Paying for a funeral

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Thinking ahead about paying for your funeral or supporting another to plan theirs isn’t morbid. It’s practical. And paying up front is even better. It saves others worrying about money or squabbling over arrangements.

If you want to be prepared, you can capture instructions in your My Final Fling Wishes. It’s much safer than having them in your Will – a Will usually isn’t read until after the funeral.

Different ways of paying for a funeral

Funeral plans
A traditional funeral plan commonly covers fees for the service of a funeral director, the coffin and transport. A funeral plan allows you to pre-pay for your funeral now for a guaranteed price. Check out our flexible funeral plan.

However, depending on your age, it’s not the only way to provide for costs.

Funeral insurance
You pay premiums monthly and get a lump sum on death or when you reach 90. Like most insurance, it pays to have bad luck and this option works best if you don’t last long. The longer you live, the more you pay in and at some point, you’re going to have paid in more than you’ll get back in the agreed lump sum: so do your calculations. Your monthly payments will be higher the older you are when you start the plan. If you die within the first two years, the policy may not cover the full costs but you should receive all your premiums back plus 20% which can go towards your funeral costs.

A straightforward savings account is another way of paying for your funeral. It means you know exactly what you’ve got. Low risk and low returns though, if interest rates are low. You can set it up as a joint account to make sure that relatives can access the money after your death. Putting money into a cash ISA is an easy way to save money and you can get the money out in an emergency meantime.

Paying from your Estate
Funeral costs can be paid from your estate after you die. Banks will normally release funds if they’re presented with an itemised account from a funeral director and a copy of the death certificate.


A Funeral Payment may be available from the Government’s Social Fund. It’s designed to help people on a low income paying for a funeral.

You must show that you have met these expenses. You do not have to repay a funeral payment, although it can be recovered from the estate of the person who has died. Be warned it will not cover the entire cost of a standard funeral. For example, it will pay for a burial not a cremation because a burial without a service is cheaper.

Follow these links to find out if you’re eligible:

England, Wales and Scotland

Northern Ireland

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