All funeral directors across the UK are legally required to display their prices.
In 2020, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) concluded their investigation into the funeral industry. They concluded that bereaved people are “not getting good value for money” from funeral directors or crematoria. They also found that lots of funeral directors weren’t open about their prices, making it difficult for customers to compare different companies.
So, they have made it a legal requirement for funeral directors to provide certain information to customers.
Some of the key things they must display, in a clear and prominent manner, on their websites and in their branches are:
- All their prices
- A Standardised Price List (for adult funerals), created by the CMA, showing prices for an Attended Funeral and Unattended Funeral
- Their terms of business, including the amount of any deposit, when the deposit and any balance must be paid, and any charges made for late payment
If you find a funeral director who does not provide this information on their website or in their branch you can report them, anonymously, to the CMA by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 020 3738 6000. Your details will not be passed on to the funeral director.
CMA: Things to know when arranging a funeral
Beyond the Standardised Price List, funeral directors can list their prices how they wish, including on their invoices. However, most will divide the bill into two parts:
Charges made by the funeral director
Costs listed here will be for items and services a funeral director provides, such as care of the body, transport, staff and a coffin.
Some will include all of these under one title, such as ‘Professional fees’, but for others this cost will only cover some items and others, like the coffin and hearse, may be listed and charged separately.
Sometimes known as third party fees, these are costs the funeral director pays to other parties on your behalf, such as the crematorium or cemetery, minister or celebrant and doctor’s fee.
When asked for a quote, funeral directors may still just tell you their fees, so make sure any cost you are given includes disbursements or third party fees.
Be aware that the doctor's fee, required for cremations where the coroner has not carried out an investigation, is now just £82. It used to be £164 to pay for two doctors to complete forms, but only one is required now. Some funeral director websites have not been updated.