Talking about death could save you from slipping into funeral poverty

When dealing with the pressure and anguish that comes with grief, a fear of debt is the last thing you want to worry about while mourning a loved one. While it is not an easy thing to discuss by any means, ignoring end-of-life planning ultimately benefits no-one. 

In 2019, the average cost of a funeral in the UK was £3,785. According to the Fair Funerals Campaign, ‘this is a substantial amount of money which many people do not have. Furthermore, if a person is not able to afford this cost, there are very few options available to them.’ In 2017-2018 the average total payment for a successful Funeral Expenses Payment application was £1,461, which is only around 39% of the average cost of a simple funeral.

With over 30 million people in the UK currently without a will, today’s research highlights how 7.1 million – 24% of Brits – believe that they did not manage the estate of a loved one according to their wishes because they did not discuss it before their death. The lack of financial preparation and stiff upper lip approach that many Brits take when it comes to their wills puts many at risk for falling into funeral poverty.

Farewill, the UK’s number one will-writing service, has unveiled nationally representative research illustrates the topics that we struggle to discuss as Brits.

Key research statistics:

· 36% of Brits have not discussed their death and the arrangements that they would want for their funeral because it’s too emotional a topic to broach 
–  48% of 18-34s agree / 40% of 35-54s agree

· Half of the UK population believe that death is the hardest topic to discuss with family, more so than money, divorce or family disputes 
– 49% 18-34s agree / 52% 35-54s agree

· 24% of Brits did not manage the estate of a loved one according to their wishes because they did not discuss it before their death  
– 43% 18-34s agree / 25% 35-54s agree  

· 33% of Brits do not know their parents preferred funeral arrangements, and am concerned they  will get things wrong  
– 46% 18-34s agree / 29% 35-54s agree

· 30% of the population have never discussed death with their parents/family 
– 38% 18-34s agree / 31% 35-54s agree

· 31% of the UK population want to talk to their parents about death and the management of their estate, but haven’t broached the subject because they think it will upset them
– 38% 18-34’s agree / 28% 35-54’s agree 

·  29% of Brits state that they want to talk to their children about their death and estate, but haven’t broached the subject because they think it will upset them 
– 49% 18-34s agree / 34% 34-54s agree Dan Garrett, CEO and co-founder of Farewill says:

‘Dying is one of the only events in life that every single person will go through; it has huge consequences both emotionally and financially – with £1trillion set to be passed down in the next decade. Yet for so many the topic of our deaths and what we want upon our passing is one of the, if not the most neglected conversation. 2020 is a great opportunity to de-stigmatise the topic of death and normalise the discussion around the family table, there is so much to be gained by talking to those we love about these issues. It’s great to see that discussions around mental health and money are becoming more mainstream and accepted in our society, extending this will help break the taboo around death that has existed for millennia. Talking about death more will allow us to help prevent funeral poverty, and ensure that everyone is well educated about how best to prepare for end-of-life.’

About Farewill:

Farewill’s mission is to change the way the world deals with death by helping the UK create legally binding wills and probate, quickly, easily and sensitively, from the comfort of their own home, on the Farewill website. Proudly rated #1 on Trustpilot in the UK, Farewill helps you through a jargon-free step-by-step process to complete your legally binding will or probate online, without the expense or complication of seeing a solicitor in person.