Funeral Plans

It is not just the cost of living that is rising.  The cost of dying – specifically, the cost of a complete funeral – is outstripping inflation too, often leaving bereaved relatives facing unforeseen bills.

In the last two decades, the cost of the average funeral has risen sharply. Figures from Mintel’s Funeral Business Reports show that in 1988, it was just £716. By 1997, it had risen to £1,284. By 2006, the average funeral cost £2,311, around £1,000 more than if these costs had kept place with inflation.  In 2018 the average cost of a funeral is in excess of £4,000!

What most people don't realise is that a funeral has to be paid for in full before it can go ahead and the money cannot be taken from the estate because the funeral takes place long before Probate is completed making the Testator's assets available.

Finding the money for a funeral can cause incredible hardship with people borrowing money from friends and family and even turning to crowd funding just so the funeral can take place.

There are even cases of the deceased being held in funeral parlours for over a year whilst relatives struggle to find the funds for the funeral of a loved one.  Not surprisingly, nearly half a million people in the UK have taken out some form of funeral plan to help cover these costs.

You’re never too young to pre-plan and pre-pay your funeral expenses

People have now woken up to the fact that they can not only pre-plan their funerals, but also pre-pay their own funeral expenses – now – and at today’s prices, beating the soaring costs of funerals

Many thousands of people in the UK and expatriates abroad have planned and paid for their funerals as part of a sensible and responsible approach to organizing their lives.

There are two basic types of funeral plan. Some people buy an insurance policy, known as a whole-of-life plan, that pays a fixed amount on death. But the danger with these is that, due to increased longevity, people can end up paying more in premiums than the plan can ever pay back.

The other option is a pre-paid funeral plan – usually sold by a funeral director. With these plans, customers pay for the main funeral costs in advance. This can include everything from the funeral directors’ fees to choosing a coffin and the hearse. But many of these plans do not cover additional third-party fees, such as the crematorium or a doctor’s costs, in full – nor will they cover the cost of a wake or flowers. So family members can still be left with money to pay.


Companies selling pre-paid funeral plans are policed by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA). It stipulates that companies must hold monies in a trust fund, with independent trustees and a fund manager. This should ensure that the money is invested prudently to meet all future funeral costs. It goes without saying, then, that a would-be customer must check that any pre-paid plan is sold by an FPA member.



Green Funerals

It is now possible to arrange green funerals in the UK, taking comfort in the knowledge that every aspect has been carefully considered to minimise a funeral’s impact on the environment.

Choosing The Ultimate Green Funeral Plan not only assists your loved ones, but also makes a positive statement of intent to help preserve the world in which we live. 

Our green funeral plan can include options for natural and biodegradable coffins made of sustainable materials including wood, willow and wool. There is also an option for a Reflections coffin, which may be personalised with a design or image of your choosing. 

The entire carbon footprint of a funeral service may be offset by tree planting in conservation areas or by donating funds to preserve endangered rainforests around the world. Additionally, on your behalf, Golden Leaves funeral plans will even contribute to an environmental fund that combats climate change for the benefit of future generations.

Click here to request details of our funeral plans