Death and funeral planning are not subjects most people enjoy talking about. Although we know that it will eventually come to us all, it is human nature to avoid discussing our own mortality and it’s easy to convince ourselves that we don’t need to worry until much, much later in our lives.
Sadly, thousands of people die every year without ever making any arrangements for their funeral, leaving grieving families to plan and pay for this without any clear understanding of their wishes.
Why express final wishes?
No one can know exactly when they will die, so taking the time now to talk about your wishes for your funeral makes sense for everyone, whether you are just starting out in life or enjoying a peaceful retirement.
According to a 2015 Comres survey on ‘Public Opinions to Death and Dying’, eight out of 10 British people say they have strong wishes for the end of their life and more than two thirds of us think that if people were more comfortable talking about dying, it would be easier to have our end-of-life wishes met.
The same survey showed that less than 20 percent of us have actually asked our nearest and dearest about their end-of-life wishes.
Graham Jones, director at Sun Life, discussing the insurer’s latest ‘Cost of Dying’ report, said it’s not just details like what flowers to have. “A third of those organising a funeral had no idea whether the deceased would have wanted to be buried or cremated,” he said.
End of life plans and making them known
The reality is accepting that it’s important to have the conversation with your loved ones and knowing how to raise the issue are two very different things. There’s no easy way to say ‘I’ve been having a think about what I want to happen when I die’.
Rather than springing it on unsuspecting family and friends, it might help to raise your own funeral wishes in relation to the passing of a friend or even a celebrity. If you are met with a refusal to discuss it, try to point out that it won’t be any easier if you die without anyone knowing what you wanted for your funeral and beyond.
Talking about dying doesn’t make it happen and can bring peace of mind, allowing us to relax knowing that our plans are understood and, when the time comes, our loved ones will know exactly what to do.
“We all need to get better at discussing our end of life plans, including our funeral plans,” said Claire Henry, chief executive of the Dying Matters Coalition. “It gives us peace of mind to know we’ve made and shared our plans, and it makes life easier for our loved ones to know they are giving us the perfect send-off we want.”
Reduce financial burden and stress by planning ahead
By planning ahead, you can help to ease the emotional and the financial burden on loved ones at a very difficult time. One of the best ways to make sure that your family and friends are not left to pay for your funeral is to consider a funeral plan.
Pre-paid funeral plans make sure you have the funeral you want, planned and paid for in advance. When you purchase your plan, a local funeral director is appointed to take care of your requirements and to make sure that your family receives personal service when it really counts.
A pre-paid funeral plan gives you the opportunity to pre-arrange your burial or cremation, choose your coffin and specify transport. With your wishes laid out and a local funeral director appointed all your loved ones have to do when the time comes is make one phone call to the chosen funeral director.
Save by fixing funeral costs
A pre-paid funeral plan not only gives you control of your funeral arrangements, it also allows you to pay for your funeral director’s services included in the plan at today’s prices despite constantly rising costs.
According to the SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2015, in 2004, the average cost of a funeral was £1,920. Today it is £3,897, and at that rate of increase, in another 10 years, the average cost of a funeral could be more than £7,000.
With a pre-paid funeral, you ensure your wishes are shared with your loved ones and in turn, it provides you with peace of mind that your funeral will not burden your loved ones and guarantees that your funeral director’s costs will be covered, even if you stick around for decades.
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