Coping with finances and grief when a loved one dies

Coping with the death of a loved one is one of life’s most stressful events imaginable – not only because of the psychological grieving process, but because of the financial challenges that can be incurred as well. According to the ONS, an average of 44,803 people die in the UK every April, which means that potentially hundreds of thousands of people will be grieving this month. Losing a loved one or preparing to lose a loved one is always going to be extremely difficult, but there are things you or they can do to slightly ease the process.

Talk To Someone

Talking to a family member or friend is a good way to begin the healing process and work through the many complex emotions that go hand-in-hand with the grieving process. If you’d rather not speak to someone you know, then GriefChat is a free online service which connects you to a bereavement counsellor who is specially trained to listen to you and to point you in the direction of further help and support. It’s available Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm.

Look After Yourself

As well as the well-known emotional effects, grief can take a huge physical toll on those suffering from it. Exhaustion, aches and pains, a lowered immune system, weight loss (or gain) and trouble sleeping are all known symptoms of grief. Meditating, listening to relaxing music, getting a good night’s sleep and eating a healthy diet can help. If you don’t feel like cooking, then ask friends and family to help you prepare meals and see your doctor if you need further advice.

Make To-do Lists

Financial affairs can seem like a small issue when the immediate, emotional reality of a loss kicks in, but once the death has been registered, things need to start moving fast on the financial side. The funeral needs to be arranged, insurance companies, pension providers and banks need to be informed, and the executor of the will needs to be contacted. If possible, have the conversation with loved ones before they pass away about who needs to be contacted should they die, so you can focus as much energy as possible on the grieving process. There are many online checklists you can use as well to ensure you’ve covered everything.

Take Control

Death is an inevitable part of life. If you are fifty and over a funeral plan can help you get your affairs in order now, so you don’t need to worry about the costs of your own funeral falling to your loved ones or that they will spend unnecessary money on the service you may not have wanted.

It also means you can get the send-off you want by choosing what you want now, you can always revisit your choices later if you change your mind. Foresters Friendly Society has partnered with Dignity to offer a comprehensive range of plans that are uniquely tailored to your needs, and that provide access to a network of 1200 respected funeral directors delivering the highest levels of care.

Paul Osborn, Chief Executive for Foresters Friendly Society commented: “With today’s ageing population and continued pressure on our finances, financial consideration of the cost of a desired funeral service is of growing importance. While from the outset it may seem difficult or impersonal to talk about a loved one’s passing, having open and practical conversations whereby financial plans are put in place is crucial. Not only do these go a long way to avoid unexpected high costs, but they also help to ease some of the emotional toll when coming to the tedious process of formalising not only funeral documents but taxes and inheritance too.

Being able to offer our members access to Dignity’s range of funeral plans and having peace of mind the service provided is of the highest quality is key. As a mutual organisation, ensuring the services we offer are valuable and support members throughout their lives is at the heart of our organisation and everything we do.”

Paul Toghill, Director of Distribution & Partnerships, Dignity Pre Arrangement Ltd says “As one of the first companies to offer funeral plans in the UK, we are proud to have helped over 824,000 customers plan their funeral arrangements in advance. A funeral plan is a valuable part of sensible financial planning for anyone over 50, allowing individuals to put their affairs in order and get on with enjoying life, safe in the knowledge that everything they’ve specified will be taken care of. With a Dignity Funeral Plan, Foresters’ members can rest assured that this will be done with the highest standard of care.”

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