To mark the new series Grave Trade, History commissioned the poll and found that 33% of male respondents would hand a loved one's body to local authorities to reduce costs.
Of the 2,000 polled, only 18% of people have put money aside for their own funeral, while a third of people expect someone else to foot the bill.
Results also show that almost half of the UK would want a tree planted in their honour instead of a headstone to be more environmentally friendly.
45% of 18-24-year-olds would opt for an uplifting, well-known song over a traditional hymm.
John Harris, co-partner at T Cribbs & Sons where Grave Trade is based, said: "People's attitudes to funerals, memorials and burial practices have changed hugely in the last century.
"Taking into account the economic climate, we tend to have less disposable income to put towards a funeral fund."