SunLife’s annual cost of dying research shows the cost of dying is the fastest rising of any fixed cost in the UK – rising much faster than any cost of living such as rent, food, utilities, insurance or clothing.

SunLife said the average funeral now costs £3,897, with the total cost of dying £8,802 per person.

The life insurer said families are spending 28% less on the send-off than they were 5 years ago to cover rising funeral costs

To help bereaved families and help them understand and plan for funeral costs, SunLife andDying Matters, a coalition of 32,000 members across England and Wales which includes community groups, healthcare bodies and private individual, have launched ‘what to do when someone dies’ tool and a funeral calculator.

SunLife said the overall cost of dying which includes death-related costs such as probate, headstones and flowers in addition to the basic cost of a funeral – has risen by 8.3% to £8,802.

The funeral – which makes up 44% of the cost of dying – has soared by 5.5% in a single year, a rise more than 10 times the increase in the cost of living.

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The average funeral in the UK now costs £3,897 which is more than double what it was when SunLife first started tracking funeral prices in 2004.

To put this in perspective, SunLife said if the cost of a funeral had risen in line with the cost of living it would now cost £2,540 – £1,357 less than the actual figure. London remains the most expensive place to die, with the average funeral costing £5,529, which is 42% more than the national average of £3,897.