6 reasons why you should start planning your end-of-life wishes now
One in five of us believe that we’re too young to start planning a funeral or end-of-life wishes, and many of us haven’t started thinking about the costs or know how much we would need to save to pay for a funeral in the future.
There could be many reasons for this. For starters, you may think that you’re far too young to start thinking about the end of your life, and that it’s a bridge you’ll cross when you come to it.
We understand that it can also be scary to think about death and dying. In our society, we often feel that talking about death is frowned up as it can seem morbid, and in some cultures it’s taboo to talk of one’s own death. However, death is a natural part of life and as much as we might not want to think about it, it is something we can prepare for in advance, ultimately making it easier for everyone when the time does come.
First up, 6 reasons why you should start planning your end-of-life wishes now, followed by some help, whatever your life stage.
1. Stress free for loved ones
The top reason that people pre-plan their funerals and end-of-life care is to lessen the burden on their loved ones. When someone dies, or is in their final days, their loved ones will be faced with dozens of decisions to make, and admin tasks to carry out. These include decisions about the type of burial or cremation, the kind of funeral they would have wanted, where they might have wanted their ashes scattered..
Most people don’t want their spouse, partner, children, or parents to deal with the stress of scrambling to organise their funeral or end-of-life care. This is something you can plan at any age to ensure that your loved ones won’t have to worry about these things when you die.
When you plan ahead for your end-of-life wishes and associated costs, your loved ones won’t have to deal with the pressure of making these decisions at an already stressful and emotional time, and research shows people often over-pay for funerals, if they are arranging an event that isn’t based on their loved one’s wishes. You can use a funeral and end-of-life planning tool like the free planning tool available on our website to start capturing your ideas and wishes now - Legacy of Lives.
2. Plan the costs
The average funeral in the UK costs approximately £4,000. This is quite a large sum of money for the average person. You may not want your loved ones to worry about paying for your funeral out of their own pocket, and perhaps even go into debt.
Some options you can explore are setting up a funeral plan with a funeral director, which would involve monthly direct debit payments. You could also opt for an insurance plan that may cover end-of-life care. The younger you are when you take out a funeral plan, the less expensive it will be in the long run.
3. Ensure you ge the funeral & end-of-life care you want
When you plan your end-of-life wishes in advance, you have the freedom to choose exactly what you want for yourself. This includes what kind of funeral and burial you want, as well as any care decisions. While pre-planning avoids placing the burden on your loved ones, you may also wish to take these decisions to protect your autonomy, perhaps state who you don’t want to be involved, as well as who you do.
For most young people, their autonomy and freedom to make their own choices regarding their bodies - before and after death - are incredibly important.
You may worry that other people might make the wrong decisions on your behalf, or ignore your wishes entirely. This could happen if, for example, your parents have different religious beliefs from you , and your wish to donate your body to science, does not fit with their beliefs.
Every person has the right to choose their own end-of-life wishes. Planning ahead will ensure that you get the care, funeral and burial that you want.
4. Life is unpredictable
You may be thinking “I’m only [insert your age!], why should I think about my funeral?”. We understand that death and dying may feel very far off. It may also seem morbid or negative to talk about things like your own funeral plans.
However, it is important to remember that life is unpredictable, and we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. We plan ahead for unexpected costs all the time, like emergency house repairs, and even expected costs like supporting our children through university or weddings. So why not end-of-life costs?
5. Plan when you're sound of mind
Planning for your end-of-life care and funeral when you’re healthy of mind and body is a wise decision. Later in life, some people may experience signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s that can affect their memory and decision-making faculties. It might be prudent to make decisions regarding how you would like to be cared, as well as your funeral arrangements, when you’re able to make sound decisions.
6. Funeral Directors are there to help
If you’re unsure about how to go about planning ahead for your funeral, ask a funeral director for guidance. Funeral directors are highly experienced in offering advice about pre-paid funeral plans. In the UK, over 200,000 prepaid funeral plans are bought each year. You’re not alone in wanting to plan ahead and get your affairs in order in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or 50s.You can also start gathering your ideas together in our planning tool Legacy of Lives.
Planning Your Funeral and End-of-Life Wishes in Early Adulthood
It can be scary to think about death in your early adult years. You may be thinking that you’re far too young to even begin to think about your funeral, especially since your life is just beginning. It can seem strange to plan your funeral before even planning your wedding or your long-term goals for a blossoming career!
But more people in this life stage (also known as Millennials and Gen-Z “Zoomers”) are taking an interest in planning for their funerals and other end-of-life needs. One reason may be because young people find it incredibly important to exercise autonomy over their own bodies – both in life and in death.
Young adults may also be more open about talking about death and dying, thanks to popular media that depicts death in light-hearted, and sometimes humorous ways. See Kris Hallenga’s approach to her Living FUNeral here.
As you settle into early adulthood, you may now be responsible for more people than just yourself, like your parents and grandparents, partner, children, or pets.
Debt and the financial crisis could influence your decision to plan your end-of-life decisions as a young adult. The sooner you take out a prepaid funeral plan or insurance, the less expensive it will be in the long run. You wouldn’t want to burden your family with the costs of a funeral, especially if they are not in a financially strong position.
Planning Your Funeral and End-of-Life Wishes in Late Adulthood
In late adulthood you will be thinking about retirement, and planning for this next stage of life. Most people begin to seriously think about their funeral plans or end-of- life plans at this age. For many in their 50s and 60s, planning a funeral for their ageing parents will be something they will have to do. They may also be dealing with their parents’ end-of-life care, which will undoubtedly inspire them to think about their own wishes.
You may be thinking “I’m only 50, I don’t want to think about dying yet”. However, death can be unexpected, along with the costs, responsibilities, and decisions that come with it.
If you are currently in any of these life stages, know that it is never too early or too late to begin planning your funeral and end-of-life wishes.
Technology has made it easier than ever to pre-plan your funeral and end-of-life plans. With a click of a button you can plan your entire funeral in advance, right down to the music you want on a free tool like the funeral planner on our website. You can also browse different plans and compare prices, and gain access to hundreds of experienced funeral directors. Give it a go here.
We have more choices now than ever when it comes to their end of life plans, including eco-friendly funerals, water cremations, living funerals, and dozens of unique and fun ways to scatter your ashes.