000.
Is a pre-paid funeral plan a good option to reduce funeral costs?
It is if you make sure that your pre-paid funeral plan provider is a member of the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA). This membership body has its own code of conduct. Unfortunately, this does not as yet form part of UK law. The Treasury is going to review and regulate this sector to ensure that everyone receives clear and complete information as to what funeral costs their plan covers.
How is the price of a funeral broken down?
Funeral costs come in three basic sectors. Firstly, there are the services of the funeral director. He is responsible for the collection and safekeeping of the body. He takes care of all the administrative details and the paperwork. Next, there are the charges made for the burial or cremation by the cemetery or crematorium. Finally, there are the costs of the services. These can include the coffin, the urn, the flowers, and the fees of the celebrant or vicar.
How can the government help?
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will investigate advertising methods as well as ensuring that the pricing is clear and easy to understand. This aims to ensure that the family of the deceased are not misled or pressured by certain forms of advertising. Also, that there are no 'surprise' hidden costs. Additionally, they will regulate the prices charged to ensure that families are getting a fair deal. They plan to make sure that families have enough information to select the funeral they want within the budget they can afford.
Online pricing promotes transparency
Most funeral directors welcome the measures proposed by the government. Many are posting there services and prices on the internet which can help to promote transparency and guarantee fair pricing.