We were stopped in Carrefour by 2 female sales people selling death plans. They said Spain is the most expensive place to die and we need a 20,000 euro plan each now ‘’today’’ to be able to stay in Spain. Is this true?.

I have had several quotes for a cremation funeral. 

The costs,  all in,  are between 3,000 and 3,500 €

Try Ocaso in Alicante. 20k is too high.

Adeslas have a funeral plan paid annually or monthly which gives you a capital of 4200 euros to cover your basic funeral, burial or cremation. It is not a legal requirement to have a plan, but recommendable so as not to overburden your loved ones or next of kin.

Just for info

This is a quote I had from a funeral director

24 Hour assistance 
• Conveyance to the mortuary • Three days mortuary
• Care of the deceased
• Wood coffin for the cremation 
• Urn for the ashes 
• Robe & fittings as required 
• Use of chapel • Passport cancellation
• Notifying the consulate
• Death certificates Spa4nish & international
• Doctor´s death certificate
• Cremation fees

Total cost 3,100 €

This is not a prepayment plan. No fear of a company going broke or making off with our money.

When the time comes my family need just to call  the director and tell them to go ahead. The funds are in my bank-

Unlike paying up front:   Should I die outside Spain,  or if my family  should want something else,  there is no commitment to a company.

Oh thanks John. So they could be scammers, take your money and run away.

Bob and Pat

There is always a possibility that a company can go broke (Carillion) but for sure, anyone telling you that you need 20,000 to cover the cost of a funeral is lying to you.

It is only a personal thing but I would never pay for a funeral plan up front.

Even in Spain if there are no funds to pay for a funeral the town hall will provide one, albeit  very basic

I may be cynical but funerals are a good business as whilst may people would never  buy a product that cost several thousands of euros, without shopping around, with funerals there is a feeling that to do so would in  some way be offensive to the deceased. 

My brother died some years ago. It was my responsibility to pay for the funeral. I shopped around and the third quote I got was just about 50% of that of the first. That was for the same funeral.

Thanks John. I think we will go with the town hall plan, it seems the cheapest.

Wow! 20k!
Way too much.
There are lots of companies out there that can help with this.
Avalon, Golden Leaves and Iberian to name but three popular ones.
Most have policy's that are transferable to the UK if you decide to go back too.
If you can pay up front it is cheaper as plans can work out quite expensive.
I would suggest getting quotes from three companies and seeing which suits you, but definitely set one up as if you die today on the whole they will try to bury you tomorrow in Spain. If you don't have a plan you will then be paying the funeral director his price and if you can't pay on the day they will charge you for every day that you don't pay.
It is a very unselfish plan to make for you to guard your loved ones who may have a bill to foot at a time when your accounts may be embargo'd.
By the way for all couples, make sure you have separate bank accounts not just one joint one. In the event of a spouses death, that account will most likely be frozen until all financials (Inheritance tax etc) are sorted.

Hello, my father died in Madrid, can you help me with some funeral agency or tell me where have to ask if i can not afford to pay for his funeral, i see you say something about goverment can help.

Kind Regards
Ivaylo Radev

Maybe you can contact your consulate for specific advice

Also the town hall to explain your situation and ask for help and advice

PS. If you are not already aware,  in my experience the policia nacional are the authority who deal with at least some of the formalities

If you need to make arrangements then although you may not like to idea,  I suggest you shop around. Just like any other product or service the prices available vary widely.

In UK  I did that for my brothers funeral. The price I paid was half that I had been quoted by the first funeral directors who gave me a price.

Thanks for info

Johncar :

Even in Spain if there are no funds to pay for a funeral the town hall will provide one, albeit  very basic.

Johncar -
I also was told this by a funeral director as well.

I also have another question (if you don't mind I appreciate your thoughts) what about for example if an American dies in Spain, here are the specifics of a man I knew, his situation:

1. He was an American  and was living in a town in Spain for a few years, but doing so by renewing his tourist visas (i.e. leaving Spain and coming back every 3 months) so he did not have "official" residency.

2. He died penniless.

3. He committed suicide.

Do you think the town will dispose of him under these circumstances?

And equally important: will the spanish government try to go after his family in America to be reimbursed for the costs to dispose of him?

I preface my message with my own experience upon my father's death in the USA. He left a will providing for my sister and I as well as his spouse but my sister and I received nothing, even though his estate was significant. There are various reasons this happened, but one of them is that monies in accounts in the US are distributed outside of probate by  POD cards, and some companies require the spouse to sign a notarized statement before allowing anyone's name other than the spouse to be on that card.  The story of my father's final days and subsequent disposal of his estate was not a happy one for us, his only true heirs. It has also had an  effect on my menory of him. For that reason, I have taken particular interest in my own will and communications to my own heirs.

First of all, I concur with the advice Johncar has given, especially if one has money set aside to pay the costs of the funeral. As noted in the comments, the Spanish government locks down accounts of the deceeased  My solution is to have an account in the US set up with sufficient funds, say $6000 to pay for the funeral, with instructions on how to transfer that money to an account in Spain not owned by me. I have that in my will, and I have TWO wills, one for Spanish assets and Spanish heirs and the other for US assets and US heirs.  Also, important to have in the will is a list of all assets. When my father died his financial information, credit cards, and his Will itself were stolen by our inlaws, so it is important to have this info in everyone's hands, or at least in the hands of those you feel will be fairest. I could offer a lot of information on the writing of the will, but I suggest that those interested obtain wills from various people as a start.

For US citizens, there is a $255 death benefit through social security. I suggest talking to the social security person at the US embassy who gave me a lot of valuable information about what expats need to do to receive a death certificate. He also suggested contacting American Citizen Services at ASKACS[at] about wills and other matters. Finally, I suggest looking at organizations, societies and credit cards to see if there are any death benefits and listing them in the will(s) so your heirs don't have to do a research project to find them. In my case, if I die in a transportation related accident paid for with my AAdavantsge CITI platinum card, there is up to a $250,000 death benefit (to be discontinued Sept.  22).

Although, info above is US specific, many of the ideas apply generally to expats.


Additional note: The number to call at the US Embassy for the Social Security division is (91) 587 2245., between 9:30am to 12:30 am Monday through Thursday. When I called the phone was answered immediately by a knowledgeable person.


Sorry but you have not addressed the question as posted, nor the thread as started

May I suggest you start a new thread about what you have posted and leave this thread to the last question, or to  “COST OF DYING IN SPAIN”

Regards.  John

My apologies in advance for introducing what might ruffle sensitivities of some people. An expat living in a central american country was exploring the following solution that would be clean, quick, require minimal preparation and cost no more than $100:
When the time came, get a couple of locals to take his dead body in a bag weighed down by cement blocks out to sea and just drop it into the water.

Now retired.   

In U.K. it can be cheap too

Once a certificate of Disposal has been issued,   

“There is no requirement that a body should be buried in an authorised place - a place of burial may be established on private ground, provided no nuisance is caused. ”

So could be virtually free.    I have not researched spain but the same ‘may’ apply.

Well, it is true that I have strayed a bit from the original question, but I believe that parts of my answer address questions that have arisen from the ensueing discussion. Not sure how to separate my answer and start a new thread. Perhaps, other readers can offer an opinion and if I am off base in my reply, I will just delete it. Thanks.

A funeral is much like a wedding you can pay as little or as much as you want. If you want to spend to €20,000 you can but that's not the average. You have to remember this kind of firms will tell you anything they are to make money and these agents would be on commission.

A couple of interesting reports...... … th-funeral … y-costs-uk

claxnes, I don't see much that is "off-base."  On the contrary, I think your response added important aspects to the original question, allowing those of us who may foresee ourselves in generally similar situations to have some source of guidance and information.

Thank you!


Thank you, Michele!

Expat spain
Quote.   Do you think the town will dispose of him under these circumstances?

Simple answer,  yes

After all,  if the town hall didn’t do who would ?

claxnes :

I .

First of all, I concur with the advice Johncar has given, especially if one has money set aside to pay the costs of the funeral. .

Claxnes hi
Were you addressing my question about the American expat man who died penniless in Spain?

Johncar :

Expat spain
Quote.   Do you think the town will dispose of him under these circumstances?

Simple answer,  yes

After all,  if the town hall didn’t do who would ?

Thats a good point John, thanks.

Do you think that the Spanish government will try to go after this American man's family in the USA for reimbursement of the costs the town incurred to dispose of him?

Expat.    The answer to your last cuestión is,  no i do not think that would happen.

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