The number of people having so-called paupers’ funerals in the UK is on the rise, an investigation by ITV News found this month.
Also known as public health funerals, they are what’s provided by the government when a family can’t afford to pay for a burial or cremation.
The ITV News investigation found that, across the 300 councils that responded to its freedom of information request, the number of paupers’ funerals carried out has increased by 70 per cent in the last three years.
In total, this cost councils just over £4 million in the past financial year alone. With the cost of funerals rising, while wages are stagnating and inflation is going up, it’s little wonder that people are struggling to find the money needed to pay for the funeral of a loved one.
What’s worse is that, in some cases, the council won’t allow the family to attend the cremation. The news provider also found that in some instances, the family was even prevented from collecting their relative’s ashes.
But what many people don’t realise is that there are options for affordable cremation out there – going down the route of paying a traditional undertaker and organising a standard funeral isn’t the only option.
While this may not be an option for everyone, it could help some families to avoid having a pauper’s funeral, and having a little more control over how they say goodbye to their loved one.
Another trend that’s been identified in the UK is the rise in the number of people who are crowdfunding to cover the cost of their relative’s funeral.
The Independent obtained data from crowdfunding platform GoFundMe, which revealed that the site is currently running over 100 campaigns for people who say they don’t have the money available to pay for the funeral of a loved one.
Funeral director Lucy Coulbert spoke to ITV News about the rise of paupers’ funerals and what she believes should be done to ensure that the families of those who pass away are able to grieve properly.
“It is a postcode lottery whether you are allowed to attend a service or whether you are not told when it will be. Whether you can have some ashes or whether you never really know where your person is,” she said.
What’s required is a national standard to ensure that everyone is able to say goodbye properly and grieve. Ms Coulbert added that, with the way things are now, “What we’re saying to people is because you are poor you can’t say goodbye to them.”
Direct cremation is one of the most affordable ways of holding a funeral. By working with a company that specialises in this approach, you can rest assured you’ll get all the support you need and will be able to say goodbye to your loved one in your own way.
There are different direct cremation packages available, including ones whereby you are given the ashes to scatter when and where you choose after the cremation has taken place.