Almost a quarter of 30 year olds have started to plan their own funeral

23 February 2015

As the topic of death surges in conversation, especially around end of life care and the decisions around euthanasia, we wanted to see if it had had an effect on the younger generation.

Piggy bank

We also wanted to see the affect it had on attitudes towards pre-planning, so conducted a survey which revealed that almost a quarter of Britons aged 18-30 have already started to plan their funeral. We also found that the funeral ‘location’ was the most common thing for those in this age group to have considered.

1,836 UK residents, all of whom were aged between 18 and 30, were polled during the survey; with an equal number of male and female respondents.

Initially, all were asked 'Have you already planned any aspects of your funeral yet?' We informed respondents that this included telling loved ones the specific aspects they would like, such as dress code, particular songs, flowers, etc. Whilst a majority of 76% of respondents indicated that they had not yet done so, the remaining 24% revealed that they had already considered some aspects of their funeral.

Following this, we asked those respondents who had started planning some aspects of their funeral already, to reveal the reasons why. Respondents were presented with a list of possible answers and were asked to select all that applied to them. The top 5 results were as follows:

  1. I want to ease the burden on my loved ones – 39% 
  2. Pre-planning will help me financially – 27% 
  3. To ensure I have the funeral that I want – 22% 
  4. I believe that it is my responsibility – 16% 
  5. You never know when something bad might happen – 10%

Next, the same group of people were asked to reveal what aspects of their funeral they had already planned. A majority of respondents (58%) said that they had already decided on the ‘location’ of their funeral, whilst a further 41% indicated that they had already decided on the ‘type’ of funeral they wanted.

36% already knew which music they wanted played at their funeral and 26% of said that they had already chosen which readings they would have at their service. 11% said that they had already decided on their casket.

Finally, researchers asked respondents ‘By what age do you want to have your funeral plans completed?’ More than a third of respondents (35%) indicated that they wanted their funeral plans completed by the time they were 50, whilst a further 27% indicated that they wanted them completed by the age of 60. 23% of respondents revealed that they had put no time scale on their funeral plans, whilst 11% said they wanted them completed by the time they were 40.

It’s really important to pre-plan your funeral, whatever age you are, so it is refreshing to see the number of young Britons who are doing so. Whilst some may think that 18-30 is a bit young to pre-plan your funeral, communicating funeral wishes at younger ages will help break the taboo surrounding the discussion of death and dying which is still prevalent in our society.

Pre-planning your funeral is all about easing the burden on your loved ones, making it easier for them to cope following your loss, which is undoubtedly a tough time. If you can make as many decisions as possible in advance and make financial provision before you pass away then it will certainly help your loved ones.