Some funeral directors or funeral companies may appear cheap but be watchful for hidden costs and extras. Commonly added extras include picking up the deceased from a non-hospital location, the return of ashes and removal of implantable devices – pacemakers for example.
There are many low-cost funeral companies with very low, attention-grabbing prices. However, it is the case that many of these companies will charge extra for various services and pretty soon that initial price may not look so good. Let’s take a closer look at the some of these common extras.
Collection of the deceased from a non-hospital location
A funeral director may charge extra for collecting a deceased patient if they are not resting in the hospital. Many people die at home, in a nursing home or in a hospice.
Doing a quick search I found a couple of companies that will charge around £250 to pick a patient up from a hospice or nursing home.
In addition to paying more for collection from a non-hospital location, a charge of £195 may be added for picking the patient up out of working hours!
So here you can clearly see we’ve potentially already added £455 and that’s just to take your loved one into their care, something that has to be done in every case.
Many of the companies I found offer an enticing price of less than £1,000, but just taking the extra costs in the scenario above and we’ve almost increased the amount by 50%.
Having said all that it is understandable as they have to pay staff to perform these services, often during unsociable hours and at short notice.
Low-cost funeral companies often cover a large area, perhaps even the whole country, so sending someone to collect a patient could take a good few hours and this is going to have its costs.
Collection of a patient from the hospital is far more flexible, the hospital will have storage facilities which means the funeral company is able to schedule collection at a time that is convenient for them. There is also the possibility of collecting more than one patient at a time.
But to us, these charges do still seem a little steep and certainly highlight the need to be confident that you’ve fully understood the additional fees.
At Simple Cremations, we collect from non-hospital locations at no additional cost. We are a small family company and don’t have the overheads of staff costs, we consider such requirements as part of the service.
How Much Does It Cost To Return Ashes In The UK?
Many funeral companies will charge extra for this service too, you could be looking at a charge of around £50 to £75. In some cases this charge may be time-dependent, for example, if you want your loved one’s ashes back within a certain number of weeks then the charge applies. This is likely due to funeral companies returning batches of ashes, you get them returned when they’re in the area making deliveries.
We are happy to return ashes for no charge throughout Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire and will bring them to you as soon as possible. We work differently, the returning of your loved one’s ashes when you want them back is what matters most to us. If you would like them back as soon as possible then that’s what we’ll do.
We are also willing to look after the ashes for you until you are ready to have them back – many people are not ready emotionally to have the ashes back and we understand this.
Removal Of Implantable Devices
Implantable devices such as pacemakers and even artificial limbs must be removed before cremation can take place – not something everyone thinks of! Many funeral directors will charge for this service, again we do not.
Funeral Service Celebrant
This is a cost that I think most people are aware of being an extra expense, but we do still get questions asked about it so it’s worth covering here.
Some low-cost funeral companies offer the option of having a funeral with a service rather than a direct cremation (no service). If you require a celebrant, humanist or vicar this will incur an additional cost. At the time of writing, you should expect to pay around £215 for a celebrant to conduct the ceremony.
Typically this will include meeting with the celebrant to tell them exactly what you want the service to include. Of course, if you want to perform your own service this will save on celebrant fees. But do keep in mind that on day of the funeral people often find the event emotionally overwhelming and can’t face the prospect of delivering a service themselves.
Leanne offers her services as funeral celebrant for free, providing a personal service based on the memories of family and friends.
Choosing a low-cost funeral director in advance
If you have taken the decision to choose a low-cost funeral director but don’t expect to need their services for a significant amount of time – perhaps you just want to get the decision made so that it’s one less thing to think about down the line. It can be a good idea to just check in every now and then and read a few of the latest reviews and make sure that they’re still providing the quality service that they were when you picked them in the first place.
Cheap Funeral Companies – Summary
On the whole cheap funeral companies do offer funerals at a lower cost when compared to traditional funeral directors. However just because you’ve decided on a low-cost option doesn’t mean that it’s a case of choosing the first one you find.
Because these companies often cover the full country it means that you may face charges based on the amount of distance they have to travel and extra waiting times for the return of ashes. This is perhaps the trade-off when deciding between low cost and local firms.
At Simple Cremations we are in a unique position of being a low-cost funeral company that can offer many of the ‘extra services’ for no charge.
That said however, we don’t cover the whole country. We currently limit our coverage to Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, this enables us to provide a low-cost option without compromising on the personal service that we are known for.
I hope this has helped make you aware of some of the additional costs you may encounter and it’s the reason that we always recommend that you get at least three quotes and confirm exactly what the total amount will be with all the added charges.
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