Funeral Wishes

Funeral wishes in Wills


SunLife recently conducted a study, called the Cost of Dying report which revealed that average funeral costs have more than doubled since 2004, from an average of £1,835 to an average of £4,141. For London specifically, the average funeral cost is now £5,171, and in East Anglia it is £4,642.

82% of the funeral directors who took part in the study stated that mourners shouldn’t bother having flowers because the cost of them is so high.

Covering your funeral wishes in your Will

The research also suggests that more than half of the population of Great Britain do not have a Will in place. Making your Will is a prime opportunity to give thought to what your wishes are for your funeral, and if you haven’t done this, you may never have given any thought to what your wishes are.

During our initial Will meetings, we discuss funeral wishes with our clients in order to establish what their wishes are and to make sure that these are recorded on file.

Whilst funeral wishes stated in your Will are not legally binding, they can be vital in order to provide guidance to your family members or friends of your wishes following your death. If this is not something you have discussed with them during your lifetime, they may be very uncertain about what you would have wanted, and further, if family members have differing views this may lead to conflict between them. Clearly stating your funeral wishes in your Will provides certainty for family members at a difficult time.

Pre-paid funeral plans

Many people elect to have pre-paid funeral plans which they make and pay for during their lifetime in order to ensure their wishes are honoured and to save their family members from the difficult task of planning it for them and arranging the payment. Details of your pre-paid funeral plan can also be included in your Will to assist loved ones in establishing who the plan is held with and what reference they will need to provide in order to set this in motion.

The Cost of Dying report also found that as many as 20% of people in Great Britain are electing to have a direct cremation instead of a full funeral. This has increased from just 3% in 2019 and may be linked to the rapidly increasing costs of funerals.

There are plenty of options to consider, you can also have a direct burial, a burial at sea, a green burial, a scattering ceremony or even a memorial service.

How Pinney Talfourd can help

Whatever your wishes, we can assist you with making your Will and ensuring that your funeral wishes are accurately recorded in order to provide certainty for your loved ones once you are gone, however, it is most important to make sure that your closest family members and/or friends are aware of these.

For more information please get in touch with our Private Client on 01708 229 444.

This article was written by Jessica Newton, Associate in our Private Client Team. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of January 2024.


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For help and advice, talk to a member of our team. They can advise on the best options in your matter.

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