Funeral Poverty

Some depressing but very important research from Wiltshire Citizen’s Advice Bureau:

Funeral Poverty: A plan for managing the impact of funeral costs

Wiltshire Citizens Advice (WCA) has been concerned for several years over the number of people we see who have experienced problems paying for a funeral. These problems often lead to debt and anxiety at a time when people are vulnerable due to bereavement. Funerals pose significant financial risks for anyone, especially people on a basic or low income.

Funeral costs have been rising by more than inflation, making it all the more difficult to manage money at a time of grief and loss. Dying in the UK now costs over £7,000, on average. With even basic funeral costs now over £3,000, funeral poverty is growing each year (Sun Life, 2012). The full costs may not be realised until it is too late to cut back. In the context of limited financial support available, even for those eligible for state benefits, WCA investigated how good practice might help address the risk factors between a death and a potential debt. This was done by surveying funeral directors in Swindon and Wiltshire and following up the surveys with interviews.

The results were used to develop a 4-point code for good practice to stimulate discussion.  WCA hopes that organisations across Wiltshire and Swindon – and elsewhere – will sign up to this and improve the situation.

To read more about our Plan for managing the  impact of funeral costs and the 4-point code for good practice – please click here to download our report.

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