Almost half of Britons are unprepared for the financial implications of their death

9th March 2016

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Nearly half of UK adults have not made any provisions in the event of their death according to new research.

According to British Seniors Insurance Agency, 23 million Brits are failing to prepare adequately for the financial implications associated with their death, with just a third of adults having a will in place. What’s more, a third of over 50s have not made any arrangements with fewer than half having drawn up a last will and testament.

With nearly one in five UK adults saying that they are not sure how the cost of their death will be handled, it seems that many are failing to prepare adequately for the financial implications of their death, meaning that the burden will more than likely fall on friends and family to cover costs.  This trend is worrying as loved ones are being set up to face financially straining circumstances at what is already a very difficult and emotional time.

“The cost of overlooking these matters is clear with the family members and loved ones left behind put under a tremendous amount of pressure,” says Dave Sutherland, managing director of Neilson Financial Services.

“At what is already a difficult time many people are finding that their grief is greatly exacerbated by the fact that they have to cover the costs associated with a death. These strains are clearly evident in the numbers of people who say that they have suffered from stress or loss of sleep.”

Other research suggests that funeral costs are rising faster than house prices in some areas, with the average price of death is now £8,126 – an increase of 90% over the last decade.

According to a survey by Sun Life, cost are escalating across the board. Funeral directors, for instance, charge an average of £2,204 for the coffin, organising and other advice, while the fee for a cremation has risen to £688. Doctors charge an average of £164 to certify death, while a minister costs £152. On top of this is £2,000 for extras such as a headstone, hearse and catering for a wake with an average £2,433 to lawyers and others who will administer the departed’s estate.Earlier this year, The Daily Telegraph warned that increasing numbers were pledging their bodies to science to avoid the burden of funeral costs.  The Human Tissue Authority receives around 2,000 enquiries a year about donation. What’s more, the newspaper reported that while a Government fund provides compassionate grants to almost 40,000 families a year to assist with the cost of bereavement, 40% of applications for this fund are turned down and the payments are capped at £700.

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