Low-Cost Funerals & Bereavement Support
Savings around 50%* can be made from many funeral charges
The emotional mistake on funeral costs
Due to the emotion surrounding the funeral of a loved one, many people decide to take the first undertaking service they see or offered to them.
While this is an easy approach it is usually a bad financial move, which can make the stress from bereavement even harder.
There is a common misbelief that unless you spend a lot of money on basic funeral costs, you are unable to give your loved one a decent “send-off”.
This is completely untrue; this site aims to educate and inform the reader of quality like-for-like services which cost far less.
A dignified low-cost funeral
- 1) If the death was unexpected or someone collapses and you tried to resuscitate them then telephone 999 immediately. They will send an ambulance, the ambulance staff will take over and take the person to a hospital.
If someone dies at home after an illness during office hours telephone your GP surgery who will send a GP to issue a medical certificate of cause of death (MCCD). If out of normal office hours telephone the NHS on 111. They will send a GP or healthcare professional to issue paperwork (verification of death).
Once you have either the verification of death or MCCD you can contact an undertaker to collect the deceased. You can shop around for different undertakers, or alternatively you could simply contact a low-cost funeral director to collect the deceased and conduct the funeral.
If issued with a verification of death you have to take this to your GP who can issue a MCCD. An MCCD can also be obtained from a hospital, hospice or care home GP of the deceased. This MCCD is then sometimes also emailed to your local registry office which you will have to attend to register the death as explained in 3).
- 2) Inform relatives and organisations / companies of the death.
Organisations / companies could be:
GP, Dentist, Employer, Insurance company, Mortgage company or landlord, Bank, Loan company, Utility companies, Credit card company, Online subscriptions.
- 3) Register the death within 5 days** (8 days in Scotland) at your local registry office. Ask the registrar to register the deceased details with the Government ‘Tell us Once’ service. The registrar will issue you with copies of the death certificate, and cremation or burial form which is called a “green form”. Send any required death certificates to organisations / companies such as those listed in 2).
- 4) Visit or telephone the undertaker to arrange the funeral, (or if you prefer a natural burial) send or hand over the green form. Check with the undertaker if you are entitled to any Government financial help towards the funeral costs.
- 5) Check to see if you are entitled to any charity financial help towards the funeral costs or Government Bereavement Support
- 6) Visit a florist to arrange any flowers – If having flowers, save money and buy directly.
- 7) Look online to purchase a coffin – Save money and buy the coffin directly.
- 8) Book a spokesperson to read the funeral service – If having a service, save money and book directly.
- 9) Arrange the funeral wake – If having a wake, save money and book directly.
- 10) Inform relatives of the funeral date, time, location and where the wake is being held. Ask elderly/disabled relatives if they need transport to the funeral.
After the funeral
- Send thank you messages by email, card or telephone to those who attended the funeral/and or sent flowers or other gifts/donations.
- Locate bereavement support services if you are in need.
- Contact either the Citizens Advice, the Government, or low-cost probate services to see if you need to apply for probate to deal with the estate.
- Contact the Citizens Advice or Government to find out if inheritance tax is payable.
If having a direct cremation 6), 7), 8), 9), and 10) would not apply.
If having a package funeral it may not be possible to 7) change the coffin.
**Different times for registering the death if any below apply.
- Directing you to low-cost funerals
- Free† financial help & discount probate
- Lower cost funeral plan providers
- Lower cost funeral suppliers
- Explaining home & natural burials
- Lower cost headstones & memorials
Steps 1-5 for cost-saving information
About Save Funeral Costs and informing people of cheaper funerals.
Help with Funeral Costs
Free financial help from the Government & charities.
Support with Bereavement
Help and advice on coping with bereavement and illness.
About death certificates, how to obtain one, and using the coroners office.
Undertakers may list a funeral as one cost, or plus disbursements.
Cremations & Burials
Cremation and burial costs can vary depending on location.
Most low-cost undertakers offer cheaper funeral packages.
About 20% of funerals are paid in advance with a funeral plan.
Writing a Will
Writing a will and what happens if no will is left.
Low-cost undertakers, headstones, services & suppliers.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ’S)
No, there is no legal requirement to use an undertaker or hold a service for either cremation or burial.
There is no legal requirement for undertakers to be trained or licensed as they are not regulated.
You can transport the deceased in the coffin to the crematorium or burial ground with your own estate car or van.
Both, but council owned crematoriums are often cheaper to use than privately owned crematoriums.
You can bury a body in your garden or private land providing you own the land (not mortgaged), follow the Environment Agency guidelines and there is no covenant on the property deeds not allowing a burial. Additionally an amendment would need to be made to the property deeds.
Natural burials in a woodland or field are also allowed, you would need to arrange this via the person/organisation who owns the land.
* Save around 50% based on SunLife Cost of Dying 2023 report, which states the average cost of a basic cremation was £3673 in 2022. Low-cost TDM Funeral Services Simple Service £1941. This is a 47% difference.
† Free financial help applies if the claimant is in receipt of certain Government benefits or is eligible for charity help.