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Average cost of funeral decreases over a year, report finds

The average cost of a funeral has decreased for the first time since research started in 2004, a report has found.

The typical cost of a basic funeral was £4,054 in 2021, marking a 3.1% decrease compared with 2020, according to financial services provider SunLife’s “cost of dying” report.

In 2020, the average cost of a funeral, including burials and cremations, was put at £4,184.

The research was released at a time when general household costs are surging.

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Direct cremations, where the ashes are returned to family members who can make their own service arrangements, have increased in popularity, the research found. A direct cremation costs around £1,647 typically.

Although funeral costs were found to have generally fallen in the past year, many people are still struggling to pay for them.

SunLife’s research found around one in six (17%) families had experienced notable financial concerns when paying for a funeral.

Here are average funeral costs in 2021 and the annual increase or decrease, according to SunLife, which surveyed funeral directors and people who had been involved in organising a funeral:

– Wales, £3,540, minus 4.8%

South East and East of England, £4,825, minus 3.6%

– London, £5,358, 2.3%

– East and West Midlands, £3,942, minus 12.2%

– Yorkshire and the Humber, £4,302, 0.7%

– Scotland, £3,873, minus 4.7%

South West England £3,907, minus 6.1%

North West England £3,840, 1.4%

North East England £3,915, 2.3%

– Northern Ireland, £3,056, minus 5.2%

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