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Planning Retirement Online

Wills and funerals                                                July 2009 


funeralWills and funerals – those silent subjects

None of us like to think about the fact that one day we will die, but all of us should have a signed and updated will in place and also have set out our wishes and also some provision for a funeral.

It is not an easy subject to talk about, and it is still quite common for older people to make real economies in their life so that they can leave some money to their children.

Interestingly enough, this is no longer the most important thing - while most of us like the idea of leaving money behind to our loved ones and friends, it seems the inheritance most people want is a treasured possession.

The Post Office has just done some interesting research that indicates that only 16 per cent of people would like to be left money from a loved one. In contrast, over 70 per cent said they would prefer to be left something that reminded them emotionally of the loved one, with a treasured possession identified as the most wanted inheritance.

The responses to the survey showed that the most popular things people would like to receive are:

1) A treasured possession
2) A love letter
3) A video recording of the person
4) A surprise gift chosen with thought before the person died
5) An audio recording from the person
6) A copy of the person’s favourite song
7) A copy of the person’s favourite film

Receiving money is always welcome, but doesn’t bring back the warm sentiments that most people seek when remembering a loved one.

Gemini Adams, a grief expert and author of Your Legacy of Love, said that when it comes to preparing for death, people are encouraged to write a will to share financial assets while what the surviving loved ones really need is a continuing bond to help them remember and to show how much the person cared.

“By leaving emotional assets, together with our financial assets, we can share our total “wealth”,” says Gemini. “Preparing for the end of life isn’t very appealing, yet by taking advance action we can all realize the gift in goodbye, and leave a legacy that can help to alleviate the grief and suffering of our family long after we are gone.”

The Post Office did the survey to help gather information in relation to their Life Cover plan and the information they gathered also revealed another interesting aspect – over six million people admitted to worrying that they will not be able to pay for the send off they think their loved ones deserve. Over 70 per cent of us aged over 50 haven’t made any financial provisions for our funeral – the average cost of a funeral is around £2,400 at the moment.

Apart from covering the cost, few of us have really considered what sort of funeral we would like and again, while it is not a popular subject to address, it can be really helpful for your relations and loved ones to have an idea of what you would prefer. Leaving clear instructions on the funeral or end of life celebrations you would like can be a real help during a sad and difficult time.

Today there is a wide range of funerals available and it really is worth taking the time to investigate and then give your relations, close friends or executor an idea of the arrangements you would like. Woodland burials are becoming more popular, modern music rather than traditional music is being played more and more at crematoriums, and some people have even had the foresight to put together a photo book or a video of aspects of their lives that they would like to be shared at their funeral.

If you can organize as much as possible about your will and funeral before you die, it can really help your friends and loved ones when the inevitable finally happens.


Nutricentre Discount for laterlife visitors If in any doubt about any of the information covered in health and nutrition related articles and it's relevance for you, consult your GP.




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