Find a funeral director
Compare funeral directors near you Compare funeral directors near you
All categories

Co-op Survey Shows Talking About Death Remains Taboo

A new study from Co-op Funeralcare has revealed that 29 million people in the UK feel unable to talk about their funeral wishes.

With a survey size of over 30,000 people, Co-op have conducted the UK's largest ever survey into death, dying, bereavement and funeral planning. The results have exposed how uncomfortable many people in the UK still are about discussing their own funerals and plans for later life.

In the results, just 45% of people said that they had openly talked about their funerals wishes with loved ones, despite 55% of people thinking about the subject at least once a month.

When asked what might prompt these discussions, the results show that the loss of a close friend or relative is the main is the main cause of these thoughts, although other life events such as ageing, retirement and medical diagnoses also drive thoughts of mortality.

Number Trigger
1 Death of a family member (30%)
2 Covid-19 pandemic (26%)
3 Reaching a milestone age (24%)
4 News reports of a global or national crisis (16%)
5 A medical diagnosis (16%)
6 Death of a friend (15%)
7 Making a will (13%)
8 Death of a celebrity (10%)
9 War and terrorism (9%)
10 Retirement (9%)

Many of these driving factors are happening later in life, with many younger people delaying, by choice or circumstance, many life events that could trigger conversations about death and dying.

Buying property, getting married, having children - these events can be seen to be real flashpoints in considering making a will, or making funeral plans. Three quarters (72%) of people haven’t made a will, with half (51%) saying this is because ‘they haven’t got round to it yet’ and four fifths (79%) don’t have life insurance, with a quarter (25%) saying they don’t need it

Gill Stewart, Managing Director of Co-op Funeralcare, said:

"Our findings highlight a real missing link between thinking, talking and even planning. It can be uncomfortable to discuss planning for death and funerals with loved ones, especially for fear of upsetting them – but we believe this is precisely why those conversations are crucial."

Talking about your end of life plans, death and bereavement can be a real struggle for many of us. If you need some prompts to get started, you could fill out Funeral Guide's Funeral Wishes, and either print or email your answers to share with family and friends. This can give you a real way to get the conversation started.

The Co-op has also created a website that aims to get people talking. If you would like some ideas and inspiration for your funeral planning, Funeral Guide has conducted a survey to discover the UK Public's Perfect Funeral. If you need to find a funeral director today, you can use Funeral Guide's extensive listings with verified reviews from bereaved people.

Comprehensive listings to compare funeral directors near you Compare funeral directors near you

112,380 verified reviews