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How Cheap can a Funeral Be !
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# 1
Helen from yorkshire
Old 19-09-2005, 9:42 PM
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Default How Cheap can a Funeral Be !

My MIL is getting on in years and me and OH have been thinking about her funeral - morbid I know but it happens to us all!

We'll end up paying for it as she's probably not got a bean in the bank, she spends money like water. What we're looking for is the cheapest funeral possible - has anyone got any ideas of price. We did think about an old Ford Escort with a roof rack, but then maybe not !
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# 2
tootles
Old 19-09-2005, 10:10 PM
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Do not know about how cheap a funeral is but I do know of someone who went to tender after their mother died..... took the cheapest of three.

The only suggestion I have is that you ring a couple of undertakers and ask them about the options.
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# 3
Helen from yorkshire
Old 19-09-2005, 10:13 PM
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Thanks for that Tootles and what a good idea!
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# 4
trace-j
Old 19-09-2005, 10:19 PM
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Has the MIL made a will, burial or cremation preferences? Might be worth checking, without wanting to appear as a gold digger With burial not only having to pay for the service, stone, coffin, you also have to pay for the land.

It's probably worth your while phoning around funeral directors, etc to get prices and what various people can offer you. When the time comes you'll just want to get it over and done with, so I guess it is sensible to think ahead. This business is expensive, the OFT have produced some guidance.
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# 5
Helen from yorkshire
Old 19-09-2005, 10:23 PM
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What happens if MIL dies penniless and in huge debt but with a request in her will that she be buried. Can this be enforced even though we would have to pay for it?
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# 6
tootles
Old 19-09-2005, 10:32 PM
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Not neccessarily, a friend of ours had asked to be cremated, when she died her family overruled her wishes and had her buried. I believe you can get a grant towards a funeral, there is a leaflet in existance, try the website for pensions, I have an idea that I have read something on there.

Even with a burial you do not have to have a church service first you can have a service at the graveside equally you do not have to have a wake afterwards...... its up to you.

Funeral expenses are usually paid out of any monies left by the deceased, this is a legal requirement they are part of the dispersements before an estate can be settled.

Last edited by tootles; 19-09-2005 at 10:36 PM.
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# 7
Mr Proctalgia
Old 19-09-2005, 11:43 PM
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I have (unfortunately) been researching this subject, to put it bluntly you will spend about 2K, but........... There are options. Now, if the deceased is skint and you have money you cannot claim any help, if you are already claiming benefits then the council have to pay for a hearse and car and a "simple service" So.....Get someone on benefits to be the arranger! - You have to fill in a multipage form thingie but it is easy to do. It would be wise to think about whether she has any "known relatives" or not.
Also you can legally leave a body at the back door to the crematorium and they will dispose of it with payment of the burning fee, I was also advised that in extemis if the person concerned dies in hospital then if you simply walk away it becomes their problem.
What actually happened was that I arranged a service with a humanist, the best funeral I have ever been too (I know I know) A real celebration of their life and I think well worth the money, we cried, we laughed, we sang daft songs - but I think well worth the money.
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# 8
se999
Old 20-09-2005, 7:34 AM
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There's a chapter in 'Save Cash & Save the Planet' which covers births, marriages & deaths.

It includes information on cardboard coffins, and bamboo coffins, natural burial grounds and lots of alternatives. Although there are some regulations about disposal of bodies for obvious reasons, undertakers aren't the only option and probably aren't the cheapest.

This is the amazon link, but I think you can normally get it cheaper elsewhere if you shop around.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...390565-0990268

There's also the Natural Death Handbook, but I've not seen this so don't know what it's like, but this is the Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...390565-0990268

The other obvious money and time saver is to try to make sure there is a will in place in case there are any problems or disputes. So that the estate can be tidied up quickly and smoothly with as little expensive solicitor time as possible.

Edit - I remembered there were a couple of threads on the marriage, relationships board a while ago, here are the links:

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...light=funerals

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...light=funerals

They might give you some ideas on what you need to think about.

Last edited by se999; 20-09-2005 at 8:13 AM.
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# 9
Toothsmith
Old 20-09-2005, 8:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Proctalgia
Also you can legally leave a body at the back door to the crematorium and they will dispose of it with payment of the burning fee, I was also advised that in extemis if the person concerned dies in hospital then if you simply walk away it becomes their problem.
I believe the crematorium would prefer it if the body was wrapped up.

I think the minimum you could get away with is a couple of strong blokes, a couple of bin bags and a van/estate car. I would assume a valid death certificate would be needed at some stage in the disposal process as well.

I have told Mrs T.S that should she survive me, her task is to get the job done as cheaply as possible
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# 10
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Old 20-09-2005, 8:44 AM
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You could always chop her in half, submerse her in formaldahyde then sell her to some trendy london bar. Not only moneysaving, but it could also be pretty profitable!!

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# 11
culpepper
Old 20-09-2005, 8:54 AM
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When my father died my mother had to borrow the money to get him cremated.The undertaker insisted that he had to have a coffin and as far as we know,it burnt with him. He had 100 in the bank and the cremation cost 300 (1980) .
I believe it could have been done much more cheaply as there are cardboard coffins .Instead of an Urn,headstone etc she opted for an entry in a book kept at the crematorium.
Considering he was not a christian and actually scorned religeon ,I think the short service beforehand was also an unnecessary cost.
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# 12
Petal
Old 20-09-2005, 8:55 AM
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My Dad's is gonna be cheap. He's told me "cardboard coffin, cremation, no service, no flowers.....no nothing"

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# 13
Jay-Jay
Old 20-09-2005, 10:16 AM
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I'm arranging a funeral at the moment

I agree that the cost of an 'average' funeral is somewhere around the 2000 mark and although it 'could' be done cheaper it's not as easy as you would think.

For a start, once the person dies you don't have very long to make your decisions as you can't exactly hang about. You may be upset too depending on the circumstances of death ie:

If the death was unexpected (and messy) you would automatically call an ambulance, and if the doctor hasn't seen the deceased in the last few weeks then it's classed as sudden death and the police are called. The doctor comes but by this time the ambulance has gone so you have to make arrangements to take the body to a mortuary, possibly for a post mortem. As the ambulance has long gone and you're left with a body which needs moving sooner rather than later. It may be the middle of the night and you may be left without a clue what to do. This is where a funeral director comes in and a funeral director is the biggest cost.

I'm not saying that it's not possible to do it all yourself, I'm just saying that things don't always go to plan and that people don't always die peacefully in their sleep to be found at a reasonable time of day.

The job of a funeral director is to collect the body, transfer it to hospital (if a PM needs to be done) liaise with the coroner, collect the body, provide the coffin, clean up and embalm the body, dress the deceased in special clothes and provide a place where people can go to see the body. They liaise with the church(s), the crematorium, provide the funeral cars, flowers, obituary in the paper and they deal with it all with dignity. I just can't imagine having to do all that on my own having just lost a loved one in what I can only describe as horrendous circumstances.

It DOES cost around 2000 but IMO it's money well spent.
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# 14
Petal
Old 20-09-2005, 11:54 AM
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Jay-jay

Just wanted to say that I'm sorry for your loss

I had the task of arranging my Mother's funeral a couple of years ago....not easy

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# 15
Yorkielass
Old 20-09-2005, 4:07 PM
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My Grandad who is 85 paid for his funeral at least 10 years ago - did some sort of scheme with co-operative funeral directors I think, my Nan did die in 1988 so I think that's why he wanted it sorted so he could have whatever he wanted.

It's weird because people go on and on about how much weddings cost and things like that - but I doubt many people think about how much a funeral really costs - if I'd have had to guess I would have said about 800 - so obviously way off the mark

Jay-jay sorry to hear of your loss - hope your arrangements and the funeral itself go as well as can be expected.
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# 16
Judi
Old 20-09-2005, 6:08 PM
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When my Father and Step Father died, my mother was charged to have their bodies embalmed. Well, she paid, but they never asked her if she wanted them embalmed.

When my daughter did an NVQ in care. She had to do a section in death. So as she was under 18 i was asked to accompany her to a watch a body being embalmed. I went under duress and on an empty stomach, i asked loads of questions about the process, and why it was done. I made a decision that day that i wont be paying for any of my family to be embalmed. I have told MrJudi that if/when i die, when the undertaker comes for my body, i have told him to tell them, that i dont want to be embalmed, and have told him to tell them, that he wont pay for it if they do. It cost my mother over 300 a time to have the bodies of my dear Father and Father In Law embalmed. Which, in my opinion, (which may not be the same opinion as someone else i might add), is a total waste of money.
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# 17
Bogof_Babe
Old 20-09-2005, 7:31 PM
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My parents are 87 and 90, so obviously these things get discussed occasionally. I have no problem in paying for the best send-off they deserve, but what does slightly give me pause for thought is that as they both want to be cremated, what is the point of spending hundreds on a fancy coffin, only to see it go up in smoke?

It's such a waste of nature's resources, and the craftsmanship that goes into them. Somehow if they were being buried I wouldn't give it a thought.

Not sure of the best way to approach the matter of a cardboard coffin .

To lighten the atmosphere (?), when I was mistakenly (thank goodness) diagnosed with cancer, having been rushed into hospital with what turned out to be operable, my husband was talking to me about where I'd be buried (next to his mum so he could tend the graves at the same time ), I said he must arrange a wake at the pub, with food etc. as people might have travelled and would be expecting it. He said beggar that, he wasn't going to bother, and I got really upset. More upset than I was about the prospect of dying, actually.
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# 18
nearlyrich
Old 20-09-2005, 8:23 PM
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I arranged a funeral for a family friend who had no relatives a couple of years ago, they had no money or belongings that were worth anything and as they died in hospital the hospital paid for a simple funeral. That included the services of the undertaker, a hearse for the transfer to the crematorium and the services of a minister.
The simple funeral didn't include flowers, a wake, newspaper notices or any further cars but we made sure that no-one knew it was anything less than a proper do.

The deceased wanted their ashes scattering in the Garden of Remembrance where their spouse had been scattered so I didn't have the problem of what to do with the remains.

The cost was about 1600, the undertaker sent me a bill by mistake.
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# 19
Helen from yorkshire
Old 20-09-2005, 9:36 PM
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I can't beleive how much it costs for even a simple funeral. Thanks for all your posts, some of them are particularly interesting, especially the one about leaving the body at the crem door. I won't be doing that but believe that by the time she goes there'll be not a cent left in the bank and hundreds of debt letters piling up on the door mat.
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# 20
Mr Proctalgia
Old 20-09-2005, 9:50 PM
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Further to my earlier posting I found this site http://www.pushindaisies.com/candypr...?idproduct=184 and yes it is real! Also whilst researching my previous funeral I discovered that there is little price difference between a cardboard coffin and an economy veneered normal coffin, the reason is that the card ones have to be waterproof and need a lot of board to stand the weight. These seem like a good idea instead http://www.staffspasttrack.org.uk/ex...s/Funerals.htm
I know for a fact that you can deliver a body to the local crem (in a zip up body bag or coffin) no service or anything and it will be disposed of for a few hundred quid, there are however some costs that are unavoidable, such as death certs and copies thereof, also you need to see the registrar too!
My father was an undertaker for many many years and had some wickedly funny stories to tell (also some very very sad ones too) He was cremated by his old firm and they still billed us!! He used to love visiting Matlock Bath - So when he came back in a bottle we chucked him in the Derwent as he always did like a drink!
The best thing he told me was that funerals are for the living not the dead, so do what you think is right, the main participant won't complain about it.
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