Funeral debt is striking families at their most vulnerable time. Planning ahead could save stress and money.
An award-winning funeral director has urged people to plan for their own funerals to help their loved ones avoid rising costs.
John G Hogg, an independent funeral director for over 30 years, says the growing number of families forced to go into debt to cover a loved one’s funeral is a “major concern”.
According to the Royal London Cost of Funeral Index 2017, funeral poverty is at a record high of more than £160 million.
The statistics also show that more than one in six people struggle with the cost of a funeral – an average funeral now costs around £3700.
Recently the National Association of Funeral Directors also expressed concern after some cash-strapped councils and local authorities increased burial and cremation charges.
Mr Hogg, of family-run John G Hogg Funeral Directors, said: “It is major concern, both for families and for funeral directors.
“I’ve been in the profession for over 30 years but in the past two years, we are witnessing more and more people struggling to pay for a loved one’s funeral.
“This is also a growing problem. In 10 years’ time, it is estimated that a funeral will cost £15,000.
“So I would certainly encourage people to plan ahead, either with a pre-paid plan with funeral directors like ourselves or a separate savings scheme.”
He pointed out that taking responsibility and saving now would mean less stress for family when the inevitable does happen.
“The main advantage of having a pre-paid plan is that, regardless of whether costs go up in the future, neither you nor your loved ones will pay a penny more. It’s a guarantee that gives you peace of mind.
“You can take that worry and stress away from your loved ones by planning ahead.”
More than 650,000 of us have already taken steps and put a funeral plan in place. More than 300,000 of them are with Golden Charter, the UK’s leading independent funeral plan provider.
Plans can suit all wishes and budgets - from a simple arrangement which covers a basic funeral, to exclusive plans which provide a comprehensive, personalised service.
Mr Hogg added: “We offer a range of Golden Charter plans, including the Independent Way plan, a tailor-made plan option to suit your individual requirements.
“We will make sure that loved ones will be spared much of the burden of organising a funeral. Every detail can be specified in advance and all costs that are within our control are taken care of.”
There’s extra peace of mind that comes from knowing a plan is in place with a professional and highly experienced funeral specialist.
Mr Hogg added: “We are known for our professionalism and commitment to helping people organise the funeral they want. We have received several awards for our funeral services including Funeral Planner of the Year for our dedication and commitment to the local community.”
John G Hogg funeral directors is an independent, family-run business based in Sunderland. It has three funeral homes, and offers 24 hours service to all areas.
For more information, visit www.johnghogg.co.uk.