I can't afford to die: Addressing funeral poverty

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


According to the Cost of Dying figures produced by Sun Life Direct, the average cost of dying has risen by 7.1% in the past year to £7,622. It is estimated that over 100,000 people will struggle to pay for a funeral this year alone.

The number of deaths in England and Wales is set to increase by 17% from now until 2037, which could lead to total cost of dying of £10.5bn by the end of this period.

Expenses associated with funeral costs often get overlooked as there is ever increasing pressure to prioritise for everyday living costs, both at an individual and societal level.

The public nature of funerals and the pressure individuals and families can feel to provide a dignified funeral for someone can lead them into making imprudent financial decisions.

Increasing numbers of people are seeking financial management advice following bereavement which can have a long term effect on the grief experience and individual's ability to manage.

More should be done to encourage people on low incomes to prepare for death through simple advice and guidance.

The government should rethink its Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) administered Social Fund Funeral Payment, which is highlighted as 'outdated', 'overly comlex' and 'insufficient' at meeting the needs of the poorest in society.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherInternational Longevity Centre
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2014


  • funeral poverty
  • funeral costs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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