Am I too young to plan?
The chances are you're not! Whether you are 50, 60 or 70, it doesn't matter. In fact it is far easier and more straightforward to put plans in place when you are younger! If you spend a bit of time planning now, you’ll have ticked that box so you can just get on with living.
Modern life is quite complicated. Today’s world is not what it used to be – divorce rates are higher, families are often extended and the traditional picture of being married with two children has almost disappeared. In this rather confusing world, doing something as simple as writing a will can be a great start. It can help clarify so many issues that will only rear their head when you die. You can then be certain that things will be taken care of when you’ve gone rather than leaving it to chance.
It’s also worth taking a look at paying for a funeral as it may just help you decide the best way to ease the cost of it all. Are you saying ‘Why me? I’m only 50; I don’t need to plan a funeral’? According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), 28,000 people died in their 50’s in 2010. What’s more, 60,000 people in their 60’s died in the same year! Are you now sitting there saying ‘It won’t happen to me’? Unfortunately sometimes it does! Surely it’s worth it for the sake of a couple of hours of paperwork?
My family will deal with things?
In reality most of us leave it to the family, but at what cost? We spend our lives protecting those we care about, helping them where we can, sharing difficult times, yet we leave some of the most difficult decisions to them when we die.
Not only do they have the funeral to sort out and pay for, they also have to work out what happens to your possessions which without a Will can open up a real can of worms. We’ve all heard stories about even the closest of families feuding over what happens to a treasured piece of furniture, painting or clock! And don’t forget, all this is happening whilst they are still trying to come to terms with you not being around anymore – that’s tough!
So why do we do it? Why not make the decisions beforehand so they don’t have to. After all, wouldn’t it be great to know that when the time comes you have taken care of everything so they have one less thing to worry about?
I can’t afford to plan
Times are tough right now. It’s difficult thinking about the future, let alone planning for a time when you are no longer around? Dying is an expensive business and unfortunately unavoidable! It will happen one day so can we afford ‘not’ to think about it?
When the time comes who will pay for the funeral, sort out the paper work and any outstanding bills? You may think you have it covered with savings or the sale of your house but is it that straight forward? The fact that you’re reading this means you’ve started thinking about the impact dying will have on those around you or perhaps have a nagging doubt.
I don't like talking about dying
No one likes talking about dying, except funeral directors of course. The great thing about funeral planning is once you’ve done it, you can forget about dying and never have to mention it again.
It really doesn’t have to be a bleak subject. Talking about your wishes and comparing them to those closest to you can be quite enlightening. Deep down most of us know whether we prefer to be buried or cremated so this can be a good starting point. Is there somewhere special you would like your ashes scattered, would you prefer a big elaborate wooden coffin, a wicker one or just the cheapest one available, is there a favourite hymn or piece of music that should be played?
Whether it’s a father who wants his daughters to trudge to the top of a favourite mountain to scatter the ashes or a friend who wants everyone to where pink at the funeral whilst dancing to Abba’s greatest hits, they are good conversations to have!
So don’t be afraid to start talking about it. Like many things, the longer you put it off, the more difficult these decisions become so why not do it now and get it out of the way! You’ll feel a lot better for doing it!
I don't need to put plans in place
Ask yourself, does your wife, husband, son or daughter know what type of funeral you would like or when asked by the funeral director will they be left scratching their head? Are they aware of a special piece of jewellery you would like them to keep or is there a danger that it may go to a greedy relative who in truth you have never really liked? Do they know that you would like your body donated to science or your money to the local cats’ home?
For so many reasons sharing your wishes with your family is a kind thing to do! The grieving process is bad enough without them having to second guess what you would have wanted. Whether it is a Will, a Funeral Plan, a letter or just a list of instructions, it will lighten the load and even though you’re not around anymore, help your family will feel supported.