New guidance to make it easier to plan the cost of funerals, burials and cremations has been published by the Scottish government.
The aim of the guidance is to make clear and consistent information on costs available so that more informed decisions can be made by those planning funerals.
A key recommendation is for funeral directors to make information about pricing more available online than it currently is. Guidance for councils on the charges they set for funerals and for tackling funeral poverty is also included.
The Scottish government will replace the UK government’s Funeral Payment with the new Funeral Support Payment this summer. This will reach more people, be simpler to access and speed up payment times.
It is designed to help those on low incomes with the costs of a funeral, and is backed by around £6m of investment every year.
Communities secretary, Aileen Campbell, said: “Arranging a funeral is something that thankfully most of us will only have to do a few times, however this can make it difficult to know about costs and where to get reliable information.
“Worries about affordability can make bereavement even more difficult, particularly where it has not been possible to put aside money for the funeral in advance. This guidance, which has been created with industry input, will improve transparency and will I hope be of help to those individuals and families who have lost a loved one.”
Councillor Kelly Parry, COSLA’S Community Wellbeing spokesperson, said: “Bereavement can be an overwhelming time for families and the cost of funerals can sometimes add to that stress. During periods such as this we all need good advice and councils are often the first port of call for support across a ra nge of issues.
“Therefore it is important that local authority charges are fair and transparent and information surrounding these costs is accessible and easily understood.”