A funeral director in the northwest of London has said that more people in the area are now choosing a basic funeral, as dying has become much more expensive in the capital.
Adam James, a 25-year industry veteran, told the Harrow Times that in the past couple of years more people who had lost a close relative had chosen the cheapest funeral package his company offers. A recent report by Sun Life Direct revealed that the cost of dying in London, including probate, burial and related expenses, had jumped by 22.4% in 2011 to £10,071. This is in stark contrast to a 1.9% drop on a national level, which makes London the most expensive place to die. Londoners also spend over £2,700 on funeral extras, such as memorials and flowers, compared to £1,950 in the other parts of the country.
The local council now charges £2,775 for the burial of an adult resident of Harrow, up from £2,381 in 2010. The charge covers exclusive right of burial, memorial rights and internment fee. If the deceased was not a resident of the borough at the time of death, the charge goes up by 100%. Other funeral-related expenses have also increased.
James states that a growing number of his clients are dropping the add-ons, such as limousines or horse-drawn carriages, and are sticking to the basics when it comes to arranging funerals for their deceased family members.
At the same time, however, many people pay more than the average funeral is worth as they do not shop around and do not think of costs when the worst comes and they have to deal with the loss of their loved ones.
If you're arranging a funeral, be sure to contact at least two funeral directors in your area to get an estimate for funeral costs, so you can make comparisons. Ask for recommendations from friends or relatives and ensure you are comfortable with the level of service the funeral director will provide.