07 May 2018

Top five ways to help your loved ones after you have gone

5 min read

Meera Khanna, Consumer PR Manager
Meera Khanna

Corporate PR Manager - Protection


Ahead of Dying Matters Week (14 to 20 May), research from Royal London shows one in three adults (33%) have dealt with the financial affairs of someone who has died, yet only a quarter (23%) have their own comprehensive file of financial information.

Royal London has a top five list of things to-do, to help your loved ones after you have gone:

  1. Write a will
    A will ensures that the right people inherit from you and while most of us know how important it is to have a will and keep it up to date, many of us don’t do it. Royal London research shows that three in five adults (60%) don’t have a will, and a quarter (26%) of those are aged 55 and above. It’s especially important for cohabitating couples to have a will, as the surviving partner does not automatically inherit any estate or possessions left behind.
  2. Think about care of children
    If you have children it’s important to decide on guardians, but three in five (58%) parents with children under 18 haven’t chosen guardians should they die. Think about who you would want to step into this role and ask them if they’d be happy to do so. Then make sure you appoint them as guardians in your will.
  3. Write a When I’m Gone List
    More than one in 10 (12%) adults admitted that it would be very difficult for anyone to handle their financial affairs after they died. Pulling together all your personal and financial information into one simple document can really help your loved ones when you’re gone. Royal London has produced a ‘When I’m Gone List’ to help you keep note of all your important financial documents and funeral wishes in one place.
  4. Make a plan to pay for your funeral
    Royal London’s research shows that the average cost of a funeral is around £3,800, with one in six people (16%) saying they struggled with the cost. Having a plan in place to pay for your funeral will mean your family won’t have to find several thousand pounds at a difficult time.
  5. Have a conversation with your family
    Having a conversation with your family about your wishes can remove a great deal of uncertainty for them at a difficult time. Our research shows that for those that have had to arrange a funeral, two in five (41%) were not left any instructions from the deceased. Starting a conversation might include talking about your funeral wishes with your loved ones or showing them where your important documents are kept.

Louise Eaton-Terry, funeral expert at Royal London, said:

"Talking about death isn’t always easy, but having plans in place will lessen the financial impact and make things a little bit easier for those you leave behind. While planning can seem daunting, you can start by simply having a conversation with your loved ones about your last wishes."

- ENDS -

For further information please contact:

Meera Khanna, Corporate PR Manager - Protection

Note to editors

  1. More information on planning can be found on Royal London’s Bereavement Hub. 
  2. All figures relating to writing a will and appointing a guardian are from YouGov carried out on behalf of Royal London. 2,089 adults were surveyed between 10th and 11th October 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). 
  3. All other figures are from an Opinium survey carried out on behalf of Royal London. 2,020 adults were surveyed between 19 and 21 September 2017. The survey was carried out online. The sample has been weighted to reflect a nationally representative audience. 
  4. The Royal London National Funeral Cost Index 2017 found that the average cost of a funeral in the UK is £3,784, an increase of 3% from 2016. 
  5. Dying Matters Week, which runs from 14 to 20 May, aims to raise awareness of the importance of talking about dying, death and bereavement. 

About Royal London:

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with funds under management of £117 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 3,745 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2018.