Disbursements: Hidden Funeral Expenses Worth Saving For

A disbursement cost is an official term for third party funeral expenses you or a loved one will have to pay. You can crunch the numbers on disbursement fees by shopping around, but these are largely unavoidable funeral expenses that everyone must pay for.

At Capital Life Funeral Plans, we recently found that disbursements rank as the second most expensive aspect of the average funeral in the UK, behind the cost of a Funeral Director’s services. They readily exceed £1,000 for a traditional burial and can soar as high as £5,000 in more expensive areas of the country.


In this blog post, we’ll try to shed some light on the disbursements that are often thought of as hidden funeral expenses.

What are Disbursements?

Disbursements include some of the most obvious funeral expenses and some of the administrative fees that people often overlook as they prepare to plan a funeral. The single-most expensive disbursement costs are the burial or cremation fees. These obviously vary depending on where in the country the funeral will be held, with the most expensive third-party fee in the UK exceeding £18,000. This is to secure a grave deed in one of the most prestigious cemeteries in the country.

A typical funeral plan will cover the cost of your casket but not the price of your burial plot. Burial fees can be broken down into the cost of your grave lease and labour for digging and filling the grave. Funeral expenses have risen annually for the last 20 years, and in the last decade alone, burial fees have increased by as much as 77.9%. The UK’s average burial fees have now reached £2,174.

Funeral expenses vary from cemetery to cemetery, with additional charges often added on for non-residents of the local borough. You can also pay an annual fee for the council to keep a grave tidy year-round.

Cremations are increasingly popular because they’re more budget-friendly and they offer the uniquely personal choice of scattering your ashes wherever you want. This rift in cost is one of the main factors encouraging more people to choose cremations over burials. The average fee to use a crematorium is around £832, although this is also subject to similar non-resident charges.

One of the disbursements that often catches people off-guard are doctor’s fees, which include registering a death. You can’t perform a funeral in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland until the deceased has been certified by a medical professional. The cost of a death certificate is a mandatory funeral expense everywhere in the UK except Scotland, costing a flat figure of £164.

A Funeral Director can help you navigate those funeral expenses that aren’t signposted as well as the likes of a casket, flower arrangements, or transport hire. Yet it can be difficult to save for something when you aren’t sure how much it’s going to cost. That’s why it’s best to prepare a prepaid funeral plan that offers a generous allowance towards third party funeral expenses.

Cover Hidden Funeral Expenses with Capital Life Funeral Plans

Capital Life Funeral Plans is one of the UK’s most-trusted independent funeral plan providers, with a commitment to customer integrity and transparency. We’ve always tried to illuminate the trickiest aspects of funeral planning to make the process as easy for you to navigate as possible. It’s also important for us that your funeral plan covers as many of the necessities as possible, which is why many of our plans come with generous allowances for disbursement costs.

Explore our Funeral Plans in more depth, to discover how we can help cover your funeral expenses in a comprehensive manner. If you have any queries, please give us a call on 0800 411 8683. Or, contact us by filling out a short form and a member of our team will respond to you shortly.

We can also assist with Wills, Inheritance Planning, Probate, and LPAs.

[Source: SunLife Cost of Dying Report]