A funeral director is warning that families are being left in poverty after spending thousands of pound on funerals for loved ones.
Reports have shown the cost of the average funeral has more than doubled over the last 15 years, with the expense hitting low-income households he most.
Funeral director Tracey Warren, from Crewkerne, says more legislation needs to be introduced to regulate new companies, so those using them are receiving the right, professional care.
The cost of a basic funeral has more than doubled over the last 15 years Credit: ITV News
My argument's always been you'd never go to an unqualified doctor so at this time of need, the most sensitive time where you need quality, a real compassionate service, you need somebody that's got those skills.
Tracey Warren, Funeral Director A hospice in Taunton has set up its own service to help people who can't afford funerals Credit: ITV News
A hospice in Taunton became so frustrated with the issue, it set up its own service in the town to help those in need. The charity say only a third of people using the service were connected to someone cared for by them.
What's really interesting is that only a third of people using the service have ever had a connection with the hospice so competition is important, we want to work alongside other funeral directors but drive down the overall costs for our community when they're facing a funeral.
Ann Lee, Chief Executive, St Margaret's Hospice
Jon Levett, Chief Executive of the National Association of Funeral Directors, agrees there should be a form of regulation in the quality of care offered to bereaved families, but the price of services should not be capped.
We do not believe price regulation is the way forward but support the idea that on standards there should be a regulatory framework that gives the public greater choice, ensures best practice, promotes healthy competition and means that when people arrange a funeral they do so confident that they are getting the service they want and are fully aware along every step of the way what it will cost.
Jon Levett, Chief Executive of the National Association of Funeral Directors