With the Alzheimer’s Society predicting that more than 1million people in the UK will be living with dementia by 2021, a local wills firm is encouraging individuals to ensure family and friends are aware of any details of their pre-paid funeral plans.
A reluctance to talk about death, and in some cases dementia, means many families are left with very little idea about what has been organised and paid for, and that’s if they even know a funeral has been planned and financed at all.
The Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) is dealing with hundreds of cases a year, helping grieving families to trace pre-paid funerals.
Wayne Dyer, director of Gorseinon-based Compass Wills & Estate Planning, said that the situation and the Alzheimer’s Society predictions highlight the importance of communicating with loved ones before they die.
“The rise in the number of people trying to trace pre-paid funerals demonstrates the importance of speaking openly and honestly with loved ones about the details. It can be a difficult thing to discuss, but it’s better that the facts and details are known.
“Forward planning can be really helpful and can take the pressure off the family during a difficult grieving time.
“Our advice would be to ensure relatives get will and probate documents done professionally and with the knowledge of other family members.”
People pre-pay their funerals in a variety of ways – including one down-payment, or regular instalments. Dyer encourages those who pre-pay their funeral to make sure they keep records accessible and to let their relatives know.
TIPS FOR PRE-PAID FUNERALS
• Tell your relatives about your funeral plan and any payments you have made.
• Keep the paperwork accessible. Ideally you could keep it with other important documents so it is easy for your family to find. Even better, tell them where the paperwork is.