ITV’s Tonight released the documentary, ‘Funerals: A Costly Undertaking?’ on 3rd November. The programme uncovered some interesting insights towards the funeral industry and the British public’s thoughts on funerals.
ITV’s approach was largely preoccupied with the negative, as the National Association of Funeral Directors remark, “the case studies focused solely on families who, for various reasons, were uncomfortable with their experience of a funeral director” without the mention of families pleased with their experiences. The approach isn’t balanced and the minority of those unsatisfied are represented as the majority, which isn’t the case.
The documentary does highlight the important truths that come with funeral arrangements, bringing to light the concerning statistics about Briton’s attitudes towards funerals.
We are still not considering a pre-paid funeral plan.
The financial implications of a funeral are little known to the majority of the British public. 62% of adults didn’t know how much the average funeral cost and more staggeringly 78% of adults have not done any research into their funeral options.
Although 49% said when organising a funeral, knowing the wishes of the deceased made it easier to organise and pay for, 53% have not communicated funeral wishes to their loved ones.
Why aren’t we thinking about the future?
A reluctance comes with facing your own mortality, it’s something none of us want to think or talk about and one of the reasons so many of us are unprepared for our funeral arrangements.
Funeral options are growing; the traditional ceremonies are becoming less popular, making way for cremations and eco-funerals. It’s important to be prepared and have the ability to plan exactly what you would want your funeral to be, something which can be compromised if not done in advance.
With the inevitability of a funeral, funds should be set aside in preparation. This unwillingness to talk about the subject can lead to a great deal of psychological and financial stress.
The documentary features Heather Kennedy, the campaign manager for Fair Funeral who highlights reason why people are unprepared.
“Death is very often unexpected, so there hasn’t been that opportunity there to save and plan. Where that leaves people is that they’re really struggling to raise the money to give the person who they love a decent send off.”
A sobering reality for many, which is why attitudes should shift towards funeral arrangements and end of life wishes should be spoken about more openly.
The advantages of a pre-paid funeral plan
The documentary stresses the importance of planning in advance. Arranging a funeral is emotionally taxing and a tough obligation for anyone to deal with when overwhelmed with the grief of bereavement. Preparation provides peace of mind and is greatly relieving during such a difficult time.
A pre-paid funeral plan means savings in the long term. As the trend being for funeral costs to rise over time, paying for your funeral in advance means protection against these rising costs, lessening the financial burden.
Preparing also allows you to plan the funeral exactly how you’d want it to be, it’s a great comfort for loved ones and dealing with the uncertainty of end of life wishes.