A Grave Reality: What happens if you don’t prepare for your death
Thinking about your death, and the costs associated with it, admittedly, is not top of the “list of things to do” for most people. But with the costs of funerals rising to £5,469 in some areas of the UK, it’s obvious that provisions need to be put in place to cushion these expenses. Because, as is the reality for one in ten deaths in the UK, your already-grieving family will have to foot the bill if you don’t.
A recent study by British Seniors Insurance Agency, an insurance company specialising in life insurance, revealed that 23 million Britons have not given any thought at all to this grave reality. This puts a lot of pressure on their loved ones, who are already stressed due to their loss. The study found that of those friends and family that had to take on the financial burden of a funeral, 42% worried about their finances and 58% admitted this added to their existing emotional strain. 19% of respondents reported having to take off work to organise funeral costs, which only adds to the financial stress. This has led to 44% using their credit card to pay for the funeral costs, and 27% resorting to a payday loan. Added to this, only a third of those questioned had put a will in place that made preparations for their loved ones in advance.
So how can you alleviate this emotional stress on your friends and family in the event of your death? Plan ahead! Get your financial affairs in order and make sure you have prepared enough funds to cover any costs, so that friends and family don’t have to pick them up:
- Research what the potential costs of your funeral or memorial service would be so that you’re fully prepared to cover them.
- Write these details down so that the person carrying out your wishes (the executor) is spared the headache of planning.
- Put a will in place that ensures all financial and legal situations are handled appropriately when you’re gone, taking this strain off your loved ones’ shoulders.
- Invest in an over 50’s life insurance policy that ensures a full value payout to your beneficiary to cover all costs, and inform them that this policy exists so that they know to claim it.
- On the same note, document any other policies, accounts and funds (such as a retirement fund) you might have that need to be claimed by your loved ones.
- Keep all this information and any other documents in one place, and let your executors know where that is.
Putting all these preparations in place will not only cover your friends and family in the event of your death, but will also put your mind at ease. All it requires is a little thought and planning.