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Cost of a funeral rises by 23% in five years

Less than four in 10 put aside sufficient funds to cover their funeral

The average basic funeral now costs £4,417 – a rise of 23% over the past five years and up 3.4% on last year, research shows.

SunLife’s latest Cost of Dying report reveals 70% of people think funeral costs are the responsibility of the deceased, however just 37% of people put aside sufficient funds to cover their funeral while 36% left nothing.

For 12% of people, paying for a loved one’s funeral causes notable financial concerns: 22% were forced to borrow money from friends and family, 10% had to take out a loan, 25% put it on a credit card and 15% had to sell belongings to cover the cost.

The research also found less than half (42%) of those organising a funeral knew the deceased’s preference for a burial or cremation and just 38% knew if they wanted a religious or non-religious service.

Ian Atkinson, marketing director at SunLife, said: “We need to break the taboo surrounding death and start talking about it. By telling our loved ones what type of funeral we want, we can make sure no one spends more than they need to, and everyone gets the perfect send-off.”