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Best Foundation Advisory Board Member, Philip Pamment, has written about why he believes we avoid the topic of death, which in turn means we avoid writing a will; read below to hear his views on the subject.

We have all heard the phrase, ‘nothing is certain except death and taxes’ coined by one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin, in his correspondence to French physicist Jean-Baptiste Leroy. Even though this phrase is often used in jest, we know that there is much truth behind the notion.

However, we avoid the subject of death (and, for a few, taxes) almost instantaneously whenever it appears in conversation, swiftly switching topic or ignoring the mention of the dreaded word. has discussed why this is the case and why a Will is still necessary despite all of these emotional hurdles.


Why do we avoid death? Some say it’s wired into our biology. The Guardian reported ‘Our brains do their best to keep us from dwelling on our inevitable demise. A study found that the brain shields us from existential fear by categorising death as an unfortunate event that only befalls other people.’

If our body biologically protects us from the thought of death, it allows us to continue with our daily lives. We can continue without the constant thought of our inevitable demise, which contradicts our main aim of keeping ourselves healthy and alive.

It does not apply to you

This belief is widespread in the younger generations, although it is found in the older ones too. If someone has good health, they do not think death will come knocking at their door. Even when reminded that freak accidents occur, the typical response is often, ‘That won’t happen to me.’

It is depressing

Death is not the most joyous topic. It is not a particularly nice thought. The idea of your loved ones grieving your loss and then having to arrange your passing is not pleasant. Most of us are familiar with the concept of loss and know the distress it causes. We do not want our friends or family to feel that for us.

Fear of Death

There is the fear of the unknown with death. Those who do not follow a religion do not know what will happen next, and for those that do, they do not know where their path will follow next as it is not always straightforward. Simply thinking about death can induce the feeling of terror and vulnerability, leading to people instinctively avoiding it.

We are not ready to die yet

Many of us have so many things we want to achieve in life, get a degree, build a career, buy a house, have children, and see our children have children. However, you simply may not be ready to die because you are not financially prepared yet, and believe that your family may struggle without you.

Write a Will

Despite being faced with all these psychological barriers, we often ignore the reality that we need to create a Will; according to Which?, a staggering 54% of British people do not have a Will in place. Instead, we come up with excuses such as ‘I don’t know what to include in it’, ‘What if I want to change it’ or ‘My family will make the decisions on my behalf.’

If you do not make a will, the government will decide how your wealth is divided, not your family. Therefore, your assets may not go to your desired parties.

If you are unsure of what to write or believe it will change in the future, that is fine. Write a will for now, and then you can update it when the occasion arrives. The government even advises that they are reviewed every five years or after a major life event.

At the Best Foundation, we recommend writing a Will despite the fear of death; protecting your family and your wishes are more important. Contact Best here if you need advice.

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