© The Independent, UKDamning study says there is a lack of support to help Britain’s poorest pay for funerals.
Never mind the cost of living crisis - the rise of "funeral poverty" in Britain means more than 100,000 people will be unable to afford the cost of dying this year, researchers have said.
The average price of arranging a funeral, burial or cremation service with state administration now stands at £7,622, and has risen by 7.1 per cent in the past year alone.
Combined with the financial challenges faced by the poorest people in recession-hit Britain, it means the level of "funeral poverty" is up 50 per cent from three years ago.
According to a study from the University of Bath's Institute for Policy Research (IPR), the hundreds of thousands of people who will struggle to afford to die in 2014 will also leave their families with an unnecessarily difficult challenge to apply for state support.
For families on low incomes, the Social Fund Funeral Payment, first introduced in 1988, is intended to take the financial pressure away from giving their loved-one a proper funeral.
But the IPR report called for a review of the Department for Work and Pensions-administered payment, describing it as "outdated", "overly complex" and "insufficient" to meet the needs of the poorest in society.
In spite of the lowest-ever recorded mortality rates for England and Wales, the cost of dying has steadily increased over recent years.
The average cost of a funeral actually rose by 80 per cent between 2004 and 2013 and the costs of dying are expected to continue to increase over the next five years.
On average, the price of a typical funeral, including non-discretionary fees and a burial or cremation, is £3,456.