Every dash is a story.

Your loved one had a remarkable life. Tell their story, and we'll publish it online for free.

Get started for free
December 18, 2019 Brigitte Ganger

Funeral Planning in the West: Millennials Most Likely to Want an Obituary

Older Westerners were less invested in a written obituary tribute

Funeral Planning in the West: Millennials Most Likely to Want an Obituary
Beyond the Dash conducted a survey of 2,400 USA residents across all four census regions regarding their funeral and end-of-life plans, including questions about budget, obituaries, remains handling and bucket lists. (Beyond the Dash)

An October 2019 survey of 600 respondents living in the West census region of the United States has shown that young adults are more likely than older respondents to want traditional arrangements like a full burial, obituary, and funeral service. 


Respondents were asked questions pertaining to their values surrounding funeral planning, and whether they had initiated any advance planning of their own arrangements. 


This is the fourth such report to be released this year. In all studies, we asked questions about five topics:



  1. Funeral Budget

  2. Funeral Arrangements

  3. Advance Planning

  4. Obituaries

  5. Bucket Lists


The following age categories were surveyed:



  • 18 – 34

  • 35 – 54

  • 55+


Focusing on five key areas of end-of life decision-making, we asked Western residents about Funeral Budget, Funeral Arrangements, Advance Planning, Obituaries and Bucket Lists. 


Download Report


Key findings


Cremation is the preferred method of remains handling, by far. This is consistent across all age groups surveyed.

Final disposition preferences of Western respondents of a 2019 Beyond the Dash consumer study. (Beyond the Dash)


72% of respondents said pre-planning funeral arrangements is a good idea. Only 17% had made these arrangements.

Preplanning preferences of Western respondents of a 2019 Beyond the Dash consumer study. (Beyond the Dash)


Over half of Westerners want an obituary when they pass away. 

Obituary preferences of Western respondents of a 2019 Beyond the Dash consumer study. (Beyond the Dash)


Millennial respondents were most enthusiastic about having an obituary; respondents over 55 were least likely to want a life story written in their honor.

Obituary preferences by age of Western respondents of a 2019 Beyond the Dash consumer study. (Beyond the Dash)


Travel topped Westerners' bucket list goals. 

Download Report


This survey follows three similar studies in the Northeast, South and Midwest, concluding a comprehensive review of consumer values surrounding funeral planning, obituaries, and attitude toward death. Stay tuned for our final region wrap-up — coming January 2020!

Your loved one had a remarkable life. Tell their story, and we’ll publish it online for free.

After creating an online memorial, you can also publish in print in any of over 6,000 newspapers across North America.

Get started for free
Discover our blog
View more