British people are “taking their final wishes to the grave”, according to new data published by the Co-Operative Funeralcare.
The groups research found that almost 14 million UK adults risk not having their dying wishes met upon their death.
The report, conducted using business data and consumer research, found that one in four (27%) adults had not yet thought about their funeral wishes.
Meanwhile, one in two (49%) people had thought about their wishes, yet almost half (45%) of UK adults had not yet shared their funeral plans with loved ones.
Of the 49% who had thought about their funeral, only 7% had put in place a formalised plan, whilst 40% were “relying on a loved one recalling their wishes” and 2% hoped their written wishes “would be found upon death”.
Three quarters (73%) of people did, however, have clear plans on whether they’d like to be buried or cremated.
David Collingwood, director of funerals at Co-op Funeralcare, said: “For many, death feels a long way off, or like something that they don’t need to talk about or plan for today. None of us can avoid death so it’s really important that we do try to indicate our wishes even if it’s just around a preference for burial or cremation.
“Indeed saying what we don’t want is equally as useful. Sadly though, as funeral directors we see so many families who face the incredibly difficult task of planning a funeral without being certain about their loved ones final wishes.”
He added: “After a bereavement, we know that many families take great comfort from being able to put in place arrangements that they know their loved one would have wanted.
“There is also a great deal of financial and emotional worry removed when families have the reassurance of having a quality pre-paid funeral plan in place covering the whole cost of the specific choices to help take care of their loved ones funeral.”
The most common wishes UK adults did share were:
- Whether they want to be buried or cremated 70%
- Music choices for their funeral 44%
- Whether they want a traditional / non-traditional funeral 39%
- That they would like a fuss free funeral 35%
- Where they would like their funeral to take place 23%
- What coffin they want 21%
- How much they would like spent on their funeral 15%
- What charity they would like mourners to donate to 12%
- What they want people to wear 11%
- Readings they would like during the funeral 10%