It’s Not Nice, but People Need to Talk About Death (and Life Cover)

It’s perhaps one of the biggest taboo subjects there is, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk about death. After all, we’re all going to die someday, so much better to have some plans in place when we do than leaving our families woefully unprepared for the financial impact it will inevitably have.

Nevertheless, a recently published study has found that the taboo of mortality and the growing tendency for people to “live in the moment” has left a worrying number of families ultimately unprepared financially should the worst happen.

According to the latest Aviva Family Finances Report, over a quarter (26%) of UK adults believe they will never need or want life insurance. Furthermore, even though one in eight men and one in 12 women die during their working lives, 44% of respondents said they don’t think they will ever need or want death in service cover.

Death Still Very Much a Taboo Subject

When it comes to the subject of death, 62% of people think that it is a taboo subject, which, therefore, makes it hard to discuss with friends and loved ones. Over half (51%) of the people who don’t view it as a taboo subject said they don’t want to talk or think about it because they’re too busy enjoying their lives.

Conversations about their sex life (55%); debts (22%); general finances (21%); funeral arrangements (18%); and life-changing illnesses (14%) are the topics people are most uncomfortable talking about with their families.

While it’s up to the individual what they do and do not talk about, the reluctance to discuss such issues has led to a worrying protection gap, with just 14% of parents saying they have a formal, written plan detailing who will look after their children should anything happen to them.

Worryingly, more than half (54%) of parents indicated that they hadn’t made any plans whatsoever and over a quarter (28%) said they don’t think they will require childcare should they die. Almost the same number again (27%) said they had an organ donor card.

Despite being fully aware of the benefits afforded by suitable life plans, many families still haven’t made any financial preparations for death. Even though wills come with a low price tag, over half (55%) of UK adults have not created one, regardless of the fact they feel they should have one.

‘Steps Can be Taken’

However, 14% of respondents said they will never need or want a will. This rises to 25% for people who have not yet thought about their own mortality.

For adults whose parents are still alive, 62% have never had conversations about what should happen in the event of their death. Most indicated that this was because they’ve simply never thought of it (63%), while 14% said it would be too upsetting for them and 13% said it would be too upsetting for their parents.

Louise Colley, managing director, protection at Aviva, said: “No-one likes to think of death, but it’s equally discomforting to think of family members being left financially vulnerable or unsure what to do if you were no longer around. There are certainly steps that can be taken to ease the practical and financial challenges that arise after the death of a loved one.”

We can offer simple solutions to help clients with wills and life insurance. It is important for people to think about what would happen in the unfortunate event of an untimely death and getting something in place now is a far better option than leaving loved ones to struggle through during a really difficult and emotional situation.


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