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Almost half of us make no financial provision for our funeral

Posted on 17 May 2015

#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.”

Ends


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.