Funerals and Memorial Services Valued By Consumers
Among adults age 40 and older, 82 percent said a service was helpful in paying tribute to or commemorating the life of a friend or family member. Eighty percent felt services they attended had meaning and value and reflected the life of the deceased. In 2015, 72 percent believed services they attended were an important part of the healing process.
Funeral Professionals Are the Experts Consumers Rely On
Funeral homes and funeral directors remain the top source of information for both making arrangements (65 percent) and selecting merchandise (66 percent) for adults over the age of 40; friends and relatives are the second most popular source of information for making arrangements (64 percent) and purchasing merchandise (59 percent).
In 2015, 86 percent of adults over the age of 40 said funeral professionals were important in making funeral arrangements. Eighty-five percent said funeral professionals take special care to make the ceremony and arrangements reflect the wishes of the family. Eighty-two percent said people working in funeral services are professional and competent. Overall, 82 percent said funeral professionals provide valuable services.
The majority of consumers would not change anything about their experiences with funeral homes – in fact, 87 percent of adults over the age of 40 who had previously been involved in selecting a funeral provider would choose the same one for a future need, and 92 percent would make similar arrangements in the future.
For the 15 percent who would change something about their experiences with funeral homes, cost was the main concern (36%). This has remained a primary concern since 2004.
Interest in Discussing Wishes With Loved Ones and Preplanning Remains High
Forty-six percent of adults over the age of 40 have had conversations with friends/family or friends about how they want to be remembered during their funeral or memorial service. Regardless of whether they have engaged in a conversation with friends/family or not, 89 percent feel their family understands what has mattered most in their lives and how they have made a difference. Eighty-nine percent feel a discussion about their end-of-life wishes would be meaningful.
In 2015, 69 percent of adults over the age of 40 indicated they would prefer to pre-arrange their own service; however, only 17 percent had made arrangements. Sixty percent of those who have pre-arranged their services have prepaid for some or all of them. The main reason for doing so (74 percent) was so survivors wouldn’t have to worry about them or pay for the services, potentially eliminating stress for their friends/family after they are gone.
Of those who felt preplanning was important but had not yet pre-arranged services, 55 percent said they were likely to do so within the next five years.