Two in five UK adults will need to use their own savings to cover funerals

  • MetLife’s The Last Word report finds two in five adults will use their own savings to pay for their funeral
  • Just 18% have had a conversation with family members about their wishes and funeral plans
  • Whilst a third (33%) have not thought about funeral plans at all

Two in five (42%) UK adults expect to need to use their own savings to cover high funeral costs, according to research from chapter two of MetLife UK’s The Last Word: Tackling the death and funeral planning taboo report.

Other than mining their own savings, the research finds 17% will instead use a life insurance policy, whilst 11% expect their funeral to paid by a funeral policy.

Although many plan to use their savings to pay for funeral costs, this comes as the cost-of-living crisis has eroded people’s outgoings. 16% of UK adults have already had to make cutbacks to make ends meet, and a further 57% will potentially have to in the coming months. Almost three in four consumers (72%) think the rising cost of living will have a long-term impact on their financial situation, which could impact how one’s funeral will be paid when the time comes.

When it comes to taking care of their funeral arrangements more than a third (35%) confirm their partner/spouse will take control/care of the planning and carrying out the funeral. Their daughter (19%) and son (18%) are second points of call, followed by siblings (14%). 15% admit they haven’t ever thought about it, and 12% say they have no idea.

When it comes to an individual’s own funeral plans, less than one in five (18%) have spoken to family members, and 15% have shared their wishes with family and friends so they can carry them out. The same number (15%) have written a will to outline their wishes and 14% have shared and told their family and friends where their important documents are kept for when the time comes. A third (33%) haven’t thought about their passing.

Adrian Matthews, Head of Employee Benefits at MetLife UK said: “Funeral planning is an emotional and personal experience which many people choose not to think about. Although death is a taboo subject, this shouldn’t be the case. Funeral planning is important because it allows individuals and their loved ones to make thoughtful and practical decisions. It ensures that final wishes are carried out, financial burdens are minimised, and the grieving process can be more focused on healing and remembrance rather than logistical concerns.

“For those UK adults expecting to use their own savings to pay for their funeral, there are other options available. Through MetLife’s new Group Life proposition, over 1.4 million employees throughout the UK can now access exclusive resources and assistance for funeral planning, as well as express their preferences. This guarantees that they have the necessary assistance available whenever required, as often as they need it and 24 hours a day.”