The cost of dying has risen in UK as it now costs an average of £7,662 (about N2m) – a 7.1 per cent increase on 2012.

In a study conducted by Sun Life Direct, an insurance service firm the figure, which includes costs such as probate, headstones and flowers as well as the funeral, varies significantly across the regions, with London the most expensive at £9,556.

Wales is the least expensive with an average cost of £6,096.

The cost of a funeral has also increased by 5.3% since last year to £3,456, or 80% higher than in 2004, with the average burial costing £3,914 and a cremation costing £2,998.

The insurer found that this year’s increase was mainly due to a rise in cremation and burial fees, which are usually controlled by local authorities. Burial fees have risen by 69% since 2007 and cremation fees by 51%, according to the report.

The average amount spent on funeral extras such as flowers, catering and limousines increased by £83 to £2,006.

Almost one in five people (18%) who have organised a funeral in the past four years have struggled with the cost, with the average shortfall rising from £1,246 to £1,277 year on year.

Sun Life Direct spokeswoman Melanie Rees said: “As over 100,000 people struggle to pay for a funeral this year, an important message for everyone should be to do something to prepare, however small.

“As funeral poverty has increased 50% in just three years, something must be done as a matter of urgency before more families are unable to give their loved ones the send-off they deserve”.

Dr. Kate Woodthorpe, a lecturer in sociology at the University of Bath, said: “It is disappointing that the number of people who struggle to afford a funeral shows no sign of abating. Funeral poverty has increased more than 50% in the last three years and it is likely that this will continue.

“The notable postcode lottery of funeral costs, especially in terms of cremation and burial costs is particularly troubling. People need to realise that death is one of the few certainties in life and must be addressed ahead of time, so that plans can be made with regard to who will pay for their funeral, and how.”

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