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Do your loved ones know your funeral wishes?

Posted on 11 May 2016

Only 1% do...

  • Less than a third of us have spoken to someone about our funeral wishes dropping to just 17% of under 34s
  • SunLife is supporting the #bigconversation this Dying Matters Awareness Week (May 9-15) by launching My Perfect Send-Off - a free tool to record your funeral wishes

This week (May 9-15) is Dying Matters Awareness Week, an annual event run by the Dying Matters coalition to promote public awareness of dying, death and bereavement.

This year the theme is the #bigconversation and later life experts SunLife are working with the charity Dying Matters to launch My Perfect Send-Off.

My Perfect Send-Off is a free online planner which gently prompts people to talk about their funeral wishes by asking them questions such as ‘would you prefer to be buried, cremated or donate your body to science?’ and ‘Would you like a dress code at your service?’ The responses create a valuable document which can be kept with their will or sent to a loved one.

Graham Jones, director at SunLife said: “As part of Dying Awareness Week, Dying Matters has released its Death & Dying Survey, which examines public attitudes to a range of issues relating to death, dying and bereavement.

“The most striking figure is that only a quarter of us have spoken to someone about our end of life wishes, dropping to just 18% for those aged 34 and under. Furthermore, only 30% have talked to someone about their funeral wishes, again, dropping down to less than a fifth (17%) for under 34s.

“Our annual Cost of Dying report also reveals that people are not talking about detail and dying – we found that just 1% of people know all of their loved ones’ funeral wishes.

“And it is not just the finer details like flowers – significant decisions are not being talked about either, for example a third of those organising a funeral had no idea whether the deceased would have wanted to be buried or cremated.

“In response to our own figures and Dying Matters’ research we are launching My Perfect Send-Off to help people start that all important big conversation.”

Claire Henry, Chief Executive of the Dying Matters Coalition added: “Talking about dying doesn’t make it happen, and we all need to get better at discussing our end of life plans, including our funeral plans. 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. We’re delighted to be working with SunLife on their new send-off tool, and hope that people find it a really useful resource.”

Planning ahead

One in six have not discussed their funeral wishes solely because they are uncomfortable discussing it. This reluctance to talk about death also leads to not preparing for it financially – 41% of people make no financial provisions at all, which leaves one in six families in financial difficulty.

“Death should not be a taboo subject.” continues Mr Jones, “It eventually comes to us all, and when it does, if your loved ones are unprepared, it can cause a great deal of stress, both financially and emotionally at what is already a very difficult time. By asking some simple questions about funeral preferences, we think My Perfect Send-Off planner offers a nice, easy way to start the #bigconversation. And, for those who would still prefer not to discuss it face to face, it provides a private and secure way of recording your wishes.”

See SunLife’s free My Perfect Send-Off planner and watch SunLife’s video showing a series of interview clips with couples asking about their other half’s funeral wishes.

 

Figures taken from SunLife’s Cost of Dying Report and Dying Matters’ Death and Dying Survey

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). 

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.