#YODO You only die once
Make plans for your death this Dying Matters Awareness Week
- 43% of us make no financial provisions our funeral
- A basic funeral now costs £3,590 (a rise of 87% over the past 10 years)
- One in seven relatives face financial issues covering funeral costs
No one likes talking about dying or making plans for their death, but Dying Matters Awareness Week encourages us to do just that.
Running from May 18-24, Dying Matters Awareness Week is organised by Dying Matters, a coalition set up by the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) and aims to promote public awareness of dying, death and bereavement.
As a member of the Dying Matters coalition, SunLife is keen to help promote Dying Matters Awareness Week. Dean Lamble, Managing Director of SunLife says we need to encourage people to start talking about this very natural part of everyday life:
“Dying Matters Awareness Week is a chance for people to overcome the barriers that surround talking about death. There is no reason for death to be a taboo subject, it should be something we can all talk about, openly and honestly in order to ensure that, when the time does come, our end of life wishes are known.”
According to SunLife’s annual Cost of Dying report – a survey of 1,504 UK adults who were responsible for planning a funeral and administering an estate - death is not only something people don’t talk about, but it something that many of us don’t plan for either.
More than a fifth of those people surveyed said their loved one had not written a Will, and for more than a quarter (27%), this lack of a Will made it difficult to administer the estate of the deceased.
For 43%, the person they were planning the funeral for had made no financial provisions to pay for their funeral before they died. Even amongst those whose loved ones had put provisions in place, 16% still had to contribute to meet the full cost.
“With a basic funeral now costing £3,590, many of those left to organise a funeral are struggling to cover the costs,” continues Mr Lamble.
“Our research found that the average shortfall was £2,371 while one in seven said arranging the funeral caused them ‘notable financial concerns’.”
However, SunLife’s research also found that almost a quarter (24%) of those who had made specific financial plans had done so using a pre-paid funeral plan – where you pay for your funeral in advance so helping to protect against rising funeral prices, an option that is rising in popularity.
Joe Levenson of the Dying Matters Coalition says making plans can reduce the burden on your loved ones.
“Talking about dying and planning for the future may not always be easy but it can help you to make the most of life and ensure you don’t leave a mess behind for the people you care about,” he said.
“It’s also important to tell people close to you about your wishes, and don’t be afraid to ask them about theirs.”
Mr Lamble concludes: “While talking about and planning for your own funeral can be difficult, no one wants to think of their loved ones having to go into debt to cover the cost. By being aware of the financial options available and making some decisions in advance, it can really ease the pressure on your loved ones, both financially and emotionally.”