Advertisement
Private Profiles - an update on how they will be changing here
We've partnered up with Nixers.com to offer a space where you can talk directly to Peter from Nixers.com and get an exclusive Boards.ie discount code for a free job listing. If you are recruiting or know anyone else who is please check out the forum here.

Funeral Costs and arrangements

  • 19-04-2020 1:47pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,421 ✭✭✭ Tork


    Mod Note

    Leading on from the 'Cost of a Funeral' thread. We thought it might be useful if there was a place for a discussion on funeral costs and arrangement, but felt the thread it was in was not the appropriate place.

    So I've lifted some of the helpful posts from that thread and created this one and the discussion can continue here, obviously in line with the forum Charter.


    You can save a bit by shopping around, though this has come too late for the OP :( We saved quite a lot of money by not using the local undertaker (let's just say they are making hay from the decades long status of being the only undertaker in town). It is a horrifically expensive time though, even if you shop around. These prices don't include another big bill that comes the family's way later on. If you buried your relative, tradition has it that the headstone should be up by the time their first anniversary mass comes around. That puts even more pressure on people and I wish it wasn't the norm. People don't like to talk about death, much less how anyone is supposed to pay to give them a send-off.

    OP if I still had our itemised bill I'd happily send it to you even if it is out of date. The undertaker sent it to us with the invoice and there were no nasty surprises in the bill. We knew what it was going to cost before he did anything for us. I'm very very sorry for your loss. Death is hard enough to deal with at the best of times but when you have to have a "Covid" funeral, it ramps up the awfulness of it all.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,680 ✭✭✭ phormium


    Having paid for a funeral within the past 6 months pre Covid the cost was €5,600 or thereabouts, can't remember exact amount, did not include buying a grave but did include opening etc. Not in a city, rural village with local undertaker, have to say it cost less than I thought it would. That included priest/church costs, singer/music was extra obviously as separately arranged.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,699 ✭✭✭ Rows Grower


    Tork wrote: »
    You can save a bit by shopping around, though this has come too late for the OP :( We saved quite a lot of money by not using the local undertaker (let's just say they are making hay from the decades long status of being the only undertaker in town). It is a horrifically expensive time though, even if you shop around. These prices don't include another big bill that comes the family's way later on. If you buried your relative, tradition has it that the headstone should be up by the time their first anniversary mass comes around. That puts even more pressure on people and I wish it wasn't the norm. People don't like to talk about death, much less how anyone is supposed to pay to give them a send-off.

    OP if I still had our itemised bill I'd happily send it to you even if it is out of date. The undertaker sent it to us with the invoice and there were no nasty surprises in the bill. We knew what it was going to cost before he did anything for us. I'm very very sorry for your loss. Death is hard enough to deal with at the best of times but when you have to have a "Covid" funeral, it ramps up the awfulness of it all.

    The reason people have associated this with being the usual or normal thing to do is simply it is the minimum amount of time recommended to allow the filling in of the ground to settle and avoid subsidence once the headstone is erected.

    I lost both my parents fairly recently but before the Covid 19 pandemic, they both lived full lives but needed care at their home before passing away peacefully.

    Myself and my siblings all thank God that they actually went before this atrocity arrived, we were able to spend unrestricted time with them and they had the best of care during their latter years and we were comforted by the great turn out at their funerals which were actually a celebration of their lives.

    I can't imagine how hard it most be for anyone to lose a loved one in these times and would imagine the grief would only be compounded to be hit with a huge unwarranted bill afterwards.

    It is a very emotional time at the best of times.

    "Very soon we are going to Mars. You wouldn't have been going to Mars if my opponent won, that I can tell you. You wouldn't even be thinking about it."

    Donald Trump, March 13th 2018.



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,150 ✭✭✭✭ KKV


    So for a Joe Soap who has yet to deal with a funeral, and will obviously not be in the proper frame of mind when the time comes to bury a parent or such; what are the options out there?

    Like what is the process? I find, for argument sake, my parent dead in their bed in the morning. I presumably ring the Gardai, who pop up and rule out foul play? Perhaps the HSE send an ambulance to confirm that the person is actually dead, at the same time? Do the Gardai then give you like a business card with details for local undertakers and such?


    In my town there's a fairly prominent undertaker, and they often seem to be removing a body from a house at practically the same time as the Gardai initially arrive.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,039 ✭✭✭ markc1184


    My mothers funeral was last October in Drogheda, plot already owned and previously used. For the undertakers fees, coffin and accessories, gravedigger, church fees, musician, the afters and I'm sure I'm missing out on some, there was a few €'s change out of €6k.


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,038 ✭✭✭✭ LegacyUser


    phormium wrote: »
    Having paid for a funeral within the past 6 months pre Covid the cost was €5,600 or thereabouts, can't remember exact amount, did not include buying a grave but did include opening etc. Not in a city, rural village with local undertaker, have to say it cost less than I thought it would. That included priest/church costs, singer/music was extra obviously as separately arranged.

    We paid for a funeral in the last 6 months or so as well - also pre-Covid. Not in Dublin, but one of the big towns a short spin away, with cremation on the outskirts of Dublin and interment of ashes in pre-existing plot back in the home town.

    €5,800 or thereabouts. Not a big funeral by any means, but most of the cost items seemed to be normal things I've seen at pretty much every funeral I've ever attended. The biggest expense on the bill was a bit vague, referring just to the core funeral service (hearse and various elements of removal and funeral). Second biggest was the coffin.

    If anyone is interested in the cost details I can share. I won't say who the undertakers were, mainly because I don't want to overshare location information, but it wasn't the first family funeral they've done for us and I would definitely ask them again.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 386 ✭✭ hayser


    I'm so sorry for your loss. A lot of people might not realise but if a loved one was a member of a credit union or part of a union during their working years, they may be entitled to a death benefit. It can really help at times like these.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,421 ✭✭✭ splinter65


    KKV wrote: »
    So for a Joe Soap who has yet to deal with a funeral, and will obviously not be in the proper frame of mind when the time comes to bury a parent or such; what are the options out there?

    Like what is the process? I find, for argument sake, my parent dead in their bed in the morning. I presumably ring the Gardai, who pop up and rule out foul play? Perhaps the HSE send an ambulance to confirm that the person is actually dead, at the same time? Do the Gardai then give you like a business card with details for local undertakers and such?


    In my town there's a fairly prominent undertaker, and they often seem to be removing a body from a house at practically the same time as the Gardai initially arrive.

    In small town Ireland in the circumstances you describe the Gardaí will indeed recommend undertakers to you and if you’re too upset they will ring one for you who will then pitch up and take over and lead you through the options available to you.
    They will organise everything for you according to your wishes within reason. You will be asked to pick a coffin/casket, sometimes from a brochure sometimes in an viewing room. Somethings you ask for might not be possible. For example if you choose a Catholic or other religious funeral then you will have to adhere to the conditions imposed therein. This can cause issues. The funeral mass is a public event in normal times. You won’t have exclusive use of the church. The liturgy of the mass cannot be usurped by your wishes.
    In other words your loved ones funeral just happens to be part of the mass. You can’t take away any bits of the mass or add in any bits that wouldn’t be appropriate.
    This includes music. The priest can and will veto songs or performances he considers inappropriate during the mass.
    Don’t forget you can have these performances stories poems or songs to your hearts content either at home in the funeral home or in the graveyard.

    You don’t have to organise anything to do with the grave digging/opening/booking crematorium as the undertaker will do all that.
    The undertaker will transport your loved one to and from the PM if there is one.
    You might be asked to pick out clothes for your loved one to be buried in.
    The undertaker will organise flowers but you can get your own or have none if you like.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,029 ✭✭✭ gipi


    KKV wrote: »
    So for a Joe Soap who has yet to deal with a funeral, and will obviously not be in the proper frame of mind when the time comes to bury a parent or such; what are the options out there?

    Like what is the process? I find, for argument sake, my parent dead in their bed in the morning. I presumably ring the Gardai, who pop up and rule out foul play? Perhaps the HSE send an ambulance to confirm that the person is actually dead, at the same time? Do the Gardai then give you like a business card with details for local undertakers and such?


    In my town there's a fairly prominent undertaker, and they often seem to be removing a body from a house at practically the same time as the Gardai initially arrive.

    When that particular undertaker turns up at the same time as the gardai, they are working on behalf of the coroner, not the funeral director, and are there on request from the gardai. The deceased may be brought to the hospital for post mortem in some cases.

    It is up to the family of the deceased to contact a funeral director to make arrangements. Gardai wouldn't generally advertise on behalf of any in particular.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,029 ✭✭✭ gipi


    KKV wrote: »
    Very helpful reply, thanks a lot, man. Can I ask, in terms of caskets and such, how does it work? Do they try to up-sell you, or do they leave a booklet with you (assuming they work from a brochure and not a viewing room) and you give them a shout and let them know? Or is it a 'need to know now, hurry it up, you know they would have wanted the best' kind of pressure sales pitch?



    (or is that just one of those things that varies from place to place?)

    My own experience from a couple of years ago was as follows, if it's any help.

    My father died in hospital.
    I contacted the local undertaker and arranged to meet them in their office. A few details were taken over the phone.
    My mother and I went to the office and the admin staff filled out their form - I guess it was a booking form, for want of a better description.
    Included were details of what ceremony we wanted and whether there was already a grave plot or if we had to buy one.
    We were then brought to the room to view the various coffins - no hard sell, in fact the staff member left to allow us discuss our options in private.
    Once we decided, and final arrangements (e.g., any music or flowers) were made, we were given a detailed estimate of the cost.

    There was never any pressure selling, whether it be music, coffins, or mourning cars.


  • Registered Users Posts: 931 ✭✭✭ Large bottle small glass


    When my father died 9 years ago I dealt with the undertaker.

    I explained that the man who died had gone through life without ever leaving a debt unpaid or ripping anyone off.

    I asked him for a full breakdown of costs, and also asked him did I need to walk to his nearby competitors. He was very reasonable, utterly professional and I wouldn't hesitate to reccomend him now.

    I needed an undertaker in more tragic circumstances 3 years ago and he was beyond professional with his assistance and patience.

    I always wondered why people had a family undertaker(common in country areas anyhow) and now I know.

    It's more a vocation than a career.

    As for pressure to get headstone done within 12 months; fcuk that. Do it right, take your time and do things your way.

    Condolences to all the recently bereaved in this thread.


  • Advertisement
  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,657 ✭✭✭ AulWan


    Did your parents have a say in all this?

    I don't doubt your care for them, but just wondered.

    Yes, these were their wishes as discussed with them. They're both still alive, by the way!

    I figured I could just cut and paste the details here:

    To Professional Services, Administration and Co-ordination
    of the Funeral Arrangements, and supply of the following:

    • Veneer Mahogany Coffin, Raised Lid, Figured Sides, Brass Bar Handles.
    • Hearse and Bearers: Removal from place of death to our Funeral Home.
    • Preparation and Dressing.
    • Hearse, Bearers and one Limousine: Removal to XXXXXXX and thence Funeral to XXXXXXXX Cemetery.

    €4,525.00

    DISBURSEMENTS:
    • XXXXX Cemetery: Grave Opening Fees. 460.00
    • South Dublin County Council Fees. 460.00
    • Obituary Notice in Evening Herald Newspaper and RIP.ie. 190.00
    • Soloist Fees. 130.00
    • Organist Fees. 130.00
    • Church Offering: 200.00
    • Gratuities: Gravediggers and Church Sexton. 100.00
    • Total €6,195.00


    Note this didn't include flowers, which as discussed with the funeral director, would be another €400 if they arranged them. He gave me the name of a florist with a nod and a wink, who does them for €100.

    As I said, this is a little over 3 years old now, so I would possible add another €1000 onto the cost? (eta) doesn't include afters either, but it would be a soup/sandwich in a local hostelry, and buy your own drink. Definitely not a full sit down meal. I've never been at a funeral with a sit down meal?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,072 ✭✭✭ ebbsy


    I had to arrange the brother in laws cremation in 2012.

    Crematorium fee : 800
    Funeral director : 3500 - 4000 cant be sure
    Hotel etc other costs 1000

    So we dint get away with less than 6000 back then God knows what it is now.

    When I phoned my Dad for advice he said "you phone the funeral director at the start and pay him at the end".

    it's not a job we all can do. Best of luck to the OP.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,303 ✭✭✭✭ jimmycrackcorm


    I've been curious about funeral payments are arranged. Not everybody faced with a sudden loss, is going to have 5/6k handy to pay on demand. but I've never heard of anyone being chased legally for an unpaid funeral debt.


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,038 ✭✭✭✭ LegacyUser


    I've been curious about funeral payments are arranged. Not everybody faced with a sudden loss, is going to have 5/6k handy to pay on demand. but I've never heard of anyone being chased legally for an unpaid funeral debt.

    I posted above about a funeral I was involved in arranging. I'm also an executor. In our case, there is a wee bit of money and that will go to paying the bill. It's the executors' duty to meet all expenses before any estate is "paid out" - but they also have the legal authority to do that so they don't have to wait for probate to be completed. As it happened, the person had some savings in the local CU, and those combined with a small insurance payment have already covered the funeral expenses and will just about cover probate costs.

    That said, I have no idea what would happen in a situation where the deceased and family simply had no money and no estate.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,316 ✭✭✭ JustAThought


    If the family have little or no savings, and the house has been taken by the un-‘fair’deal, they will probably organise the funeral as normal and hopefully prudently and a good undertaker will talk through options and ballpark different ranges of costs as they go along so they can use their discretion and make choices that will not ruin them.

    A good idea thou embarassing is to openly say to the undertaker tht there is not a lot if money in the house and a good undertaker will be looking for ways to cut costs for them and steer them to less costly choices eg the casket which varys hugely in range and is where they make their big profit.

    At the time of organising preferably or once a bill is issued they can discuss payment plans - installments - everybody underatands that not everybody has a spare 6 or 8 or 12k knocking around.

    Funerals can be part paid off by different means - payment of debit or credit cards - a payment can be taken from different people by card - time of organising is always a good time to get people to put some money down - particularly when emotions are high and sympathy strong - and especially in lieu of buying multiple family wreaths or costly flowers.

    Credit unions often pay a set fee for funerals or they may have paid into out a funeral payment plan at the credit union - say your account has to always be e100 in credit and you pay e10 a year fee or whatever. Not all CU’s do it.

    Some organisations - gaurds, some professional membership organisations like some of the oldr accountancy professional bodies pay out an amount to the family of the deceased on their death.

    Even if you are not in receipt of any social welfare payments and are working you can ask at the local social welfare office for an exceptional needs grant to help pay for a funeral - the maximum they will pay is e2,000 per death. You make a list of your outgoings and debt and list it on one side of a page and put your monthly take home pay and your funeral bill on the other side - it makes it easy for the social welfare officer to see at a glance you need the payment without having to upset yourself talking.
    Eg - even if you have paid it upfront list it monthly:
    car tax 600 pa = 50 pm
    car insurance 700pa = 58 pm
    house insurance 600 pm = 50 pm
    monthly mortage payment = 1,400 pm
    Lx & gas bill per month = 45 pm
    Bb & phone pm = 65pm
    VHI pa = 800 = 66 pm
    Basic family food pm = 100 pw = e400 pm
    Petrol to travel to work = 60 pw = e240 pm
    doctors /dentists charges and perscriptions = e60
    Childrens books/needs/ fees etc
    Childminding etc

    Then you offset this 2,800
    monthly amount or whatever your childminding/car loan etc is against the 8,000k for the bill and your take home pay. You will typically need the bill from the undertaker at this time -“as proof. They may make the bill out to the funeral director.


    There are also below the radar government payments made to families whose loved one has died if they fall within certain brackets:
    - surviving children payment under x age (check 18 or 21) this is a significant payment
    - if the deceased died while working OR while travelling to or from work - occupational death payment
    - if the deceased was a special category person they may also be entitled to a death payment - check citizens information ( haemophiliac, survivor of abuse but listed within named schemes , ex resident of a magdalen laundry etc)
    -if the person was legally blind and registered - I may be now incorrect with this but it used be the case - same with a person in an institutional care home - again check citizens info for 2020

    If the deceased was in receipt of a pension OR of a social welfare payment this will be paid for a further 6 weeks after death but you have to notify them - they will often send out a cheque for the full 6 weeks amount


    All these can help towards funeral costs - particularly when times are tight.

    I would also like to mention that many undertakers witk routinely with the local vincent de paul who, if you approach them, can negotiate a deal with the undertaker to reduce
    the overall bill and with this discount in place then help you with regular installment payments or may give you a cheque to help cover the costs. This can be done in addition to availing of some or all of the above and the funeral directors are used to this - as they are to mixed type and part/installment payments.

    BUT - if having to
    organise a funeral ASIDE from all of the above,
    The BEST way to manage the bill is to ASK UPFRONT when you first go in for A PRICE on the funeral - they will ask you some key questions - one or two movements to the Church, burial or cremation, typeof casket (ask the prices and pick the second least expensive or if cremation the least expensive) if you need cars (NO), (costly) flowers - keep it simple , a a standard or low cost casket - then say thank you and that you will have to confer with the family AND you will call them back. Then ask them if they can do a better price - they may knock a few hundred or a thousand off at this stage. Leave, and ring or go
    to another funeral home and do the same - say YOU WOULD LIKE A PRICE on a funeral . there will typically be a big difference between both prices. The time to do it is BEFORE you give them permission to take the deceased into their care. This is when the funeral director is always worried that you will give the business to the guy in the next village and he will knock thousands off the bill if you do it at this point - but rarely after. Even if you fet all the grants and payments made , this is the BEST WAY to get the lowest price for your loved ones funeral. This does not affect the quality of the service, just the quality of
    the life of the remaining family left struggling to pay the bill and have a respectful and dignified funeral for their loved one.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,657 ✭✭✭ AulWan


    If the deceased was in receipt of a pension OR of a social welfare payment this will be paid for a further 6 weeks after death but you have to notify them - they will often send out a cheque for the full 6 weeks amount.

    They only continue to pay for a further 6 weeks (12 in the case of a carer) in some cases.

    eta from DEASP website:

    Death of the person claiming a social welfare payment:

    When someone who was getting a social welfare payment dies, their spouse, civil partner or cohabitant
    [not next of kin] may get 6 weeks of this payment after the death. It will be paid at the same weekly rate your late spouse, civil partner or cohabitant was getting.

    The following payments can be paid for 6 weeks after death:

    • State Pension (Non-Contributory) or State Pension (Contributory)
    • Jobseeker's Benefit or Jobseeker's Allowance
    • Illness Benefit
    • Disability Allowance
    • Invalidity Pension
    • Blind Pension
    • Carer's Benefit or Carer's Allowance
    • Farm Assist
    • Injury Benefit or Incapacity Supplement
    • Working Family Payment
    • Back to Work Family Dividend

    To qualify, your spouse’s, civil partner’s or cohabitant’s social welfare payment must have included a payment for you (an Increase for a Qualified Adult) or you were getting one of the payments listed above in your own right.

    In all cases you must inform the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection of the death of the person claiming the payment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,218 ✭✭✭ Up Donegal


    I've been curious about funeral payments are arranged. Not everybody faced with a sudden loss, is going to have 5/6k handy to pay on demand. but I've never heard of anyone being chased legally for an unpaid funeral debt.

    I think that anybody who has to arrange a funeral for a family member, especially in rural areas will find the money somewhere (loan from bank/cu, family members).
    The last thing they want to have said is that they didn't have the money to pay the undertaker.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,657 ✭✭✭ AulWan


    As it happened, my aunt died last week and was buried on Saturday. Same funeral director, we used the same basic plan as I posted above, with some differences.

    If we'd been able to stick exactly to the original plan it would have been approx €7,500 which is a little bit of a jump from €6125, but I would have expected that in 3 years. They provided us with a fully costed and itemised quote which was agreed upon the same day as we contacted them to make arrangements. Having an advance plan to work off helped enormously with this.

    The main differences were, there was a different coffin chosen, (€1k less) there were no family limos, no church service, we went straight from funeral home to the graveside where we were met by the officiant, and the flowers were provided by the funeral directors. No afters, which will be held later when restaurants re-open. Total cost was €5250.

    Though very scaled back it was a nice funeral and the funeral directors did an amazing job and made it all feel effortless, even though they must be under substantial pressure.

    Regarding payig for the funeral:

    Many may not realise this, (I didn't know myself until this week) but any funds below €23k held in credit union accounts are not considered part of the deceased estate. If they have signed a valid nomination form naming a member of their family to receive that money, then it goes to them. What CUs can do, is pay the funeral fees directly from the CU account, if requested by that person. This avoids having to wait months to access funds in banks or elsewhere where probate may be needed.

    Source: Citizens Infomation.ie

    Credit union accounts
    If the deceased had a credit union account and had completed a valid Nomination Form, when opening the account, nominating someone as next of kin, the proceeds of the account up to a maximum of €23,000 go to the person or persons nominated on the form. They do not form part of the deceased's estate.

    The balance of the account forms part of the deceased's estate and is distributed in accordance with succession law.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,861 ✭✭✭ ofcork


    My father was buried yesterday had plot bought funeral bill just over 4k less pretty ok,thought it would be higher.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,699 ✭✭✭ Rows Grower


    ofcork wrote: »
    My father was buried yesterday had plot bought funeral bill just over 4k less pretty ok,thought it would be higher.

    Sorry for your troubles.

    "Very soon we are going to Mars. You wouldn't have been going to Mars if my opponent won, that I can tell you. You wouldn't even be thinking about it."

    Donald Trump, March 13th 2018.



  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 9,421 ✭✭✭ splinter65


    ofcork wrote: »
    My father was buried yesterday had plot bought funeral bill just over 4k less pretty ok,thought it would be higher.

    Lord have mercy on him. The cost of the funeral is a worry but that seems fair enough.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14 ✭✭✭ 94shane


    We had to organise 2 funerals in the last 12 months - both pre-covid. Same funeral director & both came in at €3.5k. Had a look at the bills last night - professional fees, coffin, death notice on radio, embalming, grave digging, church fees & music. We already had graves. This is based in Kerry & they were very nice to deal with. We went with a middle of the road coffin - there were cheaper ones there & the funeral director left the coffin room to let us decide what we wanted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,145 ✭✭✭✭ AndrewJRenko


    Loads of adverts on UK daytime TV for low cost cremation



    Looks £1k sterling is the bargain basement price for a hands-off option with no mourners attending. You get the ashes back at the end.



  • Registered Users Posts: 20,145 ✭✭✭✭ AndrewJRenko


    The Fair Deal scheme takes a maximum of 22.5% of the value of the family home, for care that would cost hundreds of thousands of euro a year, if you were paying the real price.

    So that's an unfair comment more than an unfair deal.



Advertisement