Why it’s worth having that difficult conversation about funeral plans

08 December 2016

Finding the right time to discuss your funeral wishes with your family can be incredibly challenging.

Awkward conversation about funeral plans

But all evidence suggests it is worth doing for all those involved. Here’s how to go about bringing it up and how funeral plans can make what is usually an awkward conersation a whole lot easier.

For those who have ever tried to mention the subject of their own funeral arrangements with family or friends, sudden changes of subject probably feel very familiar. The fact is that no one wants to talk about the possibility of someone they love not being around anymore, despite the inevitability of it. Last year, the SunLife Cost of Dying report found that just 30% of us had ever spoken to anyone about what should happen when we’re gone1.

Graham Jones, Director at SunLife said: “We found that just 1% of people know all of their loved ones’ funeral wishes. And it is not just the finer details like flowers – significant decisions are not being talked about either, for example a third of those organising a funeral had no idea whether the deceased would have wanted to be buried or cremated.”

Funerals are an odd inevitability. Right up until the moment they are needed, no one wants to think about them - least of all the people who they most concern. But the issue is that when a funeral is needed, the bereaved often feel like they have to make a lot of arrangements with no real idea about what the deceased would have wanted. This leads to lots of difficult decisions, and people can even begin to question how well they knew the person they lost.

Funeral plans provide a simple solution to this problem. By putting arrangements in place, and having the conversation with a professional funeral director who is well placed to help and advise, you can reduce the worry for those left behind. Then, all you have to do is let your family and friends know that you have put a plan in place and tell them where the paperwork can be found. From that point, you never have to speak about your funeral arrangements again and can get on with enjoying your life. When the time comes, your family members will thank you for taking the time to pre-plan, and your chosen funeral director will take care of everything else.

1. SunLife, Cost of Dying, October 2015.