The cost of dying has risen by 7.1% in the last year, heaping more misery on to families that are already struggling to make ends meet.
According t a study from the University of Bath, the current cost of dying is now £7,622, once a funeral, burial or cremation and estate administration have been taken care of.
The report adds that as many as 100,000 people could struggle to leave behind enough money to pay for their funeral.
England and Wales have some of the lowest ever mortality rates although the cost of dying has steadily increased in recent years.
Between 2004 and 2013, the cost of a funeral rose by 80% with the cost of dying expected to increase further during the next five years.
Dr Kate Woodthorpe from Bath University’s Centre for Death & Society said recent medical advancements has improved death rates dramatically.
“As a result people are living longer, which requires larger incomes and pension pots to ensure these extra years can be afforded,” she explained.
“Whether or not these will stretch to cover funeral costs is unclear. At the same time, the younger generations have less ready cash to call on, so they cannot necessarily be relied on to pick up the bill either.”
The number of deaths is expected to increase by between 15% and 20% during the next two decades due to the aging nature of the UK’s population.
As a result, the report called on the government to ensure that the state has safety nets in place to cover costs, with both the Social Fund Funeral Payment scheme and Public Health Funerals both under pressure.
The former of the two is in place to support struggling families to pay for funerals but concerns exist over its effectiveness and availability.
As a result, it is believed that “funeral poverty” could be as much as 50% higher than it was three years ago.
With the focus on the government to take action, attention could switch to whether or not society takes an active role in the ways people deal with death.
It is still considered something of a taboo subject so people are unprepared to talk about it, delaying any potential action.
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