A recent survey of 1,000 adults who have organized a funeral has shed light on the financial challenges faced during such difficult times. Astonishingly, 70% of respondents expressed surprise and dismay at the costs associated with funerals.
The study found that nearly 39% of participants had to tap into their savings to cover funeral expenses, while 22% resorted to using credit cards. Additionally, 17% borrowed money from others, 16% worked extra hours, and 10% took on second jobs. To meet the costs, some individuals even took payment holidays on their mortgages or missed payments on other bills.
These financial burdens had a significant emotional impact, with 25% of respondents feeling that they let their loved ones down by being unable to afford the farewell they believed their departed family members deserved.
Anthony Young, CEO of Tyde, the UK’s first online funeral booking service, which commissioned the research, expressed empathy, saying, “Arranging a funeral is already challenging and emotionally taxing. When financial worries are added to the equation, the experience becomes even more difficult.”
Young further explained, “Everyone wants to give their loved ones the funeral they deserve, but sometimes the cost makes this impossible, and compromises have to be made. At Tyde, we believe that funeral planning should be a kinder and easier process, free from hidden fees and high-pressure sales tactics. We aim to provide a comfortable and convenient online platform where individuals can plan and pay for their desired arrangements.”
The study also revealed that 37% of respondents felt they had to compromise on certain elements of the funeral due to financial constraints. The most common sacrifices included transport (49%), the wake (46%), and the coffin (41%). Financial burdens related to funerals even led to disagreements among family members in more than a quarter of cases. Disputes often revolved around the choice of songs (13%), the location for the wake (13%), the service venue (12%), and even the flowers.
Interestingly, almost 30% of participants believed they paid an excessive amount for the coffin or casket, while 26% felt they had overspent on family transport.
However, the financial strain endured while arranging funerals has prompted over half of the respondents to start setting aside funds for their own future send-offs, aiming to spare their loved ones from similar difficulties.
The survey further revealed that 29% of participants found the funeral planning experience daunting, while 28% felt overwhelmed. Breaking the news to people who may not be aware of the loss emerged as the greatest challenge, followed by paperwork and hidden costs.
Anthony Young emphasized, “It’s no surprise that many people find the process of planning a funeral daunting. That’s why we want to make coping with the loss of a loved one a little easier and provide some peace of mind during such a challenging time. Tyde aims to create a kinder, more efficient funeral planning process by bringing it online.”
TOP 20 CHALLENGES WHEN PLANNING A FUNERAL:
- Breaking the news to people who might not know
- Dealing with paperwork
- Lack of transparency regarding costs and hidden fees
- Securing the desired date for the funeral
- Deciding on the type of ceremony or service
- Time spent planning the funeral
- Face-to-face meetings with funeral directors
- Insufficient information
- Obtaining agreement among family members on the funeral arrangements
- Adhering to COVID guidelines
- Managing unexpected event planning alongside work and family commitments
- Choosing the appropriate flowers
- Requesting time off from work
- Deciding whether to include charity donations
- Managing guest invitations effectively
- Frequent visits to funeral parlors
- Dealing with predatory sales tactics from funeral directors
- Choosing between burial and cremation
- Handling conflicts of interest
- Limited out-of-hours support from funeral directors