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Do Your Loved Ones Know Your Dying Wishes?

Almost two thirds of Britons have not made a Will and so risk leaving a financial nightmare for family members when they die.

Results from a study by Dying Matters, revealed this week, confirms that only a third of adults in the UK have written a Will, whilst the vast majority of the public (83%) state that they feel "uncomfortable" when it comes to talking about their dying wishes. Just 6% of the public have written down their wishes or preferences about their future care, should they be unable to make decisions for themselves.

This suggests that end-of-life planning and talking about death is still a taboo subject for many people.

In addition, over half of Britons in a relationship are unaware of their partners' dying wishes, and just 29% of UK adults say they have discussed their funeral wishes with somebody.

The survey also took into account the digital age. It appears that some people feel more able to pay tribute to someone who has died than discuss their own wishes: just over a fifth of those surveyed say they have talked about their end of life wishes, yet 27% state they have written a social media post to someone who has passed away. Despite the growth of social media, more than seven in ten say they have never even contemplated what would happen to their digital legacy - this includes social media and online accounts, online music and photos - when they die.

Claire Henry, Chief Executive of the Dying Matters Coalition and the National Council for Palliative Care, said: "Dying is one of life’s few certainties, but many of us appear to be avoiding discussing it or in denial altogether. Talking more openly about dying and planning ahead is in everyone's interests, as it can help ensure we get our wishes met and make it easier for our loved ones. You only die once, which is why it’s so important to make your wishes known while there’s still time."