A basic Irish funeral can cost anywhere from €2,950 – to €7,500, and potentially a lot more depending on individual requirements.

Lengthy probate delays are resulting in families having to unexpectedly pay funeral bills in advance of a life insurance pay-out, where there is no remaining legal policy owner – putting a financial strain on family members when a loved one passes away.

This is according to Royal London, who recently commissioned a survey of 1,000 adults throughout the country to ascertain public perception regarding costs involved in funerals, as well as to gain some insight into people’s preferences for their own, or a loved one’s, funeral. 


Just 34% of respondents accurately estimated that Irish funeral costs (including the plot and headstone) would be in excess of €5,000, with 31% sharply underestimating costs, stating they were between €1,000 and €3,000.

When it comes to paying for funerals, ‘family or next of kin’ came as the top response in the survey. Asked ‘If you were to pass away tomorrow, who do you think would pay for your funeral?’, resulted in the following answers: My family or next of kin would pay 38%; It would be paid out of my estate 31%; I have no idea how it would be paid for 17%; I’ve set money aside 13%; My employer would pay for it 1%.

Speaking of the survey results, Tony Burke at Royal London, Cork said, “The majority of people are simply unaware of all the associated costs involved in planning a funeral – and these can often come as a shock when a loved one dies. What we found was that across all genders, ages and regions, the 55+ represent the largest group (26%) to have set money aside for their funeral as opposed to only 7% for young adults. Only 24% of older respondents rely on their family to cover those costs whereas that figure reaches 54% for 18-34 year olds. Connaught/Ulster residents top the list (25%) for people who ‘have no idea’ how their funeral will be paid for.”


Mr Burke observed, “‘A simple affair with no fuss’ is how the majority (44%) picture their own funeral. However, when it comes to arranging their partner’s funeral, participants seemed to want to go to more effort, with 62% preferring ‘a proper send-off to celebrate their life’ or ‘a modest but respectful and elegant event’.”