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Undoubtedly, one of life's most challenging experiences is losing a loved one. Amidst the emotional challenges, the practical aspects of arranging a funeral can seem overwhelming, particularly when it comes to covering the associated costs.

As a low-cost cremations provider, we believe that, in moments of grief, financial concerns should be the least of your worries. Fortunately, there are several avenues available to help ease the burden of funeral expenses. Read on to discover how to get help with funeral costs.

How much does a funeral cost, and what’s included?

Losing a loved one is a unique and emotional experience, and navigating the practicalities of arranging a funeral can add an extra layer of stress during an already difficult time. With the price of a traditional funeral rising every year, the main concern for many families is the cost associated with commemorating their loved one's memory.

Understanding the 3 main types of funerals in the UK, and their corresponding expenses, can help in planning ahead.

  1. Traditional burial

    According to the Cost of Dying Report, the average cost of a traditional burial in the UK currently stands at £5,077 *. Although, the price of a traditional burial tends to differ between regions.

    A traditional burial typically includes services such as: embalming, viewing or visitation, a ceremony at a place of worship or funeral home, transportation of the body, a casket and burial.

  2. Cremation

    Cremation comes in at the second most expensive funeral option in the UK, with the average cost coming in at £3,795 for 2024 *.

    Cremation involves the process of reducing the body to ashes through intense heat. Unlike a traditional burial, cremation does not require a casket or burial plot, making it a more affordable option for many families. However, additional costs may still apply for services such as urns, memorial ceremonies, or scattering of ashes.

  3. Direct cremation

    Direct cremation is the most affordable funeral option available in the UK, when compared with both traditional funerals and cremation. The average cost of a direct cremation in 2024 is £1,498 *.

    Given the typical cost of a direct cremation, we conducted an investigation into the leading direct cremation services in the UK to find out how their fees align with the average.

    Direct cremation is a simple, fuss-free, and cost-effective alternative to traditional funeral services. It typically involves the cremation of the deceased without a formal viewing or ceremony. Additionally, we offer attended direct cremations plans, to cater to modern needs.

    While it may lack the traditional rituals associated with a funeral, direct cremation offers a dignified, respectful and eco-friendly solution for families seeking a more economical option.

*Cost of Dying Report, by SunLife

Who pays for a funeral?

The responsibility for covering funeral expenses typically falls on the deceased's estate or surviving family members. Often, utilising the funds from the deceased’s estate can be a time-consuming process, especially if assets need to be sold.

However, navigating the financial aspects of a funeral can be challenging, particularly for those facing financial hardship. Many families and individuals in the UK don’t have the privilege of an estate to rely on. During this challenging time, getting help with funeral costs can provide much-needed support and reassurance.

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How to get help with funeral costs

While the prospect of covering funeral expenses may seem daunting, there are various avenues available to help ease the financial burden. Whether through government support, local council schemes, charitable organisations, or funeral plans, support is available to ensure that every individual receives a dignified farewell, regardless of financial circumstances.

Government Schemes

In the UK, the Funeral Expenses Payment scheme offers crucial financial support to individuals facing difficulties in covering funeral costs. However, it's important to understand the eligibility criteria to determine if you qualify for this assistance:

  • you get certain benefits or tax credits
  • you meet the rules on your relationship with the deceased
  • you’re arranging a funeral in the UK, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland

The benefits you, or your partner, must claim:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • the disability or severe disability element of Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • You might also be eligible if you’re getting a Support for Mortgage Interest loan

According to the official eligibility information page, produced by the UK government, you can still claim Funeral Expenses Payment if you’ve applied for these benefits, and you’re waiting to hear about your claim.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, the Funeral Expenses Payment can help with essential expenses, including:

  • Cremation fees, including the cost of the doctor's certificate
  • Travel expenses for making funeral arrangements or attending the service
  • Transportation costs within the UK if the body needs to be moved over 50 miles
  • Necessary documents like death certificates

Additionally, you may be eligible to receive up to £1,000 to cover other funeral expenses such as fees charged by the funeral director, floral arrangements, or the coffin itself.

In Scotland, a similar scheme exists, known as the Funeral Support Payment. It provides the same vital assistance to those in need during challenging times.

Local Council Schemes

Local councils may provide assistance for individuals who pass away with no known next of kin, or whose families are unable to cover funeral expenses. Public Health Funerals are arranged and funded by the local authority to ensure that everyone receives a dignified farewell.

While these funerals are typically simple in nature, they offer a compassionate solution for those in need.


Certain charities offer financial assistance specifically for families who have lost a child. The Children’s Funeral Fund provides support to help cover the costs associated with burying or cremating a child under the age of 18. This initiative aims to ease the financial burden on grieving families during an incredibly challenging time.

The Children’s Funeral Fund for England can help pay for the:

  • burial fees
  • cremation fees, including the cost of a doctor’s certificate
  • coffin, shroud, or casket (up to a cost of £300)

Direct cremation

Direct cremation is the most affordable funeral option in the UK. At Distinct Cremations, this option starts at just £1,199.

Since the cremation takes place without traditional elements like an attended service, opting for a direct cremation can significantly reduce funeral costs.

As well as being a low cost option, a direct cremation offers families the freedom to celebrate their loved one in a more personal way. You may choose to celebrate at home or at a place of significance, saying goodbye in a way that feels meaningful to them.

Funeral plans

A funeral plan is a prepaid arrangement that allows individuals and families to plan and fund a funeral in advance. It’s a proactive approach to end-of-life planning that ensures that the final wishes are documented and financially secured, providing peace of mind for both the individual and their loved ones.

One of the key benefits of a funeral plan is financial security. By paying for funeral expenses through a series of monthly instalment payments, you can cover the costs more manageable for future services. This can help alleviate the financial burden on family members, and ensure that funds are readily available when needed.

Unattended Direct Cremation Plan

From £1,699
or £19.44* per month

Celebrate a life without the restrictions of a funeral

  • A simple, dignified and
    affordable option
  • No formal service or
    attendees present
Find out more

Small Attended Cremation Plans

From £2,099
or £25.23** per month

Two simple service options for a family-led send off

  • A 10 minute service for
    up to 8 attendees OR
  • A 20 minute service for up to 20 attendees
Find out more

Funeral Plan

From £2,999
or £28.45*** per month

A respectful cremation funeral led by a celebrant

  • Unrestricted number
    of attendees
  • A full length service at
    the crematorium
Find out more

* Price advertised is for a 50 year old paying over a 10 year period. Total cost is £2,332.80 and includes administration fees. ** Price advertised is for a 50 year old paying over a 10 year period. Total cost is £3,027.60 and includes administration fees. *** Price advertised is for a 50 year old paying over a 10 year period. Total cost is £4,494.00 and includes administration fees.

For additional pricing information and a full list of our optional extras, please see our price list.

Here’s an idea of what you can expect from a direct cremation plan with Distinct Cremations:

✅ Collection of your loved one from a hospital or coroner's mortuary on weekdays during office hours.
✅ Expert care at our modern, professional mortuary facility.
✅ Thoughtful preparation of your loved one for cremation.
✅ Assistance with all necessary legal and cremation documentation.
✅ Round-the-clock support from our compassionate customer service team.
✅ Dignified transportation of your loved one via a private ambulance.
✅ Provision of a simple yet respectful coffin.
✅ A cremation service conducted with utmost respect and dignity.
✅ The scattering of ashes in our serene crematorium remembrance gardens or personal hand-delivery within 14 days.

Paying with the bank funds of the deceased

In certain situations, funds from the bank account of the deceased can be utilised to cover funeral expenses. However, accessing these funds typically requires specific documentation, including a death certificate and evidence of your relationship to the deceased.

When seeking to access funds from the deceased's bank account, it's generally necessary to provide:

  • Proof of your own identity,
  • A valid death certificate,
  • Adequate evidence demonstrating your relationship to the deceased,
  • An invoice for funeral expenses, bearing your name.

It's important to note that if you had access to the deceased person's bank accounts prior to their passing, using this information without proper authorisation can potentially lead to legal complications. It's advisable to contact the bank and arrange for payment through the appropriate channels to prevent any issues from arising. This ensures a respectful and lawful handling of the deceased's affairs during a sensitive time.

Save on funeral costs with a direct cremation

Direct cremation

With a direct cremation, you have the option to choose between an unattended direct cremation or an attended cremation, with the flexibility to pay over a period of months or years if you want a funeral plan.

A direct cremation plan provide peace of mind and financial stability in trying times, allowing you to tailor arrangements to your unique preferences, and celebrate the life of the deceased when the time is right.

Explore direct cremation

Other helpful resources

Learn more about organising a funeral and how to make paying for a funeral as affordable as possible. If you need to arrange a funeral straight away, give our compassionate team a call on 01543 211997.

Paying for a funeral: 7 ways to help

Cremation costs

Concern about paying for a funeral is often centred around having the funds available at the time of need to cover the burial or cremation costs. If you're worried arranging a funeral will stretch your finances, there may be alternative ways to pay.

Find out more

Arranging a funeral: step-by-step guidance

Senior lady arranging a funeral plan

Arranging a funeral during an already difficult time can be challenging. If you do have to arrange a funeral, knowing what to do and how to handle things can make a big difference. At Distinct Cremations, we do everything we can to make things as stress-free as possible.

Find out more

Life insurance or a funeral plan: which one is best?

Man completing paperwork following with support

When researching later-life financial planning options, you may be considering funeral plans or life insurance. Both options allow you the peace of mind that your family will be supported financially but in different ways.

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We offer the highest level of support, but don't take our word for it

Below are a selection of reviews from those who followed their instinct with Distinct and chose to buy a funeral with us.

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Anon 30 May 2024
first class
Mark 21 May 2024
Excellent communication, very helpful and we got just what we wanted in a service. Highly recommended and we will use again. Mark Oliver
Anon 2 May 2024
Service very efficient, and comprehensive. Understandably, you "chased me up" when there was a delay in my response to place an order, but this delay was whilst I contacted all those relatives who might have had a view to express.
Anon 24 Apr 2024
I was very happy with the service I received and they are only a phone call away if I or my sons should need advice or help in any way
Wendy 8 Apr 2024
This is a good company, the cremation was dealt with very smoothly without any problems. The staff were very courteous and professional throughout. Everything was explained over the phone and they were very patient answering my questions. The ashes were delivered on time to my door. Highly recommended.
Anon 7 Apr 2024
They gave a superb service, they were very professional from start to finish, but also friendly and empathetic too, at what was a very difficult time for myself and the family
Anon 6 Apr 2024
Dee was lovely and understanding and advice was easy to understand
Anon 5 Apr 2024
Very kind and helpful lady. She talked me through everything that I asked her about.
Based on 715 reviews
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