RIP – Rest in Poverty

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    A newly released report has shown that the cost of dying has risen by 20% since 2007 to an average of £7,248. The annual report by Sun Life Direct makes interesting reading and shows a lack of preparation and consideration by the population.

    The calculated cost of dying includes death related costs such as funerals, probate, headstones and flowers and has risen a huge £400 in the last 12 months alone. The average funeral has increased by 61% in the last seven years leaving one in five people who have to organise one
    struggling with the costs.

    Despi te the shocking statistics a quarter of people fail to make any provisions for end of life costs and 44% of people fail to plan their funeral as they believe it is down to their friends and family to organise and fund it.

    The rising demand for help with these expenses means that the state is struggling to meet the demand for assistance. This is likely to worsen as the volume of elderly people and the ageing ‘baby boom’ population is forecast to steadily increase over the coming decades. The Dilnot report last year has already shown that people are failing to consider their own ‘end of life
    costs’ and this further report confirms that people are not planning how to fund the probate of their estate or their care at the end of their lives.

    For those who think the state will fund their funeral the statistics within the report will make ‘eye-opening’ reading. 38,000 funeral awards were made in 2010/11 however 44% of applications were unsuccessful. The average pay-out for a funeral is just £1,217 per applicant leaving a shortfall to be met by the family of the deceased.

    Concerns have been expressed by a number of parties as to whether the current social infrastructure established to support people at the end of their life meets the needs of today’s society. Although the number of deaths in England and Wales is at an all time low (491,348 registered in 2009) it is anticipated the number of deaths will rise significantly by 2030 by a predicted 17%.

    “People are living longer and are therefore using more resources, both their own and the state’s” comments Dr Kate Woodthorpe, lecturer in Sociology at the University of Bath. She further confirms that “costs for social care are rising, living standard expectations are high and there remains an expectation that wealth is passed through the generations”.

    Good advice must, therefore, be to ensure that you have considered end of life costs and have provisions in place to meet them.

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    Matt Walkden Will Writer

    About Matt Walkden

    I am a Professional Will Writer and I offer a small number of other products that complement my Will Writing such as Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPA’s), Fixed Price Estate Administration, often called Probate and some Property Products such as changing a family home from Joint owners to Tenants in Common.

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