Photographs, cigarettes, mobile phones and cuddly toys are just some of the items that we want to take with us to the grave according to new research by Post Office Insurance.
But many people could end up without their last request because they have not made their intentions clear to their families. When asked what they would like to have buried or cremated with them, one in five people would like a photo of a loved one - rising to one in every four women. While popular choices for women tended to be those with sentimental value, such as an object belonging to a partner or cuddly toy, men would prefer the company of a bottle of alcohol or even a national flag. More bizarre choices included a George Michael tour t-shirt, a wetsuit and motorbike leathers.
Top items to be buried/ cremated with:
- A photo of a loved one
- An object belonging to spouse/ partner
- Bottle of alcohol
- Photo of favourite place/ view
- A cuddly toy
- Lock of hair from spouse/ partner
- Photograph of pet
- National flag
- Mobile phone
- Bible/prayer book/religious object
- Pack of cigarettes
- Something belonging to my pet
However, those who want to take their mobile phone into their coffin should be prepared for disappointment if they want to be cremated. Recent changes in regulation aimed at protecting the environment mean there are restrictions on what is allowed in a coffin when cremated, with most metals now ruled out, due to the hazardous emissions they produce.
While many have thought in detail about their funeral, only a third who want to be buried or cremated with a particular item have told loved ones or have made plans for these wishes to be available to friends and family after they have gone.
Duncan Caesar-Gordon of Post Office Insurance says, "Although lots of us have very specific ideas about how we would like to be remembered and what we would like to take with us, the vast majority has not taken any steps to make sure it happens. Talking to loved ones about your wishes, and putting in place financial provisions can make a big difference to a bereaved family who are left to make decisions and finance arrangements. A simple plan can give peace of mind to family and friends."