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The high cost of funerals is to come under scrutiny, with two separate reviews being launched. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is reviewing funeral costs, “to ensure that people are not getting a bad deal”.

Meanwhile, the Treasury is focusing on concerns over pre-paid funeral plans. Consumer groups have complained that people who pay for their funerals in advance could find their relatives face extra costs after they die.

The Treasury is considering a move that would mean tougher regulation of pre-paid funerals and is opening a consultation process.

‘Challenging time’

The CMA said that because of the Treasury’s separate action, it would not examine the pre-paid funerals sector.

Instead, it will look into the cost of funerals in general. It wants to ensure that people have clear information on prices and services and get a fair deal on cremation fees.

The average cost of a funeral in 2017 was nearly £3,800, the CMA said.

Many plans do not cover costs such as embalming, limousines, a funeral service, a wake, burial plots or memorial stones.

In some cases, families are left having to find an extra £2,000, even though they expect such items to be included.

Funeral costs broken down

Were you to buy the parts of a funeral separately, rather than as a plan, these would be the typical costs – although they can vary significantly in different parts of the UK:

Moving deceased to Chapel of Rest £99; hearse and chauffeur £315; coffin £275 to £1,500 or more; minister or officiant fee £148; funeral director’s professional fees £1,000 to £1,500

Cremation costs: Cremation fee £660; cremation urn £200; ash plot £450; doctor’s fees (not payable in Scotland) £164

Burial costs: Interment fee (grave-digging and backfilling for a single depth grave) £150 to £1,734; burial plot cost £280 to £5,000 or more; stone memorial £800 to £1,200 or more

Optional costs: Embalming £136 to £165; limousine and chauffeur £305; flowers £151; order of service sheets £72; church service £98 to £149; catering £397

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