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There has been an 80% increase in celebration of life services, but do your family know what you want?

Posted on 4 May 2017

Recording your funeral preferences is a good place to start

45% of funerals DON’T have hymns and there’s been an 80% increase in ‘celebration of life’ services, but do your family know what you want?

This Dying Matters Awareness Week (May 8-15) asks #Whatcanyoudo? Recording your funeral preferences is a good place to start…

When it comes to alternative funerals the baby boomers have done it again. The generation known for its defiance and unconventional fashion statements are saying goodbye to traditional funeral arrangements and opting for more imaginative alternatives or humanist or non-religious funerals instead.

According to SunLife’s Cost of Dying report, 45% of people no longer have hymns at their funerals, more than half of funeral directors have seen a decrease in religious services and 80% have seen an increase in ‘celebration of life’ type services.

And, where once funeral guests were only found wearing black and looking sombre, these days they may well be wearing colour, releasing balloons, toe-tapping to a live band or marvelling at a fabulous firework display in celebration of a life well lived.

In fact, according to the latest Cost of Dying report, one in eight made special requests for their funerals, ranging from ‘no black’ and specific requests for colours and sports team shirts right through to requesting a butterfly release at the service. One person even requested for there to be a bouncy castle at their wake for mourners to enjoy!

Celebrity farewells have led the way in creating headline-hitting alternative funerals reflecting the characters they were; Michael Jackson and Joan Rivers have all proved to be as big personalities in death as they were in life, while David Bowie’s decision to go the other way and have a direct cremation has caused an uplift in this basic ‘no frills’ type of funeral.

“It makes sense that people’s funerals will be as personal as any other event in their life,” explains Graham Jones, commercial director at SunLife, “but, if you don’t talk to your family about what you want, they are not going to be able to arrange your perfect send-off.”

SunLife’s research shows that almost a quarter (22%) of those organising a funeral have absolutely no idea what their loved one would have wanted, in fact, only 1% of people organising a funeral know ALL the funeral preferences of the deceased.

So, this Dying Matters Awareness Week, SunLife is supporting Dying Matters’ #whatcanyoudo campaign to get people talking about death and thinking about what they can do now to make things easier for their families and friends when the time comes.

Graham continues: “If you want a funeral with a difference – maybe a paparazzi-worthy party or firework finale, it can pay to plan ahead – both making financial provision to pay for it and recording your wishes. After all, without discussing our funeral arrangements and considering the cost of it all, who knows what send-off we might get.”

To help, SunLife has launched My Perfect Send-Off; a simple way to make some important choices about your funeral wishes, giving you a valuable document you can keep with your Will or send to a loved one, while our funeral calculator helps you work out how much your perfect send-off will cost – the average funeral in the UK now costs £3,985 (SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2016)

Claire Henry MBE, Chief Executive of the Dying Matters coalition added: “This year during Dying Matters Awareness Week, we are asking What Can You Do? This aims to get people more active in planning for dying and death and helping support those who may need it. One really important thing you can do is let your family and the people who are important to you know what you’d want for your funeral. This can avoid family fall outs at a very emotional time. Knowing there’s been a good send-off can help people in their grieving process.”

Visit Dying Matters Awareness Week for more information about how to get involved.

Source

All stats taken from SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2016.

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). Dignity Funerals is not authorised or regulated for this activity by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

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 the funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Limited. Dignity Funerals Limited is a company registered in England and Wales No. 00041598. VAT registered No. 486 6081 14. 4 King Edwards Court, King Edwards Square, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP. Telephone No. 0121 354 1557. Fax No. 0121 355 808. Part of Dignity plc. A British Company. Dignity is not authorised or regulated for this activity by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services. Dignity Funerals is not authorised or regulated for this activity by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. 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 Family Life Insurance?

SunLife Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register (registration number 110002). Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. 

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.