A report published today has somewhat surprisingly, found that funeral prices have dropped for the first time in 18 years, despite soaring prices in many other areas of life at the moment! Despite this overall drop, there has been an increase in the costs of a basic cremation with no service.

The report notes average funeral costs are over £4,000 - a significant sum to have to contemplate for a grieving family.

Leaving clear instructions for loved ones about your funeral - what you would like in terms of burial, cremation, service, and even choice of readings and music can greatly help those left behind at a difficult time, knowing they have 'done right' by the person who has died. 

A note of wishes to accompany a Will or inclusion of these details in a Will can help offer peace of mind for loved ones at an already emotional and difficult time.

And for those facing the need to arrange a funeral and the prospect of the resulting bill, it's timely to remember that, as long as the deceased has sufficient funds available, banks will pay out the funeral costs directly to the funeral director if the original funeral invoice is presented, together with the death certificate. There is no need to wait for the estate to be administered or a Grant of Probate to be obtained for funds to be accessed for this purpose.

For those organising a funeral who are in receipt of various means-tested benefits themselves, help from the Government is also available to support the cost of a funeral for a loved one through a Funeral Expenses Payment.