The average age people start to consider their own funeral is 51, according to new research, often triggered by the death of a parent.


A survey by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) set up by the industry to regulate providers in the UK pre-paid funeral plan industry, found that nearly two-thirds (62%) of those aged over 40 said they view making their own funeral arrangements as a practical necessity.

A similar number of those questioned (63%) said they had discussed at least one element of planning their funeral with family or friends. The most discussed element of the funeral is whether to be cremated or burial, the type of funeral service, followed by the location, how to pay for it, and which music should be played.

Graeme McAusland, CEO of the FPA comments, “We’re encouraged that so many of those over 40 aren’t shying away from making arrangements for their own funeral – including the financial implications. Whilst it can be prompted by a sad occasion and feel like a foreboding task it does ensure that people’s wishes are carried out and financially prepared for.”

The main triggers for people to start thinking about funeral planning are the death of a parent, followed by ageing and wanting to be prepared.

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Seven in 10 (70%) of those questioned said they have put some thought towards how they would cover the costs of their funeral, with more than one in 10 (13%) having bought a funeral plan. The main benefit of funeral plans is that you effectively pay for your funeral at today’s prices, and the services included are guaranteed to be covered no matter how far in the future your funeral may be.

Many people choose to record details of their special wishes in their plans, for instance, how what sort of service they’d like and any particular readings they’d like including.

Nick Oke, from funeral plan provider Dignity said: “Discussing your wishes now can make the future easier for everyone involved, emotionally and financially. It is easy to imagine how making arrangements at such an emotional time can lead to loved ones overcompensating- perhaps making elaborate and expensive choices, simply because of the worry of getting something wrong or appearing too cheap to others.

“With a Dignity Prepaid Funeral Plan, you can document your wishes so your loved ones are spared the additional pressures of trying to arrange the perfect funeral for you. You can begin with the essentials such as cremation or burial, religious or non-religious service and then move on to the personal touches such as your favourite music or reading.”

If you’re considering buying a funeral planning, check whether the provider is registered with the FPA, as all registered providers must abide by a set of Rules and a Code of Practice which provide consumers with greater protection.

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