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We are campaigners fighting for more support for bereaved families, fairer funerals and ending poverty. In our blog we discuss issues and themes related to dignity, emotional support and affordablity in funerals.


Are you worried about paying for a funeral and wondering what help there is with funeral payments?

It’s difficult to know what to do when someone close to you passes away regardless of your circumstances. With the average funeral costing over £4,000 many now find themselves in a position where they feel they have nowhere to turn due to such prohibitive costs.

The first thing to note is you are not alone. There is help out there and several options available to you. We’ve put together some brief information below to get you started.

The number best piece of advice we can give you is to reach out for help before committing to any funeral plan or director.

This might stop you receiving a funeral bill you just can’t afford to pay back.

If you need help, we offer a free funeral advice line through Caledonia Funeral Aid. The team provides impartial advice to all bereaved people in Scotland. The advice line is fully-funded so there is no pressure to use us for the funeral. We promise to listen to you and provide the best support we can for your situation. Please do feel free to call 03000 11 33 01

Advice and support for funeral costs in Scotland

Scottish Government Funeral Support Payment

Applicants who are closest to the deceased family member must already be receiving benefits such as universal credit, disability allowance or income support.

The payment has three elements:

  • Burial or cremation costs
  • A flat rate payment towards other expenses for example, funeral director fees, coffin, flowers.
  • Certain transport costs

Find out more

What if I am not on any benefits? Can I get help with funeral costs?

Organisations who can advise you include:

Caledonia Funeral Aid

Our fully funded funeral and bereavement advice team offer free, impartial advice with all things related to funerals and bereavement

For bereavement advice: 03000 11 33 01

Quaker Social Action Down to Earth

A unique service which aims to ensure no one faces unnecessary debt or distress due to high funeral costs.

Citizens Advice Scotland

With offices based across Scotland, Citizens Advice can advise you of any financial help or support available

Local Authority Funeral

Sometimes referred to as a “paupers funeral”, local authorities have a statutory duty to arrange funerals for people who die within their boundary, where no other suitable arrangements can be made e.g. there are no relatives willing or able to arrange the funeral or where there are insufficient funds. It’s the council’s responsibility to recover the costs of the funeral from the estate of the deceased.

Each local authority has its own way of administering this kind of funeral so what is on offer depends on where you live.

If you are struggling financially but don’t want to relinquish the organisation of the funeral, then please do call Caledonia Funeral Aid and they can explore options.

For bereavement advice: 03000 11 33 01

Alternatives to a “traditional funeral”

Traditional funerals can cost nearly £4,000 and Funeral Directors request a deposit of anything up to £1,200 before they are able to proceed. There are other options available which are much more affordable.

One such option is Direct Cremation which costs a fraction of what a normal funeral costs and allows you to arrange your goodbyes your own way

Caledonia Cremation provide not-for-profit direct cremation, no upselling and we don’t ask for a deposit upfront.

Our costs are fully covered by the Scottish Government’s Funeral Support Payment.

Find out more

What is Direct Cremation

A direct cremation is a cremation at its quickest and simplest with no funeral service, or ceremony performed beforehand. If you choose to receive the ashes then you can organise your remembrance in your own time, in your own way.

Caledonia Cremation offer not-for-profit direct cremation As a not-for-profit funeral directors set up to fight funeral poverty in Scotland, who offer a high standard of compassionate care plus help with applying for benefits if you qualify.

We believe in being upfront with no upselling, so here are all the prices we charge:*

Price of direct cremation including admin support, care and coffin – £1,145
Return of ashes to anywhere in Scotland – £95
Surcharge for residential/hospice collection – £250

For those planning their own funeral

We really strongly support people choosing to plan ahead for their own funeral. This is a great step and we are happy to help you with it if you are interested in having a not-for-profit direct cremation with Caledonia Cremation.

We offer a “Registration of Wishes”. This is a formal document with copies kept both with your will (or other documents) and kept by us. It sets out exactly what you want so your family don’t need to worry about it when you are gone.

Unlike pre-pay funerals, in a Registration of Wishes you don’t give us the money though. If you can afford it, you give a £50 donation as we process your Registration of Wishes. This reflects the significant costs of providing Registration Of Wishes and also that we are disadvantaged by doing the right thing for you rather than take your cash.

We do provide an alternate simple payment option for people facing terminal illness, palliative care or similar circumstances – just ask at any time.

Whatever your situation, we won’t insist on a deposit, we wont force you to choose us and we will never turn anyone away.
Your wellbeing is our only priority, so please do feel free to get in touch and let us us share the load a little
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