When a loved one passes away, especially if it is unexpectedly, planning their funeral and dealing with probate are usually the last things on our minds.

Planning a funeral is never easy, but we wanted to give you an overview of the process, costs involved and provide a checklist of things to think about to help make things easier during this difficult time.

Funeral Costs

According to the Money Advice Service, the average burial cost is £4,321 and the average cremation cost is £3,250. These costs can often be covered from the estate of the person that has passed, though depending on the size of the estate it can sometimes take up to 6-12 months for the funds to be released. As the executor of the will, you will also have the responsibility of making the funeral arrangements and will need to cover the funeral costs prior to any funds being released from the estate following the probate process.

Things to Consider when organising a funeral

A more expensive funeral doesn’t always mean a ‘better’ one. When considering arrangements for a funeral you should take into account the wishes of the person that has passed and also the affordability. Your loved one would not want you to get into debt organising their funeral, so it is good to get an idea of the costs for what you would like to plan by getting quotes from two or more funeral directors and choosing the right option for you and your family’s situation.

You may also need to find out if your loved one had any insurance policies set up before they passed, which help to cover funeral costs as this will be helpful in covering the expenses incurred and mean that you will not suddenly have to foot the bill, especially if you are not sure how you will afford the expenses involved.

As well as the burial or cremation itself, things that a funeral director can help you to organise include:

  • Location of the funeral
  • Transport to the ceremony such as a hearse
  • Options for a coffin (these costs can vary anywhere from £100 to £10k)
  • Flowers
  • Burial plot and headstone, if your loved one had not already organised this prior to passing
  • Urn (for the ashes following a cremation)
  • Order of service
  • Funeral notice (in the local paper)
  • Copies of the death certificate
  • Venue and catering if you choose to hold and cover the cost of a ‘wake’

Who do I contact to organise a funeral? Should I use a funeral director?

The cost of using a funeral director does mean that the overall cost of the funeral would be increased, however, the benefits of using a funeral director can help ease the stress of making all the necessary arrangements when you are already grieving.

The main benefit of using a funeral director is that they will be able to collect, store, prepare and deliver your loved one to the funeral ceremony, cemetery or crematorium and as part of their fee will also ensure that all the right paperwork is completed with you and help you to make the overall funeral arrangements.

There are likely to be funeral directors locally to you or to where the person that has passed away was living. Costs can vary depending on geographical location across the UK, but as mentioned above, you should get a couple of different quotes to help you decide which to go with based on how much they charge and what services they include in their fee.

How can Steele Rose help?

We understand how difficult this time can be and over the years have helped as many people as we can with what can be a stressful and upsetting process.

When you work with Steele Rose probate specialists for estate administration, we can help by covering the funeral costs for you upfront and then recover the costs from the estate later on. This is optional and dependent on the size of the estate, but may help you to cover the costs of arranging a funeral for your loved one rather than having to find the funds yourself.

If you choose to opt for ‘DIY’ probate, and you need to access funds of the person that has passed away in order to cover the funeral costs, in some cases you can take the funeral invoice and the death certificate to the deceased persons bank, where they will release the exact amount needed to cover the cost of the funeral.

For help arranging a funeral and with estate administration following the passing of a loved one, contact the Steele Rose team who will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your situation. Call us on 01722 410009 or get in touch via our website contact form.