When faced with the loss of a loved one, the last thing someone wants to think about is the expense related to a funeral. Often the cost comes as a shock to the family. However, it’s an expense that we can’t avoid.
Being prepared and understanding the costs involved can help the process of planning for a funeral a little bit easier.
Through the Employee and assistance programme (EAP), the Electrical Industries Charity(EIC) offers vital support services including will writing assistance, face to face and telephone counselling, legal and debt advice, financial grants or assistance and practical support to allow those who are struggling with the loss of a loved one the support and direction they need in their time of bereavement.
A recent example where EIC was able to offer funeral support was to Kevin’s family when he suddenly and tragically passed away.
Kevin worked in the industry for many years in a variety of capacities and then sadly and unexpectedly, Kevin suddenly passed away at the early age of 52 from a brain haemorrhage. Kevin leaves behind an ex-wife and four much loved daughters, two are grown and living independent lives and his other two daughters reside with their mum. The family were struggling with the shocking news of losing their father at such a young age and with no financial plans in place for his funeral, the family were anxious and concerned at being able to cover the cost of Kevin’s funeral.
It was Kevin’s niece who initially contacted the charity on behalf of his daughters asking for financial support to cover the funeral expense. Kevin’s niece confirmed that Kevin's children did not have the financial means to cover the cost of the funeral, this was putting the family under great stress as they wanted their father to have a peaceful funeral.
The EIC agreed to cover the cost of the funeral, through its EAP programme. This was a great support to the family and Kevin’s niece requested to include EIC’s details in their service sheet so that attendees could make charitable contributions to the charity who had made this uncertain time for the family a little easier with their support. The money raised was put back into the services we provide our deserving industry members.
Death can be an expensive business. According to a study from Sunlife, the cost of the average funeral now stands at just under £5,000, up a staggering 67 percent since 2008. And with inflation up by just 25 percent over the same period, the cost of dying is now outpacing the cost of living.
Sunlife says those who face significant hardship in meeting the cost of a funeral, have to find an average of £2,775 to meet the shortfall between the funds left by the deceased and the final cost, with 40 per cent turning to loans and credit cards to pay the bill.
Those in receipt of government support can apply for a grant called a Funeral Payment from their local authority. This can help to cover burial or cremation fees as well as transport to and from the cemetery. However, with the average grant coming in at £983 last year, families often still must find a significant sum.
If you are able to ease the burden on friends and family when you pass away, one of the best ways to do so is through a funeral plan. These allow you to pay for a funeral with a lump sum or over a period of months or years, while ensuring that you get the exact send-off you want.
Thanks to support from the industry, every year the Electrical Industries Charity is able to offer hundreds of our industry colleagues both practical and emotional support during their time of devastating bereavement.
If you or someone you know is struggling to deal with the loss of a loved one and requires support, please contact the EIC support team: