As one of East Anglia’s leading independent funeral directors who have been working with bereaved people and families since the 1980s, we know very well just how difficult a time of life it is when you lose someone important as well as the worries and stresses that can come with planning that person’s funeral. There are the practicalities to contend with, steps that must be undertaken and choices to be made – all the while you’re managing your sense of grief… but one concern that arises all too often surrounds the cost of dying.

Even with the best plans in place, the financial burdens placed on mourning loved ones can be a great source of stress.

SunLife’s 2024 Cost of Dying Report, published in February this year, reported that the average cost of a basic funeral – encompassing a burial or cremation, funeral director fees, a mid-range coffin, one funeral limousine, and doctor and celebrant fees – has risen to £4,141, an increase from £3,953 reported in 2023.

According to those surveyed for the report, this has meant that one in five families expressed “notable financial concerns” with 75% of all respondents indicating these costs had impacted their mental health and two thirds saying the same is true of their physical health. The report also highlights that 59% of people have needed to reduce certain aspects of the funeral to manage costs, including 20% spending less on flowers and more opting for more affordable coffins and wakes.

One of our aims is always to provide a high level of support and service to families, helping to reduce the immediate financial impact of a funeral while still providing a meaningful tribute and final send off for those they love.

One way that we achieve this is through our partners at Funeral Safe, who enable you to spread your funeral costs over a number of monthly payments, which can be made directly to your funeral company. Unsecured loans between £500 to £10,000 are able to be repaid over any time from 12 months to 5 years, plus there are no early settlement fees.

Every family and their hopes and requirements are different, but working together, we believe there are a range of ways to help negate the rises highlighted in the Cost of Dying report and to ease the financial strains of funeral planning, as Hunnaball Family Funeral Group Director, Melanie Hunnaball comments:

“Every industry is facing financial pressure to raise prices, but these kinds of reports only serve to worry already bereaved people with broad figures that may not be relevant to certain individuals. Our priority is always the emotional support we can provide at a tumultuous time to people when emotions are running high and work to a budget we are given.

The fact of the matter is that there are more ways to negate rising costs than ever before when it comes to funerals, such as choosing a direct cremation. The best option for many people worried about their loved ones in the event of their passing is to put a pre-paid funeral plan in place. This allows money to be put aside for your loved ones early on to not only ease the financial concerns, but also the emotional strain of putting your wishes in writing.”

If you sadly find yourself in the unfortunate position where you are responsible for a loved one’s funeral after they pass away, we are here to support and guide you through the whole process, whatever the available budget. Get in touch with our experienced and very compassionate team in your local Hunnaball branch or by calling 01206 760049 or emailing us at