Legal professionals spend the most on funerals

24 April 2015

Recently we conducted a survey on funeral costs which revealed that the average funeral spend, for the 61% who spend more than the national average, is £4,800.

Funeral pre-payment

Those who had a legal career in their lifetime had the most expensive funerals. They were joined in the top five spenders by health sector workers and those with military careers. Of the 59% of respondents who said that their deceased family member or friend had made a special funeral request before their passing, more than a third (34%) stated that their wish had been ‘to be remembered’.

We polled 1,846 British adults during the study, all aged 18 or over. To qualify for the survey, all respondents had to have lost a friend or family member within the past five years and taken an active role in organising their funeral. We conducted the study as part of ongoing research into the British public’s attitudes towards funerals and spending trends.

Initially, we asked participants whether the total funeral costs for their friend or relative had been greater than the national average (defined by the Money Advice service as £3,600). 61% said ‘yes’ they had. They were then asked how much the total cost of the funeral had been which revealed an average figure of £4,800.

We then asked all respondents who said the funeral cost was above the national average, what the main sector that their friend or family member had worked in during their lifetime. We used these answers to identify the top five career sectors with the highest funeral expenses, which are below:

  1. Legal – 15% (of those whose funeral cost above the national average worked in this sector in their lifetime 
  2. Health – 13% 
  3. Military – 11% 
  4. Finance – 8% 
  5. Education – 6%

We then asked the same group of respondents whether there had been any special requests from the deceased prior to their passing, to which 59% said that there had been. The majority stated that the deceased had wanted ‘to be remembered’. 29% said that their family member/friend had wanted to put a personal stamp on their funeral and another 26% stated that the deceased had requested to make their family proud.

It is interesting to see just how many people seem to be spending more than the national average on funerals and, in particular, that those working in the legal sector end up having the most expensive final farewells.

A funeral is often the time where an individual’s final impressions are aired to friends and family, so there are those who will want to spend a little more for a particular arrangement, especially the more unusual. However, these unusual or more quirky requests don’t have to break the bank and making a final farewell personal can be very simple. It’s all about choice and what is right for you and your circumstances.