It’s important to break that deathly silence
No one likes to think about what might happen when they’re no longer around.
But a new report suggests that our reluctance to tackle the subject is leaving families significantly underprepared for the financial impact of death.
While some simply haven’t got around to discussing their and their family’s wishes in the event of a death, others may find the thought too upsetting.
But not discussing the subject at all could have huge financial repercussions down the line.
Nearly two-thirds of UK adults feel that death is a taboo subject, according to Aviva’s Family Finances report.
Funeral arrangements and life-changing illnesses rank among the topics people feel least comfortable talking about with their family.
The research also suggests parents are more likely to have a donor card than a formal plan in place for their children.
More than one in four parents surveyed have an organ donor card, while just one in seven have a formal, written plan covering who will take care of their children if anything were to happen to them.
The survey of more than 2,000 people aged between 18 and 55 also found that more than half felt they should have a will but hadn’t got round to arranging one.
Louise Colley, managing director of protection at Aviva, says: “It’s been said that there are only two things certain in life: death and taxes.
“It’s perfectly understandable why people are reluctant to talk about the latter, but if we can’t talk about something, then it is impossible to plan for it.”
She added: “We need to change the approach to conversations about mortality.
“Having honest and open discussions around financial and practical arrangements can really help to avoid even greater hardship if the worst should happen.”
She advises to make a list of subjects you might need to talk about, to include preferred funeral arrangements, having a will in place, care of any dependents such as your children, planning ahead to save on inheritance tax, assigning a power of attorney and preferences in terms of treatment and care.
Gently broach the topic in a general way.
If the other person seems uncomfortable, consider discussing this another time.
Making financial plans ahead of your passing can be difficult subject