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Less than half of people have openly discussed their funeral wishes – survey


Less than half (45%) of people have openly talked about their funeral wishes with loved ones, a survey has found.

More than seven in 10 (72%) people in the research said they have not made a will, with half (51%) saying this is because they have not got round to it yet.

The research, commissioned by Co-op, also found that over a fifth (22%) of people think about their own death as regularly as once a week, and over half (55%) do so monthly.

The study forms the basis of Co-op’s planning for death report involving research by YouGov. It was based on the views of more than 16,000 adults across the UK and 18,000 Co-op members in autumn 2023.

Co-op, which is owned by its five million members, found just one third of people (33%) are comfortable with and have talked to loved ones about their own death.

We know that talking to loved ones now can help them later

Gill Stewart, Co-op Funeralcare

Gill Stewart, managing director of Co-op Funeralcare, said: “Our findings highlight a real missing link between thinking, talking and even planning. It can be uncomfortable to discuss planning for death and funerals with loved ones, especially for fear of upsetting them – but we believe this is precisely why those conversations are crucial.

“We know that talking to loved ones now can help them later. Putting in place funeral plans, life insurance, a will or even a lasting power of attorney, can go a long way in safeguarding loved ones when the time comes.

“That’s why really we encourage people to have open and honest conversations about their wishes with loved ones.”

Lucy Harmer, CEO of charity Cruse Bereavement Support, said: “At Cruse Bereavement Support, we know that talking about death can ease anxiety, improve relationships, and help with grief. That’s why we support the Co-op’s initiative to urge people to plan ahead and share their funeral wishes with their families.”



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