Funeral bills in January could exceed £495 million

With the majority of people being paid early in December and then having to wait six weeks until the next payday, January is a tough month for money.&…

With the majority of people being paid early in December and then having to wait six weeks until the next payday, January is a tough month for money. 

Now, new research from SunLife has found it’s also the month with the highest funeral bills of the year. And, because we only make sufficient provision to cover 70 per cent of our own funeral costs, loved ones could be faced with funeral bills totalling £150 million this month, putting even more pressure on family finances.

In fact, two in five people (42 per cent) don't make any financial provision for their own funerals. Of those that do, only 70 per cent of the total cost is covered, leaving friends and family to pay the shortfall. This adds up to £2,449 on average, which puts one in seven people into financial difficulty.

Half of these people have to borrow the money to cover costs, with 21 per cent asking friends or relatives, eight per cent asking the bank or a loan provider and 21 per cent using a credit card. In dire circumstances, 14 per cent admit that they've had to sell belongings to raise the funds.

Graham Jones, commercial director at SunLife, said: "It can cause loved ones a great deal of added stress at a difficult time if no provisions are in place, so it’s important to consider making some plans."

There are a number of options in place for people to save for their funeral costs. Of those who had funds in place, 60 per cent used savings and investments, 27 per cent had a prepaid funeral plan and 26 per cent had a life insurance policy.

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