Basic Irish funeral can cost up to €7,500, survey finds

Royal London says families being faced with big bills before life assurance is paid out

Royal London found that burial plots can cost as much as €9,000, or more. Photograph: iStock

Royal London found that burial plots can cost as much as €9,000, or more. Photograph: iStock

 

A basic Irish funeral can cost up to €7,500 and potentially a lot more depending on individual requirements, according to insurance group Royal London.

The firm carried out a review of the typical bills being faced by families burying loved ones.

In some cases lengthy probate delays are resulting in families having to pay funeral bills upfront in advance of a life insurance pay-out, it said.

Royal London’s review found that a basic Irish funeral can cost anywhere from €2,950 to €7,500, while burial plots range from €1,400 to €9,000 and upwards.

The insurer has been lobbying the Government to overhaul the probate process, noting that record delays were putting a financial strain on family members when a loved one passes away.

When there is no remaining legal owner of a life assurance policy, payment of the claim must wait until ownership is determined by the local probate office, a process that can take a long time to complete.

No certainty

“Only recently, the Court Service confirmed that personal applications to the Dublin probate office face a record-breaking 11-month delay before their first appointment, with no certainty as to how long it will take for the actual probate to be granted,” Colette Houton, underwriting and claims lead at Royal London, said.

Royal London’s research indicates that, on average, it takes 489 days to receive a grant of probate in the Republic.

To address the problem, the firm has developed a new bridging payment, whereby families or next of kin can receive advance payment of a policyholder’s cover.

“To lessen the financial burden a funeral can sometimes put on families, before the legalities of a deceased’s estate are settled, we will now prepay a portion of the Life Cover to pay for the Funeral Director expenses,” Ms Houton said.

“This advance payment is aimed at alleviating some of the financial strain which may arise during the probate process and making the claims process easier for loved ones to navigate,” she said.

The payment is available to cover costs from funeral directors, which can include: a coffin, burial costs, church fees, plot, death notices, services of funeral director, such as hearse rental, cremation.