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Tips for talking about funeral plans with your family

09 May 2024 | 2 min read time

Talking about funeral plans with your family can seem like a difficult conversation. In 2023, almost 20% of people who had to arrange a funeral didn’t know any of their loved ones’ funeral wishes.1 More than half didn’t even know if they wanted a burial or a cremation.*

However, there are a number of potential benefits for your loved ones when you take out a funeral plan. And even taking the time to talk to your loved ones about what you want for your funeral can make things easier for them when the time finally comes.

Below are some tips to make it easier to have the potentially difficult, but always important, conversation about your funeral plans.

Context is everything

Starting a conversation about your funeral plans in the middle of dinner might not be the best way to broach the subject. It might feel more natural bringing up funeral plans amidst a discussion about a funeral you’ve recently attended, the funeral of a celebrity, or even in reaction to a funeral scene in a TV show or film. In the right context, the conversation can feel less emotional, and less formal; talking about funeral plans doesn’t need to be either of those things.


If you’re planning on having a more serious talk about funeral plans, you may want to consider where you’re going to broach the subject. Your loved ones are likely to have questions, and having to speak over the noise of a busy cafe or restaurant might not be ideal. Somewhere quiet and private, at home or when you’re out for a walk, will make it much easier for you to comfortably discuss your funeral wishes.

Take it gently

Thinking carefully about how you say something is often as important as what you actually say. It may be that your family is fine talking about death and dying, but for some people, gentler phrases like ‘when I’m gone’ or ‘when I’ve passed away’ are much easier to hear. Be honest and clear, but take care to speak about your funeral plans in a way that your family will be comfortable hearing.

Be practical

Focusing on the practical aspects of your funeral plans, rather than the emotional, may make it easier to have the conversation. Explaining that you have put a pre-paid funeral plan in place to protect your family from potential unexpected costs can give them peace of mind. The knowledge that you’ve already appointed a funeral director, and provided detailed instructions for your funeral arrangements, can remove much of the worry surrounding funeral arrangements.

Plan ahead

It will make it easier to speak to your family about your funeral plans if you know what you want to say. Think about what you want for your funeral service. Something that seems straightforward to you - that you’d like a no-fuss direct cremation, for example, or a non-religious service - could raise big questions for your family. You shouldn’t have to justify your choices (it’s your funeral, after all!), but being able to talk about why you’ve made certain decisions might make it easier for loved ones to understand, and to respect, your final wishes.

Don’t just talk, listen

If you’ve decided to discuss your funeral plans with your family, you’ll probably have been thinking about the subject for a while. However, it’s possible your loved ones won’t have thought about it at all, and will have all sorts of thoughts and feelings. Listen to how they react. If they sound emotional, or if they’re avoiding the subject, they might not be ready to have the conversation just yet. That doesn’t mean you can’t broach the subject at all; they might just need a little space for now.

Golden Charter

Smart Planning for Later Life

We are one of the largest funeral plan providers in the UK* and we work with over 2,900 independent funeral directors across the UK*. Many are long-standing, family-run businesses and all provide a compassionate and professional service.

Find out more about how you can plan for the future with one of the funeral directors in our network.