Every year we see reports like this, where it is clear that everyday people, just like you and I are refusing to talk or even think about the one certainty in life; death.
Of course the younger you are the more immortal you feel; death is ‘hopefully’ such a long way off, just for ‘old’ people to worry about. But that’s just it; we never know what’s around the corner and when your ‘numbers up’ it’s up – regardless of age!
The fact is that the younger you are the easier it is to plan, which is a big reason why we should be making it a priority in our lives; especially as you hit the magic 50 plus age group. Death isn’t staring us in the face so we can be practical about planning; our thoughts aren’t clouded by the emotion you may be more likely to feel in later life.
The report which was based on 500 people who had lost a loved one in the last 5 years demonstrates how views change after losing a loved one. The key findings were as follows:
- 7 out of 10 people were financially and practically unprepared for the loss
- 3 out of 10 had talked about their funeral with their partner
- A quarter had discussed dying, but few had taken any practical steps
- 2 out of 5 had made a Will
- 1 out of 6 didn't know what to do about the funeral
Makes you think doesn’t it. Would you have money for a funeral? Would you know how to arrange one? What type of funeral would your partner want? Are you prepared if you lost a loved one today?
Steve Webb, Director of Policy at Royal London, said: “The first hand experiences of bereaved families make powerful reading. Whilst nothing can prepare you for the loss of a loved one, families who have experienced a loss are clear that there are things they wish they had done to ease the practical and financial consequences of bereavement. There are steps that we can all take now that would make life easier for our loved ones after we have gone”
The encouraging thing is that we are starting to hear from an increasing number of people who have started to make plans at an earlier age; not as many as we would like but it’s a start. The following points may help you get started; food for thought so to speak so that should the unthinkable happen to you or your partner, you will be better prepared. Remember it doesn't have to be a morbid or awkward conversation, keep it practical and light – after all it’s a really positive thing you are doing:
- Do you have a Will?
- Do you know where your finances are kept, online or at home for example?
- Do you know how to do those jobs your partner usually does, for example, servicing the car, paying the household bills etc?
- Do either of you have any insurance policies or funeral plans in place?
If you are unsure about some of the things discussed in this article you can find help below:
What is a funeral plan?
How do I make a Will?
How do I arrange a funeral?
What to do when someone dies