2023 Report byempathy
The Cost of Dying
Families shoulder a huge burden

Loss is one of the most difficult experiences a person will go through in their lives. But it’s not just emotionally draining. It also comes at a cost of time, money, and stress. We surveyed 1,500 individuals who had recently experienced the death of an immediate relative, to learn more about what they really went through.

Median cost of a funeral
Average cost of handling financial matters
Average cost of handling legal matters
Families spend an average of 12.5 months resolving financial matters, and they spend a median of 12 hours per week on these tasks.
Handling everything after a loss can get very expensive. The median funeral cost is $7,848, the average family spends $9,351 on legal and financial expenses.
Loss is often accompanied by physical and emotional symptoms such as anxiety, changes in sleep patterns, weight loss or gain, anger or irritability, and memory impairment.
How long was the probate process compared with expectations?
Grief may be a deeply personal and inward experience, but logistics complicate things. We often don't acknowledge what a tall order it is to expect a griever to do these seemingly simple tasks.
— David Kessler, grief expert and author of Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief
It takes families an average of 12.5 months to resolve all financial matters, and they spend a median of 12 hours per week on these tasks.
The immense challenge of working after loss

Diminished productivity and reputation at work can deepen the struggles of grief: 76% of employed respondents reported harm to their performance or status at work and 12% reported a decline in reputation.

Probate really is a second job. I ended up spending over 60 hours working on it, and my mom had a very simple estate.
— Patti LaFleur, former care partner to her late mother
Bereavement is employers’ responsibility

As employers, we have both a responsibility and an opportunity. Comprehensive bereavement support is the only way to ensure that your workforce can absorb the shocks of loss without significant repercussions to productivity.

of the workforce at any given company will be grieving a recent loss
A single employee’s reduced productivity, status, and morale ripples out to impact whole teams and entire workforces.
— Tracy Edkins, former CHRO, HR advisor, and board member
Cost of Dying report

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