Funeral Trends: Cremation Growing

November 10, 2017 Hull & Hull LLP Estate & Trust, Estate Planning, Funerals, Hull on Estates, Support After Death, Trustees, Wills 0 Comments

A study of 2,000 Brits, reported in the Mirror, shows that 79%  of the population studied dislike the idea of burial. 59% of the population studied would prefer cremation over burial or other options. 21% would like to be cryogenically frozen. 16% are prepared to donate their body to science (56% are considering donating their organs to science).

(Canadian statistics show that in the 60’s, fewer than 5% of all Canadians were cremated. As of 2013, that figure grew to nearly 60%.)

Reasons given by the survey group for eschewing burial include:

  • 38% dislike the idea of being eaten by bugs and maggots;
  • 31% fear being buried alive;
  • 21% are claustrophobic;
  • 18% don’t want to incur the expense of burial; and
  • 17% fear being disinterred by a stranger.

The study notes that while people have strong opinions on the disposition of their body upon death, most are not taking steps to ensure that their wishes are executed:

  • 81% have not put their plans into a will; and
  • 40% have not shared their wishes with families or friends.

As to funeral plans, most have not turned their minds to what type of service they would like:

  • 90% have not given any thought to where their funeral will be held;
  • 56% do not know if they want a religious service;
  • 94% have not considered a guest list.

Why not? The survey found that:

  • 21% can’t bear to think about death;
  • 28% feel that they are too young to be making such plans.

Maitham Mohsin of Skipton Building Society, who commissioned the study, is quoted as saying “It just seems sad that our final opportunity to leave a positive mark on friends and family, for them to ‘hear’ from you one last time, is being delegated by so many of us. Let’s put a stop to this, and plan our own final big bash!”

Although one’s funeral and disposition of body plans are not binding on one’s estate trustee, a testator can appoint an estate trustee who agrees to honour those wishes. Discussion during lifetime can give peace of mind to the testator, and also make the difficult job of the estate trustee an easier one. A documented plan can also possibly avoid issues as between family members, who may each have different ideas of what the deceased may have wanted.

Have a great weekend.
Paul Trudelle

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