They say life is cheap. Well, death certainly isn’t. Recent figures from Sun Life show that the cost of dying has increased to over £7,000. But who should be responsible for footing the bill?
The report also reveals just how few people are organised in their planning for passing away. Over half of those with responsibility for such outlays were surprised at the costs made up of funerals, probate, flowers and headstones.
Funeral expenses themselves have increased 61% over seven years, with no apparent end in sight. The assistance available is dwindling in comparison, with the government’s Social Fund funeral payment scheme contributing on average only £1,217; even then 45% of applications were unsuccessful.
Why are we financially unprepared for the inevitable?
It appears that inaction, a lack of understanding and expectation on the next generation are to blame. While it’s usual to discuss wills with nearest and dearest, this survey revealed that many in old age had not planned for their funeral, as they expected family and friends to organise it for them. They also expected them to fund it.
It’s unpleasant – and most of us wouldn’t want to think, let alone say it – but the elderly need to make suitable arrangements in good time – not only will it avoid additional stress for loved ones but it will also make expenses much clearer before the inevitable happens.
This may all sound very callous, but it seems that an essential part of life is thinking about – well, death. Perhaps, you feel the government’s responsible? Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that, post-Dilnott report, the government will increase spending on the elderly to encompass these death costs.
In the end, it’s our own responsibility and we all need to make plans or our families will be in grave danger of having to pay a heavy price.
Who do you think is responsible for your funeral costs?
Me (81%, 245 Votes)
My family/friends (13%, 38 Votes)
The government (6%, 19 Votes)
Total Voters: 302