Guide to Burial Costs & Arrangements

The Cost of Burials in the UK

  • In the UK there are several religious and natural methods to deal with a burial. There are also laws and certain requirements that need to take place to ensure all burials proceed correctly and in an acceptable and respectable fashion.
  • Burials are still common place, though people do seemingly opt more and more for a cremation due to the perceived cost.
  • It would not be correct to write down exact costs of a burial, as they fluctuate from area to area. We have a funeral calculator with more recent data. We can however explain how burial costs are formed and what they compare to.
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The Funeral Director

Many people choose to use the services of a funeral director who are well versed with the ins and outs of funeral procedures as well as understanding the different religious procedures.


For the most part their fee is standard whether choosing Cremation or Burial. You may choose to organise the funeral yourself, this will save you some money. A burial will tend to cost more than a cremation, especially with further burial arrangements added on top.

Coffin or Casket?

The coffin or casket, the type of wood used, whether religious ceremony or humanist burial. A religious ceremony may cost more, as would entail more organisation but inherently more contained within the cost, such as the service and planning.

With actual burial costs you may be surprised to find that a plot is not forever. 


Burial plots tend to be on a leased basis of 100 years or more. Which is where family plots and mausoleums come in to play for longer durations and to plan for future generations. It is possible that some burial plots will be used more than once, you will need to ask how a Church or Cemetery handles this situation.


Where a Husband and wife plot is arranged, you may find that the plot has already been paid for, just the service needs organising and accounted for financially.


In circumstances where you wish for a person to be buried in a different location to where they have lived, it may cost more. Over and above the difference in cost for village, town or city burials.

Arranging The Burial At A Church

Announcement of Death

Upon announcement of death and with the grieving process beginning, many people turn to a Funeral Director to organise the burial and service.

Organising Burial Yourself

If you choose to organise the burial yourself, you will need the death certificate as proof with the Certificate for Burial, and contact a celebrant and religious representative at the Church, place of worship or Cemetery to arrange the burial.

The information that you will need to supply will be along the lines of:

  • The name, address and age of the deceased
  • Discuss and arrange a date and time of the funeral itself
  • Churches and Cemeteries are surprisingly busy, you may need to ring a few or take the first date offered, which may be a week to tend days away
  • Provide details of the person arranging the funeral planning so they can be made aware of any changes.
  • Details such as coffin / casket size and if there is a family plot or pre-purchased burial plot
  • You will need the certification and Grave number
  • For a free estimate on burial costs with a funeral plan click here

Variances In The Burial Service

There are three types of service:

A Funeral Service

Held inside a building or place of worship

A Memorial service

A gathering some months or years later

A Burial service

The latter is where people congregate at the actual Burial plot. This can be a small affair after a funeral service or the actual plot can be the centre of the funeral service.

  • There are several considerations if choosing this, and a few religious observations:
  • Emotionally it is probably more vivid to see a coffin lowered into the ground.
  • These services take place outside, so the weather can play a huge part in how it proceeds.
  • Chairs and seating can be placed, flowers arranged, podium for speakers and celebrant.
  • This not an unusual service and is observed worldwide in Christian countries.

People can speak and provide a Eulogy as normal, some additional observations may be that after the coffin or casket is lowered, people might wish to scatter soil or drop flowers on top.


Such a service is a personal choice and family members might be consulted before deciding on a Burial service.

Choosing A Green Burial Or Woodland Funeral Instead

If the Will has stated a natural burial, this may consist of an eco friendly burial in line with humanist wishes.

Wills, Burial Legalities And Memorials Or Headstones

  • A Funeral Director will arrange the following legal items for you:
  • If arranging the burial yourself you will need to register the death and you will receive a Certificate for Burial.
  • No one can be buried without such a document and authorisation first.
  • Except when a Coroner is involved. Instead an Order for an Interment - burial in a grave or tomb - will be issued.

The Will contains wishes of the recently deceased. 


In most cases they should be adhered to, yet when it comes to burial and choice this is not as clear cut. If you are finding it difficult funding all wishes for a funeral service or burial, please understand that you are not legally obliged to carry all of them out.


Contact the local council or people you are arranging the funeral with and you may be able to receive financial support. Of course, many opt for a prepaid funeral plan whereby costs can be spread and paid monthly, which means that there is less financial pressure and wishes can be adhered to.


When people think of burials they see a mound of earth with a a headstone. There is no legal requirements to have a headstone but they do look nice and are appropriate if family will visit the Grave in the future.


They do take time to arrange. It can take two months to create the headstone and up to six months for the ground to settle before it can be laid. Headstones or memorials can be arranged months or years after the funeral.

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