The average cost of a UK funeral has hit a new record high price of £4,417, latest research shows.

According to the annual SunLife Cost of Dying report funeral costs climbed by £146 in 2019. They now stand at more than double the £1,920 recorded by the firm’s first survey in 2004.

As a result of the ongoing rise in costs, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is currently looking into the whole funerals sector, with the results of its investigation expected to be released in the spring, The Guardian reports.

As part of its report SunLife also revealed that, once all associated costs were included, the full cost of dying amounted to almost £10,000.

The majority of Britons now choose cremation over burial, with only 23 per cent of funerals organised in 2019 involving the latter option, down 4 per cent on 2018. SunLife also found that numbers of “direct cremations”, a low-cost option where there is no organised funeral service, were on the rise, currently accounting for 4 per cent of all funerals.

One in four people surveyed said they were shocked what they had ended up paying for a funeral, while 80 per cent of funeral directors admitted people spent more money than they needed to, with flowers and the coffin singled out as areas of excessive expense.

Overall, people remained reluctant to discuss death or specifics about their own send-off. The data revealed that only 1 per cent of those who had recently organised a funeral knew all their loved one’s wishes.

Hymns are no longer the most popular musical option at funerals. In 2019 the most requested song was My Way, by Frank Sinatra.