Deciding what to wear at a funeral without guidance from the family can be difficult. Wearing formal suits and ties and dark dresses used to be the order if the day. But no more. Now it is about celebrating life and Mintel found seven in ten (68%) over 50s like the idea of a funeral being a celebration of life rather than an “old style” ceremony. That rose to 76% of women aged 50 to 64.
Nearly two thirds over 50 would prefer to discuss what sort of funeral they would like. Only around one fifth don’t want to talk about it at all, and we have developed a tool for them to quietly express their views, should they wish too.
One of the biggest benefits of talking about your own funeral is avoiding the issues which very often arise with different family members having different opinions. At stressful times, these conflicts can split a family forever, which is no the legacy most people would wish for.
Whether you opt to provide financially for your funeral, or just think it is a good idea to make your wishes known to avoid uncertainty, please do get in touch.
As such, perhaps it is unsurprising that the funeral market has been resilient through the downturn despite the declining mortality rate, rising by 38.5% between 2009 and 2014, or by just under 7% a year in that time. The funeral market in 2014 is estimated to be worth just over £2 billion, up from £1.5 billion in 2009 with the average cost of a basic UK funeral in 2014 stood at £3,609. Strangely, a prepaid funeral plan can cost less than a funeral, due to the the plan providers buying power.
Showing that most Brits are not averse to planning for their farewell, less than two in five (17%) UK adults aged over 50 admit they haven’t taken any steps to prepare for their funeral. Furthermore, over a quarter (26%) have put four or more steps in place. In addition, almost one in six (16%) have a written set of funeral arrangements in place.
When it comes to paying for their funeral, half (49%) of Brits over 50 say think that all or part of the cost of their funeral will be met from the value of their estate and three in 10 (30%) say they have savings set aside specifically to cover their funeral. In a lot of cases, that money may not be available for months – until a Grant of Probate has been obtained. The family will, of course, have to pay or enter a loan agreement before the funeral can take place. Additionally, over a quarter (28%) have a whole-of-life insurance plan that they think will cover their future funeral costs, though many holders of Over 50s insurance (or their families) will be sadly disappointed. Please to read the article on these products if you or a family member have one: there are ways of making the situation more secure.
Since Mintel wrote their original article in 2014, the number of people investing in prepaid funeral plans has soared, though only a tiny proportion has realised that free independent advice (from us) is available, and maybe another plan would have been a better deal. But any proper prepaid funeral plan is far better than none. Strangely, the biggest resistance to prepaid plans comes from the people who stand to benefit most from them – the children. It is they who don’t want to face the fact that their parents are not immortal!
Pre-paid funeral plans are the only sensible way of putting money aside for your funeral, but there are many options and benefits which some plans have and others don’t. So the salesman will do a great job of selling his or her own plan, but won’t know much about the benefits of the other plans in the market – which is why our free Independent Advice is so important.
So, what should you wear at a funeral?
Ideally, you should fit in with the plans of the deceased, but (again, ideally) the funeral invitation or notice should give you an idea. If in doubt it is probably best to be cautious and stick to dark clothes – you can’t go too far wrong with that!