Survey reveals Britons struggle to talk to their families
London, 25 July: Modern Britons admit it is easier to talk about personal matters with their boss, workmates, even a stranger than it is to discuss such matters with their family. A survey of 1,000 adults by the website of Saga Legal Solutions, www.sagalegal.co.uk, found that over a third said talking to a member of the family about personal matters was the most difficult conversation of all.
Uneasy Brits find it harder to talk to their family about sex or discuss what happens when they die, than asking their boss for a raise, the research reveals. Asking a friend for money has also become one of the nation’s most difficult conversations, reveals the study by Saga Legal Solutions.
Discussing a Will with relatives is not an easy chat to have for 18 per cent of adults but it seems to get easier among the older, over-60s, age group where only 13 per cent do not like talking about it.
Emma Myers, Head of Wills, Probate and Lifetime Planning for Saga Legal Solutions comments: “It is fascinating to see that Britons find it harder to talk to loved ones than a stranger or a professional even when it’s something personal such as our finances or about sex. While you can put off some difficult conversations forever, this is never a good idea when it comes to making a Will or talking about what will happen when you die.”
Other difficult conversations include asking a boyfriend or girlfriend to move in, medical issues in general and telling a partner about a major purchase. But one in five of those in their sixties (20 per cent) admit they also find it hard to discuss arrangements for how they want to be cared for in old age.
For many, this is harder than it should be because they have failed to deal with the legal side of making a Will and other details already, highlighted Saga Legal Solutions, which offers fixed prices for those aged 50 and over. The survey found only 23 per cent of all Britons have already arranged their Will and what will happen to their assets after they die, rising slightly to 26 per cent of those in their 50s but as high as 41 per cent for those in their sixties and over.
Almost one in five (18 per cent) have at least discussed such matters even if they have not put it in writing but 30 per cent say they have ‘not even thought about it’, including, worryingly, 19 per cent of those in their 50s.
Emma continues, “For the sake of peace of mind, and to avoid any future legal problems, it is best to make those decisions early. With the public finding it easiest to speak to a professional (93%) about personal matters such as Wills, Saga Legal Solutions aims to provide accessible advice and information.”
Saga understands that some things are difficult to talk about and also that the legal market can be confusing, so they now also provide straightforward access to a range of affordable legal products and services with free initial advice via a 24hr advice line and website.
Talking about sensitive subjects with a loved one is never easy. Some problems, such as wills and estate planning, need to be resolved as quickly as possible to avoid long-term emotional, financial and legal burdens being passed on to others. Here are my top five tips on how to broach a difficult conversation to help ensure a positive outcome for all involved.
1. It’s now or never – It’s easy to delay difficult conversations, especially with a beloved friend or family member and the thought of upsetting or offending someone we hold dear can be a powerful deterrent to action. Hold your nerve! In reality, each day you put off an awkward conversation only makes it harder to resolve once and for all. Open a dialogue – it’s unlikely that it’s going to be resolved in one conversation and not having the conversation could cause stress for both parties, and have implications on your health and well-being.
2. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail – Fully research the issue and use reputable resources available to you so you’re clued up before you even start. Make a comprehensive list of issues you want to discuss and more importantly, possible resolutions that work for both you and your loved one.
3. Listen – A conversation is a two way street and how it unfolds is not just about you but about your loved one also. Remember the conversations you wished you’d had with your own parents. Make sure you listen to what they’re saying and respond to their feelings. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine how they are feeling.
4. There’s a time and a place – There’s no perfect time to have a difficult conversation but all too often we end up getting so wound up about an issue that we blurt out our frustration in a potentially hurtful manner. Picking the right time and place for your conversation will help everyone to be in the best frame of mind to secure a happy resolution.
5. Express yourself – Express yourself clearly and fairly. Think carefully about how you phrase your comments. If the subject is complicated, be sure you have a good understanding of the issues before beginning the conversation. Don’t be deluded, you may be one of the one in three older people who are going to need care in their old age.
Saga Legal Solutions provides a range of accessible legal products and services for over 50s at competitive fixed prices. For initial free advice from Saga’s professional but friendly legal team or for more information, visit www.sagalegal.co.uk or call: 0800 656 9927
About Saga Legal Solutions: Saga Legal Solutions provides a range of affordable and accessible legal products and services for over 50s at competitive fixed prices. Products include: Wills and Estate Planning, Probate and Conveyancing as well as Legal Essentials – legal expenses insurance cover. For initial free advice or for more information, visit www.sagalegal.co.uk or call: 0800 656 9927.
Note: Saga Legal Services and online legal documents are currently only available for use in England and Wales.
Will & Lasting Power of Attorney
· Fixed prices, agreed upfront
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content credited to: Saga Legal Services July 2013