A report has found one in six families have significant financial worries over funerals and are opting to save cash by choosing a cheaper coffin and spending less on flowers.

Even the dearly departed are feeling the squeeze of inflation as cremation fees top £1,000 in some areas.

Crematoriums are charging stiffer prices to reflect the rising cost of fuel.

The average has gone up by £20 to £867.75 since 2021, but some providers have added more than £100.

In January, a basic cremation cost over £1,000 in seven areas: Thatcham in West Berks, Westerleigh in Bristol, Peterborough, Torquay, Basildon plus Friockheim and Moray in Scotland.

Fees were upped from £659 to £763 in Bangor, North Wales, and from £793 to £895 Chelmsford, Essex. And costs are still rising, with further increases due in September.

More people are now opting for the cheapest direct cremation option, with no service and the ashes kept or scattered by loved ones who arrange their own farewell.

SunLife insurance, which commissioned a Cost of Dying report, says these amounted to just 3% of all funerals in 2019 but 18% last year.

It found that although the average cost of a UK funeral fell for the first time on record last year – by 3.1% to £4,056 – savings mostly came from lower undertakers’ and ministers’ fees.

One in six families had significant financial worries over funerals and half of those who lost a loved one last year looked to save cash, including a cheaper coffin, spending less on flowers and having the wake at home.