Business

Cost of dying 'has risen by £400'

Headstones at night
Image caption Headstones are among the costs that family members face when a relative dies

The costs related to death, such as a funeral and a headstone, have collectively risen by £400 in a year to £7,248, a report says.

The cost is 20% higher than four years ago, according to the report commissioned by financial services company Sun Life Direct.

The cost of funerals was key to the increase, it said,

The research comes as the cost of living, measured by inflation, rose in August.

The rate of Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rose to 4.5% from 4.4% in July, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure increased to 5.2% from 5%.

'Concern'

The Sun Life Direct report suggested that the costs related to death were expected to keep rising.

"Currently the number of deaths each year in England and Wales is at an all-time low, with 491,348 deaths registered in 2009," said Kate Woodthorpe, lecturer in sociology at the University of Bath, who co-authored the report.

"It is anticipated, however, that the number of deaths will rise significantly and by 2030, there will be an additional 80,000 people dying a year.

"This equates to a rise of 17% in the death rate in less than 20 years."

The report suggested that the average cost of a cremation in the UK was £2,720 and a burial was £3,462.

Administration of the estate cost £2,292, it said, and other costs included catering for the funeral at £319 and flowers at £144.

However, the Church of England's law-making body, the General Synod, recently rejected a proposal to increase the price of funerals in Anglican churches from £102 to £150.

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