It's time we break the taboo and talk openly about dying

Death is inevitable, yet many of us find it hard to talk about it. It's finally time to break the taboo.

Promoted by John G Hogg
Wednesday, 2nd May 2018, 3:57 pm
I have certainly witnessed a rise in the number of people struggling to pay for a relatives funeral and this is a major concern," says Mr Hogg

A respected Sunderland-based funeral director has called for an end to the taboo of talking about death.

John G Hogg, an independent funeral director for over 30 years, says the rising costs of funerals and increasing levels of funeral debt mean it’s more important than ever that people talk to loved ones about their wishes and make financial preparations earlier.

His views follow last month’s call from the Sue Ryder Trust to start a national conversation about dying, arguing the subject was taboo and a cause of anxiety for many people.

Mr Hogg, who runs three family-owned funeral homes across Sunderland said: “We know that many people still find it difficult to talk about death, and it can mean that many people are not prepared, both emotionally and financially.

“I have certainly witnessed a rise in the number of people struggling to pay for a relative’s funeral and this is a major concern because estimates show a funeral could cost over £15,000 in 10 years’ time.

“Sadly, talking to your loved ones about death is still a taboo subject, but I think that has to change.

“Also, planning ahead financially for a funeral or investing in a prepaid plan means loved ones are spared the extra stress and burden of paying for and organising a funeral. Telling your relatives that you have a plan in place will be a huge comfort to them, both now and in the future.”

More and more people are deciding to arrange their own funerals and pay for them in a prepaid plan. Latest figures show at least 650,000 UK residents have a plan covering not only the cost, but giving them a chance to choose the kind of service, flowers and even coffin.

Mr Hogg said: “Choosing a prepaid plan with a funeral director like ourselves gives added peace of mind. Regardless of whether funeral costs go up in the future, neither you nor your loved ones will pay a penny more.

“We offer a range of prepaid plans to suit all wishes and budgets. We specialise in tailored funeral plans, which suit your individual requirements.

“There is no right or wrong age to take out a plan, but I would recommend between 45 and 75.

“We pride ourselves in the tradition of trust we have built up. We are known for our professionalism and commitment to helping people organise the funeral they want.”

John G Hogg Funeral Directors is an award-winning family-run business based in Sunderland. It offers a range of funeral products and services, prepaid funeral plans and 24-hour support and advice. The business has received several awards for its funeral services including Regional Funeral Planner of the Year.

To find out more about how to plan ahead, visit