Compare Funeral Plans

Compare funeral plans

Talking about death is never an easy subject, but the reality is that at some point it will happen to us all. If plans have not been put in place to pay for our funeral or other associated costs with our death, it could create a huge financial strain and emotional burden for our loved ones, at an already difficult time. 

With the average cost of a funeral in the UK now standing at £4,184, and the total cost of dying reaching £8,864, it’s easy to understand why preparing for these costs in advance is a smart move. Furthermore, prepaying for your funeral now can help to protect against rising costs in the future, as many funeral plans allow for the fixing of costs at the current rate. 

Technically, anyone over the age of 18 can take out a funeral plan, although it is usually not something most of us give thought to until we reach at least retirement age. If you are yet to plan your funeral, or if you need help choosing a funeral plan for a loved one, then here is our ultimate guide on comparing funeral plans in the UK to help move the process along.

What Is A Funeral Plan?

Funeral plans are a method of prepaying for all or at least most of the expenditure related to the cost of a funeral. This includes everything from the collection and handling of the deceased to the burial or cremation. 

If a funeral plan is not in place, then it is usually the relatives of the deceased that are required to pay these costs. Seen as most families cannot cover the cost of a funeral, let alone all the other expenses related to the death, prepaying for the funeral remains the preferred option, as this means that the costs will not be passed on to others. 

Aside from the financial aspects of a funeral, there is also a personal and sentimental reason why people take out a plan for their own funeral. That is the ability to choose everything their funeral will consist of, from the coffin to the service type, along with whether they will be buried or cremated. 

If a funeral plan is not in place, the wishes of the deceased may not be known. There could be a dispute within the family, or simply a lack of funds to carry out the desired wishes. With so many potential complexities, stating your preferences via a funeral plan outlines very clear intentions as to what should happen when you die. 

In summary, the main objectives of a funeral plan are:

  • To cover either all or most of the associated costs related to your funeral, depending on the type of plan you opt for
  • To ensure your final wishes will be carried out, thus also relieving the stress of your family having to make these decisions on your behalf

What Is Included In A Funeral Plan?

Funeral plans cover the services of a funeral director from the moment the body of the deceased has been cleared to remove to the funeral home, until the deceased is transported to the service for a cremation or to the location of their burial. 

While you will need to check the details of the specific funeral provider and plan you wish to opt for, here is what is typically included with a prepaid funeral plan:

  • Care of the deceased 24/7
  • A coffin
  • Burial or cremation 
  • Church or crematorium service fees
  • Officiant service fees 
  • Arrangement of the date and time of the funeral 
  • Funeral transportation for family mourners
  • An organised visit to the chapel of rest 
  • Hearse and personnel required for the funeral
  • Transfer of the deceased within a 50-mile radius

As noted, there are different plans available with most funeral plan providers. What this means is that plan holders have the ability to customise the level of service they would like. 

Plans range from covering just the basics including no service (i.e. direct cremation), through to the highest level of features and amenities. 

What Is Not Included In A Funeral Plan?

  • The cost of the wake
  • The cost of a ceremony or service in a different location
  • The cost of a cremation or service if the deceased is not a local resident
  • The cost of a burial plot
  • Disposal of ashes
  • Embalming
  • Doctors’ fees
  • Second journeys (common in some religious practices) 
  • Repatriation 
  • Flowers
  • Newspaper announcements
  • Headstone

Funeral plans are designed to cover the cost of the care of the deceased and the transport to their final resting place, i.e. the crematorium or the graveside. However, all other costs such as registering the death, retrieving the body from outside the local area, purchasing the burial plot, the wake and arranging a gravestone will not be covered by a funeral plan. 

This is something to consider, since if any money is not left behind for these additional costs (which can double the cost of the funeral itself), then once again family or friends will need to pay for such expenses. 

Funeral Plan Pros

  • All of the costs are taken care of by the plan holder rather than the family of the deceased having to pay
  • The wishes of the deceased will be known about and carried out, leaving no room for stress or even dispute within the family
  • Some providers allow for the fixing of costs ahead of time, which would work out far cheaper due to rising costs and inflation
  • There are various packages to choose from to suit all preferences and budgets 
  • Funeral plans can help to reduce inheritance tax

Funeral Plan Cons 

  • Funeral plans sometimes require upfront payment, which could reduce savings or money for residential care
  • Funeral plans are seen as long term investments rather than being suited for those who may die immediately
  • If the person dies before the plan has been paid off where paying in instalments is accepted, the family will need to cover the remaining balance before the funeral can be arranged
  • Funeral plans do not cover the full costs of dying, so these will also need to be planned for to avoid passing the costs on to family
Compare Funeral Plans in UK

How To Compare Funeral Plans 

Choosing a funeral plan can be overwhelming as there is a lot to decide on. However, price-wise, the type of funeral and the scope of the funeral package will be the biggest aspects to consider. 

All funerals will be dignified, although some run more on the basic and minimal fuss side of things, whereas others will have every available option, and may be attended by hundreds of mourners. 

The good news is that whatever you have in mind for your funeral, the level of choice means your final wishes along with the amount of money you are comfortable spending will be respected. 

Funeral Type

The two most common funeral types are cremations and burials. The average cost of a cremation ranges from £500 to £900 across the UK, with direct cremations which have no service being the cheapest cremation type. If a service is to be held for the cremation, expect to pay at least £1,800.

The cost of a burial ranges from between £1,000 and £2,500 across the UK, although this does not include the cost of the burial plot or the headstone. Depending on the plot location and the quality of the headstone, these additional costs can range from £1,500 up to £10,000.

There is a third funeral type option which is not as common, and that is a burial at sea. Permission for a burial at sea needs to be granted by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), with three locations permitted across England and two in Scotland. The cost of the licence ranges from £50 for the approved locations, and up to £1,400 for requested locations not on the official list. 

The total cost of a burial at sea is difficult to calculate since there are a lot of regulations that need to be adhered to. Although, specialist burial at sea funeral directors and companies do exist in the UK. 

Package Level

Most funeral plan providers offer up to four levels of packages, ranging from the most basic of funerals where there is no service through to the highest level of quality, features and flexibility. 

As you might expect, simplistic funerals without a service and only the minimum features will be far cheaper and easier to arrange than grander funerals. 

It’s important to read through the small print of any funeral plan, to ensure that everything you wish to be covered is included with the plan to avoid any financial surprises for the family or deviances from your final wishes. 

Payment Type

Funeral plans can either be paid for upfront or paid for over a series of months or years. Some providers such as co-ops allow for the payment of monthly installments over 25 years. 

One aspect to check is whether your chosen payment method will work out more expensive versus paying upfront as a lump sum. Remember, if you die before your funeral plan is paid for, then your family will need to pay the remainder of the balance, or if the balance is minimal, it will be returned to the estate, with the family having to pay for all of the funeral. 

UK Funeral Plan Providers

Once you have an idea in mind of the type of funeral you’d like and the type of package you are interested in, you will need to set up a plan with a provider. 

There are around 8-10 main providers of funeral plans in the UK. It’s worth doing your research to compare funeral plans’ prices and reviews. Plus, seeing whether any special incentives apply, which could make one provider more attractive than another. 


Age Co

Starting from: £3,070

Pay per month available?: Yes

Age Co Funeral Plan types:

  • Basic
  • Ivy
  • Holly
  • Rowan

See: Age Co funeral plans.


Starting from: £1,895

Avalon Funeral Plan

Pay per month available?: Yes

Avalon Funeral Plan types:

  • Cremation Only Plan
  • Celebration Plan
  • Standard Funeral Plan
  • Plus Funeral Plan
  • Premium Funeral Plan

See: Avalon funeral plans.



Starting from: £3,225

Pay per month available?: Yes

Co-op funeral Plan types:

  • Simple Plan
  • Bronze Plan
  • Silver Plan
  • Gold Plan

See: Co-op funeral plans.

Dignity funeral


Starting from: £3,095

Pay per month available?: Yes

Dignity funeral Plan types:

  • The Limited Plan
  • The Amber Plan
  • The Pearl Plan
  • The Diamond Plan

See: Dignity funeral plans.

Golden Charter

Golden Charter

Starting from: £1,749

Pay per month available?: Yes

Golden Charter funeral plan types:

  • Basic Plan
  • Value Plan
  • Standard Plan
  • Select Plan
  • Premier Plan

See: Golden Charter funeral plans.

Pure Cremation

Pure Cremation 

Starting from: £1,595

Pay per month available?: Yes

Pure Cremation funeral Plan types:

  • Trust-based funeral plan
  • Over 50s funeral plan

See: Pure Cremation funeral plans.

Simplicity Cremation

Simply Cremations

Starting from: £1,495

Pay per month available?: Yes

Simply Cremations funeral Plan types:

  • The Lily Plan
  • The Magnolia Plan
  • The Orchid Plan

See: Simply Creations funeral plans.

Sunlife Logo


Starting from: Price on quotation

Pay per month available?: Yes

SunLife funeral Plan types:

  • Direct Cremation Plan
  • Traditional Plan
  • Traditional Plus Plan

See: SunLife funeral plans

In Summary: Funeral Plans In The UK

Although the topic of funeral plans may seem morbid, arranging and paying for your funeral ahead of time will avoid hassle and stress for those left behind after you die. Funeral plans also have the advantage of fixing the cost of your funeral, while ensuring your final wishes are respected.

Ultimately, the sooner a funeral plan is in place the better, as it will give instant peace of mind knowing that when the time comes, all of the main steps have been outlined in writing and have been paid for, without passing the burden onto others. 

All that’s left to consider is any additional services that a funeral plan may not cover. It’s also a good idea to notify your closest family or friends that a funeral plan is in place and inform them of the provider, to ensure a seamless experience when the time comes.

In search of further information? Retirement Expert offers free expert advice across all aspects of senior living. Check out our articles, and be sure to leave us a comment if you have any future topic ideas you’d like us to cover.  

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